If there is a chance that your heating system is going to have issues, you can almost guarantee that it will be in the middle of the coldest winter days when it is working its hardest. This is simply relative to the fact that long spans of cold temperatures will be taxing on your heat system. In these situations, it is always best if you have some type of backup plan in place to help you stay warm until an HVAC contractor from a place like Hartman Heating, Air and Fireplaces can help you out. However, just trying to keep warm during a heating outage often leads homeowners to make some pretty costly mistakes. Here are a few of the biggest mistakes to avoid when your home's heating system goes out in the middle of winter.
Mistake: Trying to create heat with steam from a hot shower.
Why? You pile everyone in the master bathroom and turn on the shower on full hot water when the heat goes out because in your mind, steam equals heat. While steam can produce enough heat to keep everyone comfortable for a bit, steam can also cause major issues with moisture damage inside your home. While a bathroom vent will eliminate some of the steam, these things can only handle so much, which means most of the steam will end up accumulating on walls, ceilings, and flooring. Therefore, the only way using steam for heating purposes is a logical choice is if you ventilate the room properly with a fan and only use this solution for short periods.
Mistake: Building a fire in a previously unused fireplace.
Why? Many homes have wood-burning fireplaces, but these fixtures often get disregarded for months or even years if you have an alternative heat source. However, a wood-burning fireplace will probably be the first thing you go to if you have an outage. the problem with this is, a fireplace that has been left unused for long periods is also probably not maintained, which means the chimney likely needs to be cleaned before it is used.
Mistake: Using lanterns for heat.
Why? It is a well-known fact that propane-burning lanterns actually do produce a lot of heat when they are burning. So if you have a couple of these tucked away in a garage and the heat goes out, you may be tempted to pull them out and fire them up inside the house. The problem with this is, propane lanterns are usually listed as not safe for indoor use because they can emit fumes that are not safe for inhalation.