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checklistAs cold winter weather sweeps across the country, heating systems are turning on in droves. Your heating system works hard to keep your home warm and comfortable when outdoor temperatures become chilly. However, there are some simple steps you can take to make your system’s job a little easier.

Steps to Keep Your Heating System Running

Basic maintenance tasks are crucial to ensuring your heating system in peak condition and your home cozy until temperatures begin to rise in the spring. This heating system maintenance checklist covers all the maintenance jobs you should do now and throughout the cold season to keep your furnace or heat pump in tip top condition.

Change Your Filters.

A fresh filter will ensure your system is receiving adequate airflow. Changing your filter regularly will help your system remove airborne particles that can clog up air ducts and your system’s mechanical components. A clean furnace filter also helps your system function more efficiently, lowering your energy consumption and your utility bills.

Clear the Area Around Your Heating System.

Proper airflow is essential for your system to properly function. When items are stored around your heating unit, air flow can be restricted, forcing your system to work harder to heat your home.

Also, storing flammable substances like cleaners, paint, or gasoline near your heating system is a fire hazard. Be sure to leave a clear, 6-foot perimeter around your furnace or air handler.

If you have a heat pump system, regularly remove all yard debris surrounding your outdoor unit to ensure free air flow.

Clear Air Registers and Vents

Be sure that all registers and vents are unobstructed by furniture, area rugs, or other items. If anything is blocking them, move them to allow air to properly move through your home’s living space. Not only will this keep all areas of your home warm, it also allows your heating system to run more efficiently.

Program Your Thermostat

Once cold weather sets in, you need to reprogram your programmable thermostat. Adjusting the settings for winter temperature schedules will save you money on your heating bill, keep you more comfortable, and keep your system running efficiently.

Schedule Maintenance with a HVAC Professional

The best thing you can do to ensure your heating system continues running efficiently is to schedule maintenance with a local HVAC professional technician. An HVAC technician can cover technical checks most homeowners are not capable of tackling themselves.

A professional technician will inspect the entire system, clean and lubricate critical components. These preventive procedures will prevent inconvenient and uncomfortable system breakdowns. If you want to make sure your furnace or heat pump to runs smoothly and consumes less energy all winter long, a check-up performed by a qualified professional is a necessity.

Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Now is a good time to make sure your home’s carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order. During the cold season, fuel-burning heating systems create a carbon monoxide risk. Carbon monoxide is dangerous and a working carbon monoxide detector could save your life.

When an HVAC technician performs maintenance on your heating system, he or she will make sure all your system’s components are in good working order. This should prevent any carbon monoxide from being released into the home. However, carbon monoxide detectors should still be in place as a safety precaution.

If your home is not equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, install them immediately. There should be at least one on each floor of your home. Winter is a good time to check power sources on all carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries if necessary and test hard-wired connections. Test each unit individually using the test function to make sure they are working properly.