Heating Your Home Safely

Knoxville (WVLT) - With temperatures in the 30s, quite likely you're turning on the heat for the first time in a while.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford has some home-heating tips in April.

It's hard to believe, but when it gets this cold, especially at night, many have no choice but to turn on the heat or the space heater. With that comes some risks you should know about

"After it's been warm, and they break the heater back out, people might just set it for the night in a bad spot, say next to a bed or near some curtains," KFD Hazmat Captain Les Gibbs said.

KFD Hazmat Captain Les Gibbs says some may use space heaters to warm up this weekend, instead of turning the heat on in the entire house.

"They get hot, they cause a fire," Gibbs said.

Gibbs says most people don't think to do it, but you should always read the manufacturer's directions and warnings on heaters.

"Most of them ask for a 3-4 feet area in which you don't have anything that can burn, and that's a pretty good rule of thumb," Gibbs said.

If you're turning up your thermostat for the first time in a while, Gibbs says be aware of a possible burning odor.

"This short of time, you may or may not have dust buildup. When you turn it on, you smell a little hand of dust, probably not a big deal, but if it lingers on, continues on, you might want to call us to come out and check it out," Gibbs said.

And if you haven't done so yet, change your air filters.

"If your filter's not clean, your heat or air is not going to work like it's supposed to work, and it could cause it to overwork, and if it overworks, it could cause some burning of the motor or belts," Gibbs said.

Your pipes, on the other hand, could stop working altogether.

"People have gone out and maybe hooked their hoses up and started to water the lawn and wash the cars and things, and then they forget to disconnect during this time of year when it gets cold again," Trent Eidemiller said.

Pipe Wrench Plumbing Chief Operations Officer, Trent Eidemiller, recommends you disconnect all hoses from outside spigots.

KFD says most air filters have about a 30 to 90 day life span on them, so you may want to check those this weekend.

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