What you need to know before turning the heat on this fall

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As temperatures continue to drop in central Indiana, Hoosiers will be arguing over the thermostat, but before people turn that dial, they should make sure to get their furnace checked.

A damaged furnace can lead to carbon monoxide leaking into a home. The silent killer is odorless and colorless, and can kill homeowners in their sleep.

Heating and cooling experts suggest that people change their filter, and make sure fire and carbon monoxide alarms are active. CO monitors should be placed in a hallway and in bedrooms.

“Carbon monoxide is heavier than air, so it does sink down, so it’s at that level where you lay in your bed,” said Chuck DeLong with Homesense Heating and Cooling.

A broken furnace can cost big bucks, but proper maintenance can extend the life of the furnace.

“It’s the same thing as changing the oil in your car, you want to be proactive, not reactive to it," DeLong said.

In some cases, DeLong said a well maintained furnace can last 30 years, but the typical life is 12-15 years.