LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Winter is coming.

If you haven’t turned on your heat just yet, it’s about to be that time. There are important things to keep in mind before you fire up your furnace.

Experts say you should get your furnace checked once a year. Jim Bennett, who owns Rise Up Heating and Cooling, says it’s important to make sure you replace air filters at the correct time.

Homeowners also want to make sure that vent pipes are clean of debris and to check their carbon monoxide detectors.

If you can afford one, a programmable thermostat will help lower your heating bills.

Lastly, before winter, make sure your flame sensor is clean. You might need to hire a professional to check.

“Part of that tune-up is you should have somebody clean the flame sensor once a year. A dirty flame sensor will result in a service call,” Bennet said.

The start of October is the busy season for heating and cooling professionals, so make sure you call soon.