Preparing for Cold Weather, Safety Tips for Your Furnace and Fir - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Preparing for Cold Weather, Safety Tips for Your Furnace and Fireplace

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- The first round of cold weather is about to hit Texoma. Before you go to heat your home, there's necessary steps you can take to reduce the risk of a home fire.

It may sound like something from a Disney movie, but yes, chimney sweeps exist in Texoma and a good cleaning is necessary before building your first fall fire.

"Creosote builds up and it only take an eighth of an inch for it to become extremely flammable and then it becomes a time bomb," says Sabrina Osmon, Chimney Sweeps of Texomaland.

From gas and smoke residue to debris, there's a lot of hazardous materials that can get stuck inside.

"We have migratory chimney sweep birds, they come in the spring and they leave stuff behind," says Osmon.

Osmon says you shouldn't go more than three years without a scrub down and inspection. Regular users need more attention.

"If you use dry seasoned wood like you are supposed to and you burn your fireplace more than three times a week you should have your chimney cleaned annually," says Osmon.

With cooler weather rolling in, you're likely to be turning on your furnace too and like your chimney, John Markl with Markl & Sons Cooling and Heating says there's a lot that can go wrong if not properly maintained.

"Making sure all your gas fittings and lines are tight and not leaking, checking to make sure your blower is working an in balance, checking filters, making sure the fire lights and burns properly and exhausting out the roof the way it should," says Markl.

If it isn't, your family could be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be lethal.

"If your chimney is not vented correctly it can get into your home air," says Markl.

With a little TLC to your heat sources, experts say you could not only save your families life, but also reduce your energy bills.

If you need your furnace checked, make sure you go with a reputable company. Markl says furnaces in Texas and Oklahoma can last up to 20 years. Most likely you just need a tune up and not a replacement.