The first freeze warning of the season is in effect for the Las Vegas valley Monday night and many are expected to turn on their heaters for the first time.
The cold temperatures prompting a warning from Las Vegas firefighters who expect an increased number of calls about smoke in homes.
"Furnaces (whether natural gas/propane or electric) that have not been used for the last several months will have a buildup of dust and dirt on the heating elements. When the furnace is used for the first time, this dirt and dust will burn off, causing a burning odor, and it may even produce very light haze or white smoke. This is not harmful and is common. This is just the residue burning off the elements and it may take several minutes and maybe three or four uses before it all burns away," Tim Szymanski wrote in a press release Monday afternoon.
Even a properly running heater can run into problems if not properly cared for and cost you extra money.
Southwest Gas says there are several steps people can take to keep their heaters running smoothly:
-Set the daytime thermostat between 65ºF and 68ºF, health permitting, and the nighttime temperature at a lower setting.
-Regularly change or clean air filters as required. Heating units use less energy and work more efficiently when filters aren’t clogged or dirty.
-To prolong the life of the furnace and decrease energy usage, have the furnace checked by a licensed HVAC contractor.
-To help keep warm air inside the home and the cold air out, seal leaks and cracks around doors, windows and other openings with caulk or weather stripping.