BOSTON — With temperatures reaching a near-record cold this weekend, we'll all be bundling up and turning on the heat - but there are silent dangers that come with it.
You may have lived in the Northeast your entire life, but cold weather dangers affect everyone.
Not checking heating equipment, such as furnaces, and carbon monoxide levels are the most common mistakes people make when temperatures drop.
Scott Meincke, the Service Manager at MacFarlane Energy in Dedham says he and his crew have been getting about 30 to 40 calls a day for annual maintenance on heating systems.
"Its very important with gas, gas produces a little bit more carbon monoxide than our oil partner but we want to make sure your levels are within reason," said Meincke.
Meincke says checking for carbon monoxide is critical. The odorless, colorless and silent gas is extremely dangerous.
"I recall a few years ago up in Revere a homeowner was working on his own system and he did the incorrect thing and it was a catastrophic failure, and there was a death in his family, due to him working on his own heating system," said Meincke.
While Meincke says this is work you should leave for professionals to handle, there are some red flags homeowners can watch for, such as ensuring the vents outside the house are free of leaves and snow.
If your heating system uses a chimney, it should be cleaned every few years.
Any filters in your heating system should also be changed before every heating season and, of course, carbon monoxide detectors should be on every floor of the house. Batteries should be replaced according to warranty, but it's recommended you swap them every year.
One big danger people often overlook, according to Meincke is warming up your car in a closed garage.
"What we want to be careful of is remote starts on cars," said Meincke. "To make sure you pull your car out of the garage before you start it, and make sure the door is open and ventilate the garage before actually starting the car or when its been running by the garage door."
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