MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The cooler fall temperatures may have you turning on the heat. It is a good reminder to have your furnace checked to make sure it is working properly.

Experts advise a routine inspection could prevent a costly emergency.

Jerry Lichtenberger prepares his home for heat before he needs it.

“It’s a little like your automobile. If you don’t maintain it, it’s going to give out on you. If it’s 20 below and 3 in the morning, you need it to work so it’s just a smart thing to do,” Lichtenberger said.

He called in “Service Today!” to take a look at his furnace.

“It’s probably your most important appliance here in Minnesota. It’s got a blower motor, it’s got a computer board, it’s got a gas valve when the thermostat says I need heat, it turns everything on,” said service manager Tom Kriese.

(credit: CBS)

He said an inspection can catch any issues.

“We check the sensors. We check to make sure it’s burning clean. I have a gas analyzer, carbon monoxide detector, checks the gases leaving, tells me if anything internally that’s not burning clean,” Kriese said.

He explains a fee on the front end could save customers later on.

“The whole industry gets backed up when it gets really cold. It might be a week before someone can get out,” Kriese said. “Well, then you got frozen pipes and it gets really expensive then.”

And so Lichtenberger chooses to heed the warning year after year to have the assurance his house will be filled with warmth when needed.

“It’s a matter of life and death here, or if the pipes freeze up in your house, a good preventive thing to just be ready for winter,” Lichtenberger said.

It is a good reminder to check your furnace before the first freeze. Kriese said you can usually find an inspection special for $79.

Jennifer Mayerle