Turn the Furnace On & Open Vents
Turn the furnace on and test that it’s working. You can do this by turning your thermostat to the heat setting then turning up the temp high enough to kick the furnace on. Check a vent to make sure warm air is coming out.
If there is a burning smell, that can be completely normal. Dust tends to settle on the heat exchanger during the months it’s not in use. That burning smell should go away after a few minutes once the dust is burned off. If that smell doesn’t go away, you should call a professional.
Check the actual unit in your mechanical room. Make sure there is space around the furnace and nothing flammable like paint is close by. Look at the venting to make sure there is a secure connection to the furnace. Check for signs of water on the floor by the furnace or rest that would indicate that water was there at one point. Also make sure that while doing your visual inspection that you don’t notice any obvious gas or rotten egg smells.
Clean the Area
Vacuum the floor around the area to get rid of dust and debris so your unit doesn’t pull that into the unit during operation. While you are cleaning the area, that is also a great time to check your furnace filter. A dirty filter can cause many issues for your HVAC. We recommend changing the filter every 1-3 months for a 1” pleated filter and every 6 months for an Aprilaire filter system.
If your thermostat has batteries, this would be a good time to change them. If it’s a programmable thermostat, make sure all your settings are ready to go.
Get An Annual Inspection
At some point during the winter season, you should have a complete maintenance check done on your unit by a professional.