SARASOTA (WWSB) - The first cold front of the season is here! There are some important things to remember before cranking on the heater for the first time.
For most of the year, the cool air and AC are Floridians saving grace, but now that it’s November, locals may start to miss the heat.
“When you don’t have an air conditioner that works, or a heater that works, you’re in big trouble,” said Debra Bartlett, co-owner of Nu View Salon near Downtown Sarasota.
Bartlett said they use their air conditioning all summer long, so she’s constantly calling Gary Air Heating and Cooling company.
“I just have him on speed dial," laughed Bartlett.
“We need to make sure that you change your filters and check them periodically," said the owner of that company, Gary Christopher to Bartlett. "Make sure that they’re clean so we have a good air flow.”
Gary said that a good rule of thumb is “every time you get your electric bill, check your filters.”
Now that it’s starting to get cold, he also said this is the time to test the heating systems.
“We’re going to go from 77 to 79 just to check out the system," Gary showed on the thermostat. "And then, we’re going to wait for it to turn on. It usually takes about two or three minutes for it to turn on, for all the switches to engage. And once we do that, we’re gonna smell the heaters turning on, or the dirt burning from the heaters.”
Dirt and dust that’s been collecting on the electric heat strips in the unit will likely have a strange smell as they burn. It could even set off the smoke alarm, but Gary said not to worry because that’s normal.
“It should happen only once," Gary said. "If it happens again, you need to have it checked out.”
The last thing to remember is for those who use individual space heaters.
“As they get older, the electric wiring may wear out a little bit and they may overheat," explained Gary. "Please be very, very careful with these things. Every year, we hear of several fires with these space heaters because people just plug them in, turn them on and think they’re gonna heat the whole house.”