Winter tends to bring thoughts of a cozy fire in the fireplace.

There are a few steps you should take to ensure your family’s safety while staying comfortable this cold time of year. Thanks to Inman News for these tips!

If you use a wood burning fireplace, make sure to get it inspected and cleaned by a chimney sweep. If you need recommendations for a reputable chimney sweep in Baltimore, please let me know. There are a number of very notable ones in the area who have done good work for past clients of mine.

You should also close the damper when the fireplace is not in use.

A chimney cap is a good idea, because it can prevent animals from getting in (and building their nest or home in there!)

Use dry hardwood to burn. Apparently fir and pine tree wood burns very hot, and may deposit creosote in the chimney, which could be a fire hazard. Also do not burn construction material. Treated wood may have chemicals that could be toxic if burned.

If you have a gas furnace, it is very important to have it checked and maintained by a professional HVAC contractor. Again, if you need a recommendation for an HVAC contractor in Baltimore, please let me know! We have had our gas furnaces serviced by a few different companies and have been pleased with both.

Make sure to change your filter. Your furnace will function better and blow cleaner air. If you have pets (especially dogs that shed, like we do), make sure to change it every 30 days (that goes throughout the year, not just winter!)

Do not store combustible items near the furnace.

Also, if you have a gas furnace or gas fireplace, make sure you have at least one carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so protect your family by having detectors, and testing them at least yearly.

Have a safe & warm winter! For Baltimore real estate needs, contact me. I’m here to help!