Help for Keeping Heat in Your Home

It's hard to keep your home warm in this bitter cold. Here are some tips. It's hard to keep your home warm in this bitter cold. Here are some tips. | 

Updated: January 29, 2019 04:24 PM

Your furnaces and heating systems are likely working overtime during this cold snap. And so are the folks who fix them.

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Jeremy Carlson, of Carlson Duluth Company, was on his way to an install on Tuesday afternoon. He spoke to us over the phone, about advice for this deep freeze.

"If you have a programmable thermostat, keep it at a steady temperature, like 70 degrees. Don't have it drop down at night, it's too hard for the system to keep up. Also, even the newest furnace may have trouble in these temperatures," he said.

Pete Krause, from Krause Heating and Cooling, added, "Make sure your furnace filter is cleaned or replaced regularly. And make sure the outside vent is cleared of ice and snow." He told us regular maintenance is key to making sure your equipment is good to go, when you really need it.

Over at Como Oil and Propane, their crews have been doing non-stop deliveries for days. Liz Bieter, divisional manager, said, "The last couple of days have been brutal. But everyone kind of braced for it, and we took some proactive steps, to make sure we were caught up and not struggling to maintain the status quo."

The diesel trucks don't love this weather, she said, but the fleet is doing well. "But everything just moves slower in the cold."

She said there things you can do to keep the heat in, like putting plastic on your windows, or a towel down at the bottom of your door.

According to the Duluth Fire Marshal, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. Some simple steps can prevent most heating-related fires from happening. Here are some:

* Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
* Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
* NEVER use an extension cord with an electric space heater.
* Make sure your space heater has a "tip-over" cut-off switch.
* Never use your oven to heat your home.
* Never bring a gas or charcoal grill inside to heat your home.
* Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
* Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
* Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
* Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
* Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
* Test smoke/carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
* Make sure you have smoke alarms on each floor of your home, including the basement. 
* Never you a torch to thaw frozen pipes 

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