For Release: 11/10/2006
Rosemount, MN - As temperatures begin to plummet outside, residents turn to their heating systems for indoor comfort and warmth during the colder months. Besides keeping your heating equipment in top operating condition, there are some additional ideas customers should consider, according to Minnesota Energy Resources, to ensure a warm, comfortable and safe heating season.
At the top of the list is to install and maintain a quality carbon monoxide (CO) detector and a smoke detector. Both should have a battery back-up, in case the power goes out. Both detectors should be made by a reputable manufacturer and should be UL (Underwriters Laboratory, Inc.) approved.
An annual check-up of your heating systems and equipment by a reputable heating and cooling technician is also advised. The mechanic will run tests and inspect your equipment so that it is operating safely, as well as efficiently. This can save residents money in operating costs, resulting in lower heating bills.
A recent growing safety concern involves supplemental heating units as residents attempt to offset some of their heating costs. Unvented heaters can be dangerous and result in lethal consequences.
Unvented, fuel-fired heaters come in many shapes and sizes, including kerosene or gas space heaters, wall heaters, fireplaces, and fuel oil torpedo-shaped heaters and are available in many retail outlets. They can also be quite popular in garages, hunting cabins or ice fishing shanties. The Minnesota Mechanical Code prohibits the use of unvented heaters in occupied spaces. Improper combustion air supply and ventilation can result in contamination from CO, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde and other combustion-related contaminants and water vapor buildups.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas that is odorless and tasteless and results in the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Any fuel-burning equipment using wood, coal, gasoline, oil, propane, kerosene or natural gas can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide if not vented properly.
More information is available on line at www.minnesotaenergyresources.com.