MASON CITY, Iowa - A blanket won't be enough to keep you warm tonight. You'll probably need to switch on the heater. There's a few things to keep in mind before you flip the switch.
Make sure and check or change your furnace filter. It should be done every month, although some filters can last up to 3 months or even a year, depending on the manufacturers specifications.
If your thermostat runs on batteries, you might want to consider replacing those as well.
Check the heater exhaust vent on the side of the house and make sure it's not blocked up by debris.
It's also a good idea to have your heating system inspected by a reputable HVAC company. Nick Fitch with North Central Mechanical Services explains what technicians will check on your system.
"They should be coming out and just doing a full inspection of the system. Checking the motors over, cleaning your flame sensors, the different sensors' wires. Checking the heat exchangers," said Fitch.
When you first turn on your heater, you might get a whiff of a nasty burning smell. Don't worry, that odor is just dust on the heat exchangers and it will wear off quickly. If the smell does not wear off, it could mean there is a problem with your system.