Nothing is more frustrating than trying to be eco-friendly by putting off turning on your winter heat until you need it for the winter cold, and then it doesn't turn on. You're doing right to not use it until you need it, but you need to make sure it still works since last year before you need it again this year. Dust and moisture collect, the motor has parts which need lubrication, and your vents collect dust when not in use.
You need to prepare for this year's winter. When winter comes this year, it may be colder than you expect or perhaps have experienced in the past, and you need to be prepared for it.