(WACO, Texas) – Though the first cold front of the fall has not rolled through Central Texas yet, now is the time for consumers to think about testing their heating units so they can stay warm this winter.
“This is a good time to fire them up,” said Gary Lawson, an instructor in Texas State Technical College’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology program in Waco.
Lawson said state-licensed contractors should be called to look at heating systems before the temperature drops. He said this is critical, especially for those with gas heaters.
Lawson advised people not to overly react if they smell something smoldering when heaters are turned on the first time.
“That is dust on the heat exchanger, or if it is a new one, it’s oil,” he said. “It burns off quickly.”
Lawson said people should check their carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. And, they should look at digital thermometers to maintain accuracy.
Brayden Stanley, a TSTC HVAC Technology major from College Station, said people should check and replace filters and look at their heating system’s coils.
“Dirty coils won’t allow your condenser to reject heat,” Stanley said.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 49 percent of the country’s homes run on natural gas, while 34 percent use electricity. The agency recommends people set thermostats as low and comfortable as possible and install low-noise, high-efficiency exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to save on heating costs.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.