ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The leaves are starting to fall and so are the temperatures, which means firing up home heating systems and furnaces. After a summer of sitting idle, there are some things you’ll want to do first.

Local experts say furnaces, wood stoves and chimneys should be checked every year, while fire places need to be inspected every two years. They say you’ll want to get those things done before using them this season.

Heating and chimney services have been quite busy so far this fall. Owner of Chimney Works, Ronnie Hall says they’re booking two to three weeks out. He says service and maintenance can take all day.

“If you lack the maintenance on your chimney, you can get a third stage creosote build up which is where your flue fires come from. With fire places that’s not so common unless youre burning greenwood or soft woods like pine,” he said.

Hall says build up could crack your chimney and could cause in your house to catch fire. Having it maintained could avoid that. Another safety measure recommended by Chimney Works is making sure you have a cover for your chimney to use when it rains. They say the water can damage the preservatives.

Your furnace and heat pump could could use a look as well. The staff at Bower Heating and Air Conditioning says they’ve been busy too as people begin to turn their heat on for the first time. General Manager, Mark Flanary shares a few things home owners should consider that could save them a service call down the road.

Flanary said, “Make sure the air filter is clean. If it’s a gas furnace make sure the emergency switch is on that controls the electricity to the furnace. A lot of times we get out on calls and its just a case of hitting the emergency switch and turning the power back on.”

He also says make sure all your vents are open and that your carbon monoxide detector is working, because your furnace can cause problems you could be unable to notice.

“The air blows around it and that’s how you heat your house but if you ever develop a hole or a crack in a heat exchanger then the carbon monoxide can escape into the air stream and that’s when it becomes a safety problem,” he said.

He adds that if you’re trying to save money on your bill, not to turn the heat off, but instead turn it down a few degrees.

If you’re thinking about getting a new furnace, he recommends getting it this year because the price of equipment is expected to rise by 15% starting January 1st.