(WKBN) – There are still a few weeks left until the official start of winter but with the temperatures starting to drop, now is a good time to start getting your home ready for the snowy and cold conditions.
With cold temperatures and winter storms, staying warm and safe can be a challenge.
Firefighters said it’s important to have furnaces, fireplaces and chimneys inspected.
Several local heating and cooling companies said they’re already booked two months out for winter. If you haven’t already had your furnace checked, now is the time.
Michael Vivo, owner of M.P. Vivo Heating and Air Conditioning, said you should get your furnace checked every year, no matter if it’s brand new or 20 years old.
“The main thing that we find is usually just lack of maintenance. When you bring your car in to get an oil change, people just forget about their heating and cooling system. The main thing we find is filters being clogged, the furnace being dirty. With the new furnaces, there’s a lot of new electronics that go into it so it has to be cleaned every year for it to work right.”
Vivo said it’s important to change your filter monthly or have a good air cleaner.
If you’re using another source for heat like a space heater, it’s important to have a clear area around it so it doesn’t start a fire.
Austintown Battalion Fire Chief Tom O’Hara said carbon monoxide is also a concern.
“We go on numerous CO calls where the house is all closed up, where we’re using a furnace now that we weren’t using in the summer and you might have a problem with CO. So it’s good to have a CO detector in your house to alert you if you were to have a problem.”
O’Hara also recommends having a prepared kit in your house with candles, flashlights, fresh batteries, food and water in case the power goes out.