How to Stay Warm, Stay Safe, Save Money - WSPA.com

How to Stay Warm, Stay Safe, Save Money

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Technician Aaron Gordon checks a furnace's safety and efficiency. Technician Aaron Gordon checks a furnace's safety and efficiency.
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

Frost and freeze warnings may have many in the Upstate ready to turn on their heat.

But before you do, here are some tips that can save you money and keep your family safe.

When the temperatures go down, Carolina Heating Service technician Aaron Gordon goes up into homeowners' attics to check out their heating systems.

“I'm testing for carbon monoxide, efficiency of the unit," said Gordon.

Making sure it's clean and running efficiently can save you money on your energy bill and prevent costly repairs in the future.

A recent government report from the Energy Department says natural gas prices will rise about 13 percent this year to an average bill of $679 dollars a month. If you rely on electricity for heat, you'll pay around two percent more -- about $18 extra.

Gordon suggests cleaning out your filter once a month to help your heating system run better.

But getting your system checked out once a year -- before you turn it on -- doesn't just save your wallet. It could save your life.

“Carbon monoxide is odorless, so people, they can't smell it really so it's like a silent killer," said Gordon.

Be careful your nose doesn't cause false alarm. It's normal to smell an odor for a few minutes the first time you turn your heating system on this season. If it persists, shut it down right away and call in a professional.

Make sure you check out the batteries in your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detectors.

Mauldin Fire Marshal Steven Woods said if your smoke detector is 10 years old or more, you need to swap out that unit completely.

If you have a chimney, there are some extra precautions you need to take. Woods said you should make sure you get it professionally cleaned before you start a fire for the first time this season. Soot can build up in your chimney and ignite. That fire can quickly spread to the rest of the house.

For a checklist your family can use to make sure you're on track for the colder temps, click here.

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