Now that you have put the lawnmower away for the year and started raking the leaves, you know it is also a good time to get your house ready for the colder temperatures. A big part of getting your home ready for the fall is sealing up your home and checking to make sure that your heating equipment is in peak working order.

The best way to approach these tasks is to make checklist of everything that needs to be done – and why it needs to be done. Let’s examine the ways to help your heating system do its job and how to keep it working efficiently.

• First, see if there is anywhere in your house that there might be heat loss. Make sure to change out the screens in your windows with glass. Check all of the caulking and weather stripping around doors, windows, roof vents, etc.. If it is chipped, cracked, or missing, you will need to repair or replace it.
• Second, check the ductwork in your house. Openings between joints will keep your heating system from working as efficiently as it could. You can use duct tape to seal off any obvious gaps, even after you have closed or repaired them. If you need leaks fixed more thoroughly, call your local contractor who can perform a test on your house’s entire heating system.
• Check all of your heating vents for obstructions or debris. Moving furniture or carpeting away from the vents helps distribute the heated air better.

Now that you have taken steps to seal up you house, it is time to check your furnace for ways to keep it running efficiently. Besides providing warmth and comfort to people in your home, a properly tuned furnace will run more efficiently and use less energy – keeping your utility bills down.

• First, check your furnace filter. If it is dirty or you haven’t changed it recently, you will want to replace the filter in the air handling unit (connected to your furnace through a plenum). This will improve your furnace’s energy efficiency and help keep your indoor air clean. If you have a removable electronic filter, clean it by washing with a soapy solution and rinse it out. Dry it before putting it back in the air handling unit.
• Inspect the pilot flame in your furnace. The flame should be a bright blue with a slight shade of yellow on the tip. If you don’t see that, there may be incomplete combustion inside your furnace.  This should be checked immediately by a professional.

The last thing you should check is to make sure there is a constant flow of fresh air throughout your home. Sealing a home up too tightly can keep stale, untreated air inside. That's not healthy for anyone.

Be safe, warm, and comfortable this fall by taking these easy steps.

These tips are from RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning, who offer heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance and repair in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area. You can check out their blog here.