Fall is here: Heating System Essentials

Fix it before it breaks. That is the fundamental reason for the maintenance you need to do on your heating system. Developing a maintenance plan will save you money and misery as you finish up using your AC, and enter the cold winter months inevitably coming your way.

Furnace Maintenance

If you own an oil furnace, regular maintenance will allow the system to function at peak efficiency. Oil is expensive, and efficient use will keep you from becoming your supplier’s best customer.

As a home-owner, it is a good idea to learn some basic skills in maintaining your furnace.

  • Visual inspections. Look for signs of inefficient burning. Soot around your furnace or black smoke from your chimney indicate improper combustion of your fuel.
  • Auditory inspections. Listen for vibrations or unusual noises coming from the furnace blower.
  • Clean and dust. Turn off your system, then vacuum around the furnace to eliminate dust and allergen build up.
  • Change your filters. Check your heating system manual for the correct size and frequency of replacement.
  • Use the correct grade of fuel. Using the right type of fuel will allow your system to burn at peak efficiency

Gas Furnace Maintenance

If you own a gas furnace, many of the same processes apply and the results are the same. Maintaining the highest possible efficiency.

  • Visual inspections. Look for soot and debris around the furnace.
  • Auditory inspection. Listen for unusual noises when the blower starts and when the burning cycle starts.
  • Clean and dust. Turn off your furnace and vacuum the immediate vicinity.
  • Change your air system filters. Check your manual for the correct size and type of filter for your system.

Heat Pumps and Packaged Systems

Heat pumps and all-in-one packaged systems have or may have parts that are indoor and outdoor. They may incorporate a fuel burning unit as a backup.

  • Clean and change your filters once a month
  • Clean outdoor coils when they seem dirty
  • Remove foliage and debris from outdoor units
  • Check your registers for unobstructed airflow


Modern thermostats are either powered by battery or inline power. If your thermostat is battery-powered, checking and changing your batteries when you do your fall service will save you an unpleasant surprise!

Bringing In the Pros

Should you discover any issues during your inspections, it is best to call a HVAC technician. HVAC techs are trained to safely deal with the complications of dealing with flammable substances in homes.

Look for licensed and bonded contractors, and focus on the ones that work on your specific HVAC system. If you do not have a personal connection for a reference, look online for recommendations and reviews.

You can best help them work efficiently by eliminating clutter from around your system, having the area clean and ready for them to work, and by having your parts of the maintenance done. Any cleaning you do, you won’t have to pay them to do.

Espana Gomez is an author of this blog. Recently she works as an interior design assistant in her town. She loves daydreaming about beautiful homes and interior decor.