Winter is almost here, and soon enough, you will be turning on your home's heater. However, before you begin to heat your home, there are a few steps you should take to help ensure that you are not just blowing dirt and dust around your home and to ensure the heater is properly working after sitting unused for so long. 

Replace the Air Filter

Before you turn on your heater for the season, take the time to replace the air filter in your unit. When your heater is turned on, it will pull in air to heat. This air passes through the air filter, which is responsible for filtering out dirt, dust, dander, and allergens. If the filter is dirty, your unit may have to work harder and longer to pull air in and the air it does pull in may be dirtier. After sitting for the summer, your air filter may be dirty, so it should be replaced before turning your heater on. 

Wipe Dust Off Your Unit

Another important step to take before turning your heater on for the season is to wipe dirt and dust off of your unit. Take a soft cloth and dampen it with water. Then wipe dirt and dust off of the unit, making sure to pay particular attention to the fins. The fins are where the air is sucked into your unit, so removing dirt from this area minimizes the amount of dirt and dust pulled into the unit. 

Clean Dust From Your Vents or Air Returns

Speaking of removing dirt and dust, dirt and dust should also be removed from the vents and air returns in your home. Once again, grab a soft cloth and dampen in. Then wipe down the air returns or vents in your home. When your heater is turned on, the heated air will blow into your home through these vents or air returns. If they are dusty, that dust will just get blown around when the heater kicks on. Removing the dust helps to prevent it from blowing onto your bed, couch or other items near the vent. 

Have Your Heater Inspected

The last tip for getting your home's heater ready for winter is to have your heating unit professionally inspected. It is recommended that you have your home's heater inspected before you use the heater every year. The heating and cooling specialist will inspect the unit for damage, oil the parts and clean areas that the average person cannot access. This helps to minimize the odds of your heater suddenly and unexpectedly dying on you in the dead of winter.