When ‘winter’ sets in Florida, many residents still have their air conditioning running or the windows open. But by mid-winter, often residents in the sunny and warm climate need to reach for the thermostat and kick on the heat. If it’s been awhile since you’ve turned the heat on, there are a few potential issues to be aware of when dealing with your furnace.

The biggest issue homeowners run into is filter maintenance. Lack of filter maintenance and filter changing causes a multitude of issues in furnaces. Depending on usage, filters should be changed every month to three months, when they are visibly dirty. Dirt, debris, and pet hair blocks the flow of air in and out of the furnace, stopping the delivery of heat to your home. If the heat isn’t working properly, check the filter first. A dirty filter makes the furnace work harder and can overwork the heater, causing it to turn off.

Lack of maintenance and wear and tear can also mean issues for your heater. Systems should be checked semi-annually to ensure they are working as efficiently as possible. Often, the thermostat causes heater issues instead of the heater itself. The thermostat determines when the heat should turn on and in what quantity. If the thermostat is broken, heat will not be produced and circulated throughout the home.

The best time to have your heater serviced is in the summer or early autumn –before you actually need it. If your heater isn’t working in the middle of winter, call a professional. Altman’s Cooling & Heating offers an affordable $29 service call, with fully equipped vans to solve common heating and cooling problems on the first visit.