South Floridians are spoiled with great year-round weather. But there are times when cold fronts will move deep into the Sunshine State causing temperatures to drop into the 50s and even 40s. As winter approaches, chances are your home’s heating system hasn’t been used in several months. If you turn on your home’s HVAC heating system for the first time, there is a good chance you will smell a peculiar burning odor coming from the vents. In most cases, the odor will slowly go away. However, there are cases where a malfunctioning HVAC system or the use of space heaters can place your home at a high risk for fire damage. Here are some tips to prepare your home’s heating system for the winter.
Replace Old Air Filters
Replacing your air filters regularly helps your heating and cooling system perform more efficiently and helps save homeowners money on their electric bills. But most importantly, it also reduces the dangers of breathing dirty air. In most cases, it is best to change your air filter once every three years to ensure optimum performance.
Lower Your Thermostat
According to a study conducted by the University of New Hampshire, the average household can save 2 percent per month on their energy bills by lowering their thermostat just one degree. It may not sound like much. But over the course of the year, it can save you hundreds of dollars. It will also help your home’s heating system perform more efficiently. If you typically keep your thermostat at 74 degrees, try lowering it to 70 during the winter months.
Beware of Space Heaters
Space heaters are popular in South Florida during the winter months. Although the weather rarely gets cold compared to the North, portable space heaters can become useful as a temporary heat source. But when left unattended for a significant amount of time, they can become a dangerous fire hazard.
Not all space heaters are the same. Some run on electric power while others operate on gasoline or propane. Depending on the size and power of the appliance, they can heat a specific area or an entire room. Older models are most prone to house fires. Today’s space heaters now contain advanced safety features, such as tip over and overheat protection. Many devices shut off automatically if they overheat.
Where to place your space heater also plays a huge role. Try to keep your space heater at least three feet away from furniture, window fixtures, clothing, rugs and bedding. Plug your unit directly into an electric socket. Using an extension cord increases the chances of a fire, overheating or the possibility of electrical shock. Unplug or shut off your unit immediately after use.
Has Your Fire Damage Claim Been Underpaid or Denied? Miami Home Insurance Attorney Jonathan Korin Can Help
Here are some scary statistics. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 905 people die in winter house fires each year, causing million of dollars in damage. Although South Florida is not known for cold weather, HVAC systems and space heaters still cause significant damage in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. If your fire damage claim has been underpaid or denied, it is vital to seek advice from an experienced and knowledgeable legal professional. Over the years, Miami home insurance lawyer Jonathan Korin has utilized an aggressive and comprehensive approach to help place property owners in the best position to succeed. To learn more on how he can help resolve your insurance issues, contact the legal team at Korin Law, P.A. and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.