6 Tips For Turning On Your Heater (Winter Checklist)

6 Steps Before Turning On Your Heater (Checklist)

As the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, it’s time to dust off those trusty home heaters to keep your living space warm and comfortable. However, if your heater has been dormant for an extended period, there are a few important steps to follow before you can bask in its cozy warmth once again.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of turning on your heater after a long hiatus, exploring:

  • Various home heater styles
  • Maintenance tips
  • Signs that your heater might need professional attention

If you’re turning on a heater after a long time, make sure to keep reading to ensure that your home is safe and comfortable all year long!

Turning On Your Heater Safely: 6 Steps to Take

After months of inactivity, it’s essential to approach the process of turning on your heater with caution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure a safe and efficient reactivation:

1) Preparation

Before you even attempt to turn on the heater, clear the area around it of any debris, dust, or flammable materials. This prevents potential fire hazards and ensures proper airflow.

2) Inspection

Carefully inspect the heater for any vis

ible damage, such as frayed cords, rust, or cracks. If you notice any issues, it’s best to address them before attempting to turn on the heater.

3) Check the Fuel

If your heater is powered by fuel (like gas or oil), ensure that the fuel supply is intact and there are no leaks. If you suspect a leak, do not attempt to turn on the heater. Instead, contact a professional technician for assistance.

4) Ventilation

woman turning the heater on

If your heater requires proper ventilation, such as gas heaters, make sure the vents and flues are clear of blockages. Blocked vents can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup.

5) Pilot Light

For heaters with a pilot light, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to relight it. This might involve turning the gas control valve to the “pilot” position, holding down the ignition button, and lighting the pilot light with a long lighter.

6) Gradual Increase

When turning on the heater for the first time after a long break, set the thermostat to a lower temperature initially. This allows the system to gradually warm up without straining its components.

Exploring Home Heater Styles

Home heaters come in various styles, each with its unique features and benefits. Here are a few popular options:

  • Central Heating: This is a common system found in many homes, utilizing a central furnace or heat pump to circulate warm air through ducts and vents. To turn on central heating after inactivity, follow the steps mentioned earlier and allow the system to warm up gradually.
  • Space Heaters: These are portable heaters that provide localized warmth. Electric space heaters are relatively easy to turn on – just plug them in and adjust the settings. For fuel-powered space heaters, ensure proper ventilation and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Radiant Heaters: Radiant heaters emit infrared radiation to heat objects and people directly. They are quick to warm up and can be a great option for small spaces. To turn on a radiant heater, simply plug it in and adjust the settings.
  • Heat Pumps: Heat pumps work by transferring heat between the indoor and outdoor air. They are energy-efficient options for both heating and cooling. After a long period of inactivity, follow the steps outlined in Part 1 and set the heat pump to a comfortable temperature.

Your Guide to Heater Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure your heater operates efficiently and safely. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Regular Cleaning: Dust and debris can accumulate within your heater, reducing its efficiency and posing a fire hazard. Regularly clean the heater’s exterior and components, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Air Filters: If your heater uses air filters, they should be cleaned or replaced regularly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and strain the system.
  • Professional Inspections: Schedule annual professional inspections for your heating system. A technician can identify and address potential issues before they escalate.
  • Vent Cleaning: If your heater has vents or flues, they should be cleaned to prevent blockages and ensure proper ventilation.

5 Signs Your Furnace Might Be Broken

Even with proper maintenance, heaters can develop issues over time. Here are some signs that your heater might be in need of repair:

1) Inconsistent Heating

Are your home’s temperature fluctuations making you feel like you are living inside of a Katy Perry song? If your heater is struggling to maintain a consistent temperature, it could indicate a malfunctioning thermostat or other internal components.

2) Unusual Noises

technician doing the maintenance for heater system


Loud, unfamiliar noises such as banging, rattling, or squealing could indicate mechanical problems within the heater.

3) Strange Smells


Foul odors emanating from the heater might suggest a buildup of dust or other contaminants or even potential electrical issues. This may present as a musty, moldy smell or a burning scent.

4) High Energy Bills

Is your heating bill getting bigger and bigger despite the weather staying relatively steady? A sudden spike in your energy bills without a corresponding increase in usage could indicate an inefficient heater.

5) Frequent Cycling

If your heater turns on and off frequently in short intervals, it might be a sign of a faulty thermostat or other issues.

Protect Your Heating Systems

With winter just around the corner, it is more important than ever to make sure that your HVAC system can keep you warm. At Aquarius Home Services, we make caring for your HVAC unit easier than ever. We offer repairs, replacements, and maintenance plans that keep the hot air flowing and the stress levels low. Ready to prep your home for the colder winter months? Contact us today to set up your appointment.

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