Here in the frozen tundra that we call home, we’re used to the cold and snow. Winters in Minnesota are frigid, and just because you’re used to the cold doesn’t mean that your furnace is, too.

Sometimes it might be hard for your furnace to keep up when the temperatures drop, especially when the temperatures are in the subzero range. While having your home set at 68 degrees seems cold, it can be difficult for a furnace to warm up your house when its only 10 degrees outside.

Supplemental heat sources, like space heaters, fireplaces and electric blankets, are all good ways to stay warm and save you money on your heating bill, but they can also be fire hazards. We certainly want you to be warm and comfortable this winter, but we also care about your safety, so here are a few simple tips to avoid any potential dangers when using supplemental heat sources.

 

Plug space heaters directly into the wall outlet

Space heaters use a lot of voltage, so be sure to plug them directly into the wall outlet. Never plug one into a power strip, because the high voltage could trip the breaker or melt the strip.

 

Keep flammable items at least three feet away from heaters and fireplaces

It’s tempting to cozy up next to the space heater or fireplace, but it could be dangerous, too. Items such as clothes, blankets and pillows could catch on fire if they get too close to the heater, so leave about a three-foot radius around it.

 

Unplug electric blankets when you’re not using them

Electric blankets are nice and toasty, but they can get too warm and catch on fire if they’re left on for too long. Whenever you’re not using it, make sure it is unplugged. A lot of electric blankets now have automatic shut-off switches for safety reasons, but still use caution when using them.

 

Don’t leave heating sources unattended

If you leave the house or before you go to bed, make sure space heaters, fireplaces and electric blankets are turned off, or at least have an automatic shut off switch. Since they are a fire hazard, leaving them unattended increase the chances of a fire.

 

Don’t be afraid to use supplemental heating sources this winter, but just make sure you use them safely.

 

Make sure the furnace in your Minneapolis area home is in good shape

And don’t forget to call us or schedule an appointment online to make sure your furnace is working properly and will be able to keep up with keeping you and your family cozy this winter.