Heating Hazards

As temperatures cool down, Texomans are ready to crank up the heat in their homes.

The gas furnace and electric heating system are two types of heating units commonly used in Texoma. But without taking proper precaution, they can spark a fire in homes.

"Nobody really thinks about it until it's needed," said James Lane Air Conditioning and Plumbing Service Manager, Ricky Sikes.

Unfortunately, heating and air systems are the least thought about appliance in people's homes. Sikes recommends heating units be tuned up and checked out before their first use.

"There are dangers that go along with gas heating in particular. There's a risk of fire, there's also a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning," he said.

For gas furnaces, vent pipes can be blocked from debris and cause flames to roll out.

"A dirty filter can cause the furnace to run in a much higher temperature. Filter changing and just starting it up and looking at the overall burning process is key," said Sikes.

Burnt wiring in electric heating systems can cause sparks and pose as a problem.

"The electrical ones need to be checked. Basically, you're looking for loose wiring, signs of heat in the wirings and things like that," he said.

For anyone who has a heating unit in their home, the single most important thing to have is a carbon monoxide detector.

Both gas furnaces and electric heating systems should be checked out by a professional at least once a year. Having good insulation and maintaining a clean filter will also help the system better heat the house.

Cynthia Kobayashi, Newschannel Six.