Furnace checks needed as cold weather begins

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As winter draws near and the temperature drops, is your heating system ready to go?

Dozens of low-income families here in Marion County had their heating systems checked Saturday for free. 

Like many Central Indiana residents this morning, Julius Miller reached for the heat. 

Miller told Eyewitness News, "It wasn't cold at all last year. We hardly turned the heat on. But, this morning it was cool, and we turned that heat on." 

Julius and his mother, Barbara live in a home on the southside of Indianapolis. Saturday, with the help from the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, the mother-son team had their furnace checked just in time for the cool down.

Matt Rodman with Williams Comfort Heating and Air told Eyewitness News homeowners should use a professional to clean the furnace. In the long run, paying for that service won't stretch the family budget. 

Rodman said, "It really depends on the cleanliness of the unit. From the filter, to the blower to the full system; the air has to move. The dirtier it is the less it will work, and the more you will spend. Your system can break down." 

Rodman also said every home needs working carbon monoxide detector near the furnace or near a vent in the home. A working carbon monoxide detector is especially important for older furnaces. 

Servicing a furnace usually takes a professional about an hour or two and will cost a homeowner at least one-hundred-dollars. Changing your filter is something a homeowner can do on their own, and should, every other month.

The Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership offers services to low, moderate, and middle-income households.