Local experts give homeowners advice on heating safety ahead of the winter season

Consumer Watch

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Two local experts gave simple tips on keeping families safe, warm and without breaking the budget.

Mark Porter, the owner of Advance Mechanical in Greenville, say before cranking up the heat, have a maintenance contract, that way your heating system can be checked twice a year, along with your filters. Porter says doing this will increase the longevity of your heating system from 15-20 years.

“A certified trained technician can take a look at your unit and make sure it’s working properly before you get into the heating season,” Porter said.

If you’re worried about the costs of running heat, Porter says most heat pumps and furnaces are meant to run at 72 degrees, so anything higher could start costing you more.

“I know some people like to keep it 76 degrees and higher, but the more you run it, the more it will cost and the more potential for breakdown,” Porter said.

There have been many cases of trying to keep warm gone wrong, with some people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Jay Morris, Deputy Director and Fire Marshal for Pitt County Emergency Management say a working C-O detector is the number one way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning from happening.

“The C-O detector is your one chance to have there and its sole goal is to monitor that gas for you,” Morris said.

In the event of a snowstorm, the power will go out, and there is no way for families to run their heat. Morris said families should always be prepared if these types of situations occur.

“Our big thing is emergency planning so we always recommend you have non-perishable food, plenty of water, and plenty of blankets, that’s just an alternative way of heating your body. Not just for your house, but providing warmth for your family and kids,” Morris said.

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