It’s getting cold out, the air is getting crisp, sweaters, gloves, and scarves are starting to make appearances. That means it’s time to turn on the heater! Before you do though, here are a few things you should check first.

It’s important to check for any dirty filters you may have in your home. Air filters maintain the air quality of your home. So, if you don’t want any dust or pollen circulating through remember to check them and replace if needed before winter comes. A clean filter also means that the unit will work more efficiently. You’ll get more heat out and be more comfortable in your home. Changing your filter monthly once winter begins can even save you money.

Having a programmable thermostat is a must for cold winters. Be sure to check your thermostat is working properly before winter starts. If you keep raising the temperature and nothing is happening, that could be a sign that your heating unit is not ready for the colder weather. It’s recommended that when you turn on your heater to set your thermostat between 65 and 68 to save energy.

Check that your vents are open where you want them blowing air, and closed where you don’t. A common error people make is to forget to check their vents before calling out a technician. So check and double check that the vents are open before someone checks the whole system.

Door and Windows:
Check all of your doors and windows for leaks. Leaks can bring cold air in from outside, making your heating unit work twice as hard. This uses more energy making you spend more money.

Around the Unit:
Be extra sure to check the area around your actual heating unit. Check to make sure nothing flammable has been stored near it over the summer. Common culprits are lawnmowers and gas cans,

That Smell:
When you turn on the heater for the first time, you may smell something strange. Over the months it’s not in use dust settles on the heating components. It’s then burned off when the unit heats up. Don’t be concerned, open a window to dispel the odor. If the smell persists that could be a sign it’s time to change your filters, but you already checked that, right?

These simple steps will get your heating unit winter ready and make it so you don’t need to call someone out to check your whole system, but if you’re still worried a technician can assist you in double checking the unit. (Just be sure to check the vents first)

If everything checks out then your system is ready for use and you’re ready for the winter months. Invite friends over to your now cozy home and have a happy holiday season.