Winter weather is here, and that means your home heating system is about to start its annual workout. If you haven’t already, it’s time for your system to get its annual check-up. You take yourself to the doctor for a yearly wellness visit, so why not do the same for your furnace or boiler?

Having a pro come in and service your heater can help you, your home, and your bank account in more than a few ways. If you’ve skipped a year, or a few, you can always get back into the groove and start regular maintenance service.

Why should you make a point of scheduling pre-season service checks for your heater? Take a look at the benefits that this type of maintenance brings.

Preventative Services

Waiting until something is seriously wrong with your furnace or boiler can cost you. Not only can a major problem cost you more than you’d like to spend, but it’s also inconvenient. There’s a reason why you have a heater: to stay warm in the winter. If something is slowly breaking and you don’t know about it, you could end up with a heater that suddenly quits.

Annual maintenance helps to reduce the risk of these types of problems. If the HVAC tech is able to spot an issue in the beginning stages (or sees worn parts that are on their last legs), it’s possible to correct the situation before you end up freezing in middle the of a January night.

While preventative service doesn’t necessarily equal having to repair or replace part of your heater, it’s an easy way to find potential problems in the early stages. Keep in mind, even newer heaters have problems. Parts break – even in the best heating products available. Annual service gives you peace of mind in knowing that a professional has inspected your heater and is able to fix minor issues before they grow.

Energy Cost Savings

Your heater warms your house. But at what cost? Most homes in the U.S. spend almost half of their energy use on heating and cooling, according to the Department of Energy. If your system is old, low-efficiency, or filled with debris, this could mean that you’re spending more money on energy bills than you have to.

What does an annual check-up have to do with your electric, gas, or other energy bills? A professionallevel cleaning can clear filters, ducts, and other system components, allowing your heater to work more efficiently.

The harder your system has to work to push warm air through, the more money you’ll pay to heat your home. After a cleaning, your heater can relax and use less energy. This can equal lower costs for your wallet and a warmer home for you.

Home Safety

Along with saving your system from serious breakdowns and saving yourself money in energy costs, regular HVAC maintenance can also save your life. An improperly vented furnace, or one that isn’t working right, can leak carbon monoxide (CO) into your home. Unlike natural gas, which is scented with a foul egg-like odor, carbon monoxide doesn’t have a detectable smell.

CO is colorless and odorless and can kill if not found early on. Every home that has a heater (or any other fuel-burning appliance) should have a working CO detector. This is the first step to reducing the risk of this dangerous, poisonous gas.

Even if your CO detector alarm isn’t sounding, you can still have a small leak. Regular maintenance from a qualified HVAC service technician can help you, and your family, to stay safe. The tech will evaluate the system, making sure that it works correctly and is not emitting CO.

It’s important to note that no furnace or boiler is perfect. You can still have a CO leak after your annual heating system check-up. Again, installing CO detectors in your home can alert you to danger and help to reduce the risks.

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