What's the best defense your home has against the cold of winter? It's an efficient and effective home heating system. But to get the highest level of performance from your gas, electric or fossil-fuel powered system, you'll need to give it some regular TLC by way of seasonal or regular maintenance.
Changing the filter: One of the least expensive, but often overlooked maintenance items in warm or cold weather is ensuring that the filters for your furnace or air-conditioning unit's air handler are checked and replaced on a regular basis.
To maintain a unit's peak efficiency, Energy Star recommends changing the air filters every three months at a minimum. A fresh filter traps contaminants such as dander, pet hair and dust and helps the system run more efficiently, prolonging its life.
During high usage months in the winter or summer, check your air filters at least once a month and change them as needed.
Tuning up the system: Beyond changing the air filter on a regular basis, one of the best ways to ensure your home's HVAC system is operating at peak efficiency is to have a qualified professional HVAC contractor tune up the system on a bi-annual basis.
Energy Star recommends scheduling your system tune-up around the beginning of daylight savings time in the fall and its end in the spring. It's an easy way to remember to have your system serviced before the peak heating and cooling seasons.