It’s almost heating season, so it is time to do a thorough check of your furnace before firing it up. Here are some ideas we found about doing that.

Change the filter. With AC season done and a heating season starting it may be time to swap out your filter. An old filter is dirty and inefficient.

Clean up. Heat has to be able to get around the house. Keep vents clear and clean. As far as housekeeping, we also saw one story that suggests to check that, “nothing flammable – clothes, paint, aerosols, gasoline, boxes and other household items – should be placed in the general vicinity of your furnace or water heater.”

Get it inspected. Get a pro to look over the furnace system, someone who can lubricate moving parts, check connections and make sure the system works well. An HVAC professional can find little issues that can become big ones later. By the way, one report suggested heating systems that get more salt air, like near a coast, could have their life impacted. (Source)

Check the carbon monoxide alarm. Part of a professional check on your heating system can involve a test for carbon monoxide, an odorless and dangerous gas. While that is being done, check the batteries on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have no detectors, consider installing them. Underwriter Laboratories, an electrical quality control organization, has information about them on its website.

Smarten up the house. This may be the time to look at a new thermostat that helps you save energy. Popular Science recently ran a story about the way to set-up a smart thermostat.

A snip from the Energy United website

Duke Energy has some hints for heating season here.

Dominion Energy has tips here.

Here are tips from Energy United, based in Statesville, North Carolina, with a 19-county service area.

Palmetto Electric Coop, with a service area includes Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties of South Carolina, has these ideas.

Can all this help you? Here’s one viewpoint: “Potential savings: Replacing a furnace costs an average of $4,250; major repairs could run as high as $1,200. You might add $100 or so in higher heating bills during the winter if your furnace becomes inefficient, too.”