For most New Englanders, we pride ourselves on waiting to turn the heat on in our homes until November 1. It’s like a competition to see who can tough it out the longest. Whether you turn the heat on in October, November or December, here are some things to make sure you check…
1. Test your thermostat and replace batteries, if needed: You know that little click you can feel when you turn your thermostat up for the first time? This means your furnace is kicking on the way it should. Test all of your thermostats to make sure they are working properly. If your thermostat uses batteries, you will need to change them every year.
2. Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries, if needed: Carbon monoxide poisoning increases in the colder months due to increased use of fuel-burning appliances like furnaces. Turning your furnace on for the first time is an excellent time to make sure yours is still in working order.
3. Change the air filters: Keeping clean filters in your system will insure it is able to run efficiently and isn’t being overworked, which can lead to problems and an overall lower life expectancy.
4. Clean around your heating unit: You may have stacked objects around or leaning on it. This is a potential fire hazard. Clean the area around your furnace before turning it on for the season.
5. Smell, but don’t panic: That burning smell you get when you first turn your heat on is just dust burning off. It should only last for a couple hours. If you continue to smell it well beyond a couple hours, turn the furnace off and call a professional to come out and check it out.