A cold snap has hit El Paso earlier than usual this year, so if you are going to work on your house's heater or use space heaters to stay warm, here are some safety tips to think about:

1. Get a professional to inspect your furnace - It might cost about $100, but they can clean and prepare your furnace and turn off your air conditioner. Get a licensed company to do the work and sleep easier knowing they've checked for carbon monoxide leaks.

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2. Replace heater air filters - If you turn your own heater on, make sure you replace your filter to keep your furnace working at peak efficiency. If you get a company to turn your heater on, make sure they do it.

Patricia Martinez

3. Use space heaters wisely - Space heaters aren't designed to be used while you're asleep or out of the house. Don't put space heaters on carpet or near flammable materials like curtains. Don't walk out of a room that has a space heater running. Don't use space heaters while you're sleeping in case they overheat.

Patricia Martinez

4. Check your chimney - If you're going to use your fireplace, make sure your chimney doesn’t have any cracks. I've been in my house for 20 years, but can't use my fireplace because the chimney needs to be rebuilt. If your chimney does have cracks, it might change the way the flame sits in the fireplace and might throw sparks that could ignite outside the fireplace.

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