BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Right now, people all over North Dakota are finding their way through some deep snow, and not just your vehicle, but your home may need some maintenance this week too.

Mason Mikkelsen with Northern Plains Heating and Air says when the temp drops suddenly and you start turning up the heat, you need to make sure your furnace is prepared. This may be the first time you’ve touched the heat in months, so Mikkelsen recommends changing your air filters.

Some homeowners try to shut the vents to rooms they’re not using, but Mikkelsen says that may not be a good idea.

“One of the major things that people try to do is they try to save money by not heating a portion of their house,” said Mikkelsen. “They take an odd bedroom or a basement, or something like that, and they just completely shut the volume of heat that goes to that room off and try to heat just a portion of their home. Well, that can actually cause issues within the system, it can cause the system to overheat because it can’t move enough air to run properly handle the entire home, even if you might not use all of it.”

One more point you may not have considered, Mikkelsen says to try to avoid simply turning the heat on and off.

“The system is designed to handle the entire home, so allow it to handle the entire home. If you want to keep another area a little different temperature, that’s fine, but definitely give it a set point. Don’t completely turn it off or don’t completely close registers to major areas of your home. If there are smaller bathrooms or closets that might a little too cool or too warm, obviously, closing the registers is there for your comfort, but large areas of the home, try to keep it open as much as possible,” Mikkelsen added.

If you haven’t already, this is also a good time to check the seals on your windows and doors to ensure no heat is slipping through the cracks.