Some north Alabama residents will be turning on their heat for the first time this weekend.
You can probably expect that "burning" smell at first, but when does the situation turn dangerous? Before you turn your heat on, you want to be sure your heating system is working right.
A heating technician, Eric Cathcart, says people should have a professional come to their homes and inspect the heating unit.
"What we're looking for is debris in the unit and so forth. Making sure the unit is working properly and so forth, and just checking them out generally and stuff. So, when they get ready to use them and stuff, they will come on and work," Cathcart said.
Cathcart says heating units will have a smoky smell when they're first turned on because of dust built up on the heat strips, but that should go away after it's running for a bit.
"If it doesn't go away relatively fast and if smoke starts coming out of the vents or anything like that, then you need to shut it off and shut the power off to it," he said.
Cathcart also says you should consider getting an energy audit on your home to help determine if there are any leaks letting air out and to keep the thermostat on a consistent temperature, which will help keep the energy bill down.
"Keep it where you're comfortable at. The best thing to do is to leave it set on a temperature and let it do its thing," Cathcart said.
Cathcart advises people to keep interior doors in their homes open so the air will move throughout each room. He says this will also help keep energy costs down.