Winter is around the corner…Have YOU Checked Your Gas Appliances?

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker United Realtors CBURE#0406046

We are well into October 2012. For the first time in Austin in a long while we are experiencing fall temperatures! We are not complaining as we are getting a taste of the change of seasons. Winter is just around the corner and maybe closer than we think.

Natural gas is a smart energy source for staying warm and many of us utilize gas for our heat.

Before the chill sets in Texas Gas Service recommends we follow an annual checklist to make sure our natural gas appliances operate safely and efficiently throughout the winter season.

The annual checklist is as follows:

    • Have a qualified contractor annually inspect your natural gas furnace, vents, connections and chimneys for corrosion  and blockages
    • Keep the area around your natural gas furnace and water heater clean and free from Litter. Clean or replace air filters in your heating system.
    • Vent natural gas space heaters to the outside. Never sleep in a room with an unvented natural gas heater.
    • Make sure your natural gas range top is clean. Wash burners with water and mild detergent.
    • Natural gas range flames should be crisp, quiet and blue. A yellow flame indicates a need for adjustment.
    • Make sure natural gas water heater air intakes, drain pipes, controls and flue are unobstructed.
    • Keep your natural gas meter free of debris and other obstructions at all times.
    • Never use your natural gas oven or range as a space heater.


It’s always better to be on the safe side. Make it a priority to take time to follow this checklist…… Protect your family, pets and yourself!

DON’T BE TAKEN IN: Recently, some Texas Gas Service customers have received calls regarding a “utility stimulus.” Please be advised these calls are fraudulent!

Texas Gas Service discourages all customers from providing personal, confidential information to any unknown party! They are asking you to report any suspicious calls to your local police department, Federal Trade Commission or  Better Business Bureau.

Local information or events is brought to you as a courtesy by Dorie Dillard, Coldwell Banker United Realtors, you’re NW Real Estate Consultant.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in NW Austin I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss how I can help.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Evelyn Kennedy 10/15/2012 08:33 PM
  2. Joni Staples 10/16/2012 09:37 PM
Topic:
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Rainmaker
788,146
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Good information and encouragement, Dorie.  I do my own home based gas inspections, but if a homeowner isn't qualified or feels uncomfortable doing the inspections they should definitely follow your guidance. 

Oct 15, 2012 06:46 PM #16
Ambassador
1,094,342
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
Great tips. I wish we were experiencing fall temperatures here, but unfortunately not quite yet.
Oct 15, 2012 06:50 PM #17
Rainmaker
974,108
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - Fleming Island, FL
Your Fleming Island Relocation Agents.

Dorie, I just wish I had gas appliances! Here in Florida, natural gas communities are few and far between. We do use bottled propane, but even that is not found many places. Once you have cooked with gas, there is nothing else that can take its place. And yes, gas heating is superior as well. Oh well, our perk is we don't need it much!

Sharon

Oct 15, 2012 06:56 PM #18
Rainmaker
73,647
Chicago Real Estate
Goran Utvic | Chicagoland Brokers Inc, Chicago IL 60656 - Chicago, IL
Goran Utvic

Great checklist Dorie!

Oct 15, 2012 07:01 PM #19
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Joni Staples
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

It was still capri and flip flop weather today in Riverside, but your list is STILL perfect in it's timing!!

Oct 15, 2012 07:09 PM #20
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Judi K Barrett
Judi Barrett~Integrity Real Estate Services~Idabel, Oklahoma - Idabel, OK
Broker/Owner, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDAB

Hot today but looking forward to the cooler temps here and you've provided good tips for the preparation.  

Oct 15, 2012 07:13 PM #21
Ambassador
561,819
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905
Vernonia Realty - Vernonia, OR
"Your Gateway to the Lake" Birkenfeld Oregon

Dorie, very smart stuff! I really like that you included the potential for people to be taken by the fraudulent "utility stimulus".

Congrats on the feature!

Oct 15, 2012 07:16 PM #22
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Dorie- great information for anyone with gas heating.  I'm with Frank & Sharon (18)... I would love gas for cooking!  Congrats on another great feature. 

Oct 15, 2012 07:39 PM #23
Rainmaker
1,056,154
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Dorie - this is very valuable information.  It is important to be prepared for winter.

Oct 15, 2012 08:10 PM #24
Rainmaker
651,910
Evelyn Kennedy
Gallagher & Lindsey, Alameda, California - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Dorie:

Good advice for any where in the country.  I tell my clients to have their gas appliances and heating systems checked annually to be sure that all is working as it should.

Oct 15, 2012 08:27 PM #25
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Praful Thakkar
Keller Williams Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Dorie, great advice - in fact, this is very much applicable to our area! Thanks for sharing.

Oct 15, 2012 09:45 PM #26
Rainmaker
323,124
Jon Quist
LONG REALTY - Tucson, AZ
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

I have a relatively new very energy efficient newer all electric home. I work out of my house, meaning I am here more so than most.  I have all sorts of electronic gadgets and goodies. My total electric bill in the winter, including heat, averages about $65-70 per month. Of course I am in Tucson, where we banned Winter!

Oct 15, 2012 11:18 PM #27
Rainmaker
1,608,796
Debbie Gartner
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

Excellent point, Dorie.  Yes, this is definitely the another busy season for the HVAC guys and gals.

Oct 16, 2012 02:14 AM #28
Rainmaker
1,036,885
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Dorrie.  I wish we had gas in our neighborhood.  It seems to be much cheaper than oil.

Oct 16, 2012 03:41 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,369,572
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Short Sale - CDPE, REDS

 We never think of Texas and winter....if you want some REAL winter...come on up here in another 60 days andI am sure we can show you  some !  Great tips....time to be  warm  and careful !

Oct 16, 2012 04:07 AM #30
Rainmaker
917,269
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

What an outstanding list. I made a copy as will get it to everyone in my office.

Thank you for sharing the post with all of us.

Oct 16, 2012 04:19 AM #31
Rainmaker
1,143,158
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Excellent advice, Dorie! 

We have had a rash of those calls that promote utility stimulus programs.  One of them that partners with PG&E is often a good resource to seniors, and it is free.  However, those "other guys" who have every sharp talking idea out there, you need to be cautious of.  If there is a question about legitimacy, I suggest calling your utility, and asking if the program is truly endorsed by them!

Oct 16, 2012 05:38 AM #32
Rainmaker
892,863
Michael Setunsky
Michael's Commercial LLC - Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Dorie, good information! This is something that should be checked every year by a qualified technician. Thanks for the reminder.

Oct 16, 2012 06:00 AM #33
Rainer
94,914
Shane Barker
Amerifirst Financial, INC. - Salt Lake City, UT

Thanks for the reminder and great tips!

Oct 16, 2012 09:40 AM #34
Rainer
166,139
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-342-4767- Inspector & Energy Auditor

Great idea to get people thinking ahead. Home owners can also call in a BPI certified energy auditor and they can test combustion appliances for dangerous conditions that even most HVAC contractors don't test for. Just did two today myself.

Oct 16, 2012 08:14 PM #35
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Dorie Dillard

Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
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