Get your heater ready for a cold winter -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Get your heater ready for a cold winter

October 30, 2003

Albany -- Georgia's state climatologist predicts an early freeze, and an extremely cold winter. Now is the time to have your heater serviced and ready. Firefighters say it could save your life.

South Georgia Heating and Cooling workers blow out a furnace, getting it ready for an expected cold winter. Shane Parsons says cleaning a gas heater makes it more efficient and safer. "It is necessary, because there are carbon monoxide emissions. If you got a yellow flame on a space heater, then it is emitting carbon monoxide. When you blow a heater out, it has a nice blue flame, and it's burning as efficient as it can."

Albany firefighters know the first cold temperatures of the year mean more calls for them, as people Start their heaters for the first time of the year. Assistant Chief James Carswell of the Albany Fire Department said "We always get a lot of nuisance calls, where people, even with central heat units, fire up their heater for the first time and they burn that dust off. They smell smoke and they call us, and that's what they should do. But a little proper maintenance prior to that will eliminate that problem from ever happening."

 A cold winter will strain your heater. And that can result in tragedy. Carswell said "That heater has to work longer periods of time before cooling off. If there is a weak spot in it, it will be found in a cold snap. And start a fire? And start a fire."

Albany had four fire deaths in the last year, double the usual yearly average.

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