By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With a chilly week ahead, many homeowners may be thinking of turning on their furnaces for the first time this season.

Marcus Mernaugh, an HVAC technician with Blue Ox Heating and Air, says he went on about a dozen service calls this weekend.

“There’s been several calls this weekend where it’s been a dirty filter that’s restricting the airflow, that causes the furnace to want to shut down because it’s getting too hot on the inside,” Mernaugh said.

Needing a clean filter is one of the more common issues this time of year Mernaugh tends to come across.

(credit: CBS)

“If something’s not working right, change your filter, cycle your power on and off just like a computer, and if that doesn’t work then, yeah, give us a call,” he said.

Mernaugh advises homeowners to learn the basics of their heating equipment, just as they might with their cars.

“If you don’t use it all the time, you’re not going to notice things, but once you start it up, ‘Oh, that’s a weird noise. I better get it looked at,'” he said.

Any odd smells are an immediate red flag and a signal to leave the property. Knowing where the gas shut-offs are is a good idea for those situations.

A furnace tune-up costs about $140 on average. Since technicians like Mernaugh say they’ve been fairly busy, it’s better to check sooner than later.

David Schuman