If your house is empty for a month, your heating system has to work extra hard to restore the heat when you come back. More heat is generated when a house is occupied. That's because people, pets, and appliances are like radiators that contribute to heat output.
If youâ€™re not using a room, donâ€™t heat it. Close off vents to rooms that are infrequently used, and shut the door. When you do need to use the room, just open the vent for the time you are in there, and keep your sweater on.
To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, have your heating equipment "tuned up" each year, preferably before the heating season begins. Your local gas orelectricty company has highly trained professionals who can provide this service. The service technician should also check your chimney and vent pipes for blockage. It is also a good idea to make sure your home is adequately ventilated, particularly if you have added insulation to your home, had major renovations done or have enclosed your heating system to increase living space.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often confused with those of influenza, and the highest incidence of poisoning occurs during the flu season. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, unclear thinking, shortness of breath, weakness, vision problems and loss of muscle control.