(Year Round) Decorating Safety Tips Around Your HVAC Equipment

The holiday season is such a great time to show your holiday spirit and to make your house more festive and welcoming to guests. Americans put up over 440,000,000 Christmas lights each year and spend typically between $40 and $70 annually on decorations alone. Going overboard on decorations can lead to unexpected HVAC issues, especially during the harsh winter months in which your HVAC system is typically under the most stress. Whether you go all out when it comes to decorations or are a little more reserved, it pays to keep some safety tips in mind especially when it comes to decorating in and around where your HVAC equipment is concerned. 

Avoid Placing Decorations On HVAC Units

Whether it’s an outdoor air conditioner unit or an indoor furnace unit, you have to resist decorating them even if they are readily noticeable to guests. Adding extra pieces of paper and plastic to these can cause issues of overheating or loose pieces of decorations can get caught in an intake or even catch fire on a pilot light. This goes especially double for flammable wreaths or garlands made from flammable pine tree pieces. Keep at least a three foot “decoration free zone” around your HVAC equipment and make sure that none of your surrounding decorations are able to get caught up in your equipment over time.

Just Say “No” To Decorating Vents!

Since a lot of holiday decorations tend to hang high on the walls or even from the ceiling, it can be easy to acciendly cover up an air intake vent on the ceiling or wall. This is especially bad for your furnace unit during the winter months as a blocked intake vent forces your unit to work harder in order to heat your home. Not only can it make your heating bills bigger but it could also lead to a catastrophic breakdown in your furnace. Avoid decorating on or around your intake vents this holiday season. This also goes for floor vents as well. You want at least 4 to 6 inches of clearance all around the sides and top of your floor vents if at all possible to make sure that you are getting the proper air flow in each room. 

Don’t Mix Decorations And Live Fire Places

If you use a fireplace or wood burning stove to heat your home in the winter months in addition to your typical furnace, it helps to keep in mind that sparks can be flung up to 6 feet away from your fireplace if you are using logs as a heat source. Make sure that your holiday decorations are well away from the front of your fireplace if you are using it for heat this year. Also, try to keep you tree at the far end of the room as well to avoid it catching on an errant spark or piece of flying debris.

Install A Smart Thermostat

While you can certainly decorate your thermostat, you don’t have to. But, having a new smart thermostat can help you save valuable time and money by making your furnace run less often and more efficiently. Less wear and tear means lower energy bills and more peace of mind for you this holiday season. Isn’t that a gift worth giving to yourself?

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