Precautions to take before turning on the heat

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – It's that time of year again when temperatures are dropping and people are starting to turn on their furnaces. One of the first things you should do before you do turn yours on is to replace the air filter.

Some basic precautions will ensure your furnace is ready for action when the temperature drops. (Photo: WKYT/Megan James)

"We always recommend pleated filters, says Anthony Luckett, an HVAC foreman. “The horse-hair filters or 30-day throwaway filters don't do a whole lot for filtration."

Air filters help to remove dust, allergens, and other particles from the air, but even though they remove most of the dust, some still settles on the furnace when it isn't in use. You might notice the effects of it when you turn your furnace on for the first time this season.

"The first time you turn it on, the dust will burn off. It is just three to six months of dust that has settled. If you ever have smoke coming out of the registers, that could be alarming. That shouldn't happen. Once it burns off you shouldn't smell it again until next season"

The burning smell should only last for about 20 to 30 minutes. If it lasts longer or if there is any smoke, call a technician. Luckett says homeowners should consider calling a technician before you turn it on in the first place.

"Any time you do turn it on we always recommend you have your system inspected. It is always a good thing to do."

It is also a wise idea to get your HVAC system inspected twice a year to keep it from unexpectedly breaking down.