Today I have five wintertime home maintenance and safety tips that condo-dwellers specifically can use this season.

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Today’s home maintenance and safety tips for condo-dwellers are especially important this time of year when the nasty, cold weather outside keeps us indoors.


1. Be mindful of your fireplace. Many downtown homes and condos throughout the city don’t have the chimneys necessary for a wood-burning fireplace, so many of them use gas, which is a great alternative. Now’s the time of year when those are fired up the most to capture the warmth and romantic atmosphere they bring. Keep in mind, however, that if you have a ventless gas fireplace, you could be emitting a little bit of carbon monoxide into your living space. That means you should be mindful of how long you’re allowing your gas fireplace to run; I don’t recommend leaving it on all night or all day, especially in rooms that are sealed without any windows cracked.


2. Double check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A lot of fires happen this time of year, so in the interest of your family’s safety, make sure that you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and that they work optimally.


    If you have a ventless gas fireplace, you could be emitting a little bit of carbon monoxide into your livings space.



3. Get your furnace serviced. By now, most of us in Chicago have had our furnaces running for a couple of months, if not longer. If you haven’t hired an HVAC professional to come check the burners, to make sure there aren’t any cracks, and to check your filters, you’re doing yourself a disservice on two fronts: One because that’s a major health and safety hazard, and two because the unit won’t last as long if you don’t regularly maintain it. When home inspectors look at a home, they can tell whether or not a furnace has been maintained over time.

4. Protect the beauty of your home with rugs and mats. Snow and slush mean there’s bound to be rock salt on the streets and sidewalks, which in turn means that shoes will track it indoors. If you have hardwood floors, it is critically important to make sure that you have mats at all points of entry and exit from your home. Water, dirt, and salt attack your hardwood, and that can be costly to refinish.

5. Cover or put outdoor furniture into storage. Here in Chicago, the time we get to spend outdoors in the spring, summer, and early fall is supremely important to us. That’s why it’s a good idea to shut down your outdoor space before the cold and snow set in. Cover any outdoor furniture or put it into a storage area so you can pull it out when it’s warm and not worry about its condition.


If you have any questions about home safety and maintenance, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be glad to speak with you.


This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.