Make sure to check your heater before turning it on this Winter

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Before you turn on your furnace after it's been sitting idle since last winter, simple things like checking and changing the filter can help make it last.

Owner of DeBacker’s Heating and Air Conditioning Greg DeBacker says, if you notice something wrong with your furnace it’s best to call someone who knows what they're doing.

"If you see a lot of rust on the furnace, if you see water or moisture around it anywhere [or] if you smell an odor around the furnace, call a professional” DeBacker said.

Changing the filter can also help it run more efficiently saving you money on your bill. But most importantly, it can help keep you safe from carbon monoxide.

"Carbon monoxide is odorless,” DeBacker said. “You can smell the natural gas byproduct. You could go to bed and not wake up in the morning or wind up in the hospital."

Newer models have technology that help shut it off if something is wrong.

DeBacker also recommends that every home have a carbon monoxide alarm. DeBacker also said that the best place for the carbon monoxide alarm is somewhere you will be able to hear it if it goes off. If you put it too close to the furnace, it is possible to get a false reading.

He said fire places and charcoal grills are another source of carbon monoxide.