Many turning on heat for first time this season

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Statistics show that more than twenty percent of all house fires stem from some kind of heating equipment, so before you break out the space heater or crank up the temp, be prepared.

"They've sat dormant, there may be dust, things may have become disconnected that could be harmful to the living space - the flu pipes especially on your gas furnaces," said Tracy Parrish, Howell's Heating and Air Service Manager.

That's why heating and cooling experts recommend a pre-season check and we are talking more than just changing a filter.

We caught up with John Marshpund while he checked out a furnace in a home in Glen Allen. It got the all clear and should be fine for the rest of the fall and winter.

"We run the furnace through its paces and determine whether it's safe and ready to operate efficiently for the rest of the season," Parrish said.

Malfunctions with heating equipment can lead to dangerous fires or carbon monoxide leaks and cost you more money in the long-run. An inefficient heating system could drive up your utility bills. Plus, don't forget even the most basic emergency repair runs 3 to 4 hundred dollars. A maintenance check is about a third of that. Parrish says whether it's a routine or emergency call, his company will now stay busy with heating issues until springtime.

"The last few days the phones have picked up. It's almost like that first hot day and it's not really even that cold yet, so the phones have picked up and folks are turning on the heat and having some problems so we are getting them checked out," said Parrish.

It's also important to remember that a lot of heating equipment is gas powered. If that's the case in your home, make sure you have working carbon monoxide detector.

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