As usual, winter will be here quicker than we think. To prepare, Black Hills Energy encourages everyone to make sure gas heating systems and appliance components are clean and working properly before using them this fall.
“Natural gas is a clean, safe, reliable source of energy for more than 70 million natural gas utility customers in the United States, and much of that energy is used to heat U.S. homes and businesses,” said Summer Wade, operations supervisor for the Newton area. “You schedule regular maintenance on a car for efficient performance, safe operation and longer life. In the same way, it’s important to have heating and ventilating equipment inspected annually by a professional, especially before you use them for the first time each fall. An annual inspection and tune-up can ensure that your heating equipment is running properly and operating efficiently.”
Black Hills Energy also recommends that customers maintain carbon monoxide detectors and have them inspected regularly to verify proper operation. A functioning carbon monoxide detector may offer an early warning of the presence of carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless byproduct of the incomplete burning of fuels including wood, gasoline, charcoal and natural gas. Gas appliances require adequate air intake for complete combustion and must be properly vented for safe and efficient operation.
Signs of a potential carbon monoxide leak can include, but are not limited to, flu-like symptoms – a scratchy throat, runny nose, headache, drowsiness or nausea. Other indicators could include frosted windows due to excessive humidity, or a draft from the front of the furnace when it is not turned on. If you think carbon monoxide is present, leave the premises immediately and call 911 or Black Hills Energy’s emergency service line, 800-694-8989, from a nearby location.
“If you’re a Black Hills Energy customer and you have questions about home heating safety, please call us without hesitation,” Wade said.