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Flipping on the furnace? Experts say check this first

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DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Sean Wells with A-Abel knows what a lot of people do, but won't admit, when it comes to their furnace.

"Most people only call when it's not working," said Wells.

It's a bad habit that can lead to big bills, or worse. A-Abel services around 1000 units across the Miami Valley, more than that if you count the calls that come in. The main maintenance issue is dirty filters.

"About a $7 or $8 dollar filter can lead to a couple thousand dollar repair," he added.

Sounds simple, but not changing it can also make the unit overheat from lack of airflow.

"It can potentially crack your heat exchanger, which we all know can possibly leak carbon monoxide into the home."

In severe cases, faulty furnaces can explode. A house in Kettering was leveled Tuesday morning, killing 58-year-old Darlene Baumgardner. Crews found she had been thrown into her neighbor's yard. Officials aren't confirming a cause yet, but suspect it could have been fed by gas, due to the size of the explosion.

For homeowners, now's the time to check and double check. Don't just keep an eye on your filters, but carbon monoxide detectors which are a must, since the gas is odorless and kills in minutes.

"Change the battery in your smoke detector," Wells said.

At the very least, make sure your system's running right.

"We find a lot of homeowners that don't do the preventative maintenance that they should," said Wells.

Wells suggests getting the furnace serviced at least twice a year.

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