Getting your furnace ready for winter

Published: Sep. 16, 2016 at 5:49 PM MDT
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With the colder weather approaching, you're probably thinking about turning on your furnace.

Before you turn it on this season, you'll want to make sure it's safe.

All summer long, you haven't been thinking about your furnace.

But now that you're getting ready to turn it on, and according to Utilities Production Coordinator at South Central Community Action Service's Rod Burk you want it to work properly.

"That's what people forget, they forget about their furnace all summer going OK and then all of a sudden winter comes and so you should turn it on, see if it works, and if it doesn't, then you need to be calling a professional heating contractor," Burk said.

If you wait until it gets really cold to turn on your furnace, it might not work the way you want it to.

"We get calls all the time you know I mean the first day it gets cold, my furnace ain't working, and then we got contractors just rushing out you know where we're rushing out with a space heater to give them some heat," Burk said.

There are simple things you can do now to prepare for the colder months, according to Battalion Chief Mitchell Brooks at the Twin Falls Fire Department.

"We recommend that the furnace or the fire place, that it has its fall inspection, you have someone certified that comes in and looks over the system, makes sure it's clean, and then that way they're ready to go when the fall hits," Brooks said.

Make sure to check the filter on your furnace now before you turn it on for the first time this fall.

If you have any issues with your furnace, you want to get that fixed now, before the cold weather comes.

"Turn it on, check it out, it's that time of year. You know, just turn it on. If it works, everything seems to be normal for you, you know then you can shut it off and when it really gets cold it's gonna come on and work for you," Burk said.

Make sure your furnace is clean.

If you don't have a furnace, there are other safety tips to keep in mind.

"With wood burning, we really recommend keeping the firebox clean, when they discard the ashes, make sure it's in a noncombustible container. Give it time to cool before they discard it into the trash receptacle," Brooks said.

If you're using a wood burning stove, Brooks said to burn dry, hard wood as opposed to softer wood, and make sure your chimney is clean.