A complete home heating system provides warm comfort during chilly weather; but it needs occasional maintenance to keep it working great. Some of that is minor upkeep tasks that a homeowner should perform on a regular basis, while other maintenance tasks are better left to a heating specialist.

You wouldn’t keep driving your car without adding gas, changing the oil and air filter on a regular basis; and a complex system inside your home requires, at a minimum, a certain level of attention to keep it at optimum performance.

Your furnace may work fine to produce heat during the winter months. The best indoor comfort also includes clean air and the right levels of humidity, which also factor into the operation of a furnace.

Monthly Maintenance Tips

Many manufacturers of forced air heating systems recommend that the air filters are changed monthly, to ensure proper airflow and reduce allergens in the air throughout the house.

People with allergies, asthma or other sensitivities often prefer homes without carpeting because carpet traps and holds contaminants. But regardless of the type of flooring in a home, a whole-house air filter on the heating system can help block those particles before they travel and settle.

Filters are a low-cost item that, when changed frequently, can keep the ductwork cleaner for longer periods of time. Buy the right filter for the heating system. The furnace requires a certain mixture of airflow to cool itself, and too dense of a filter will prevent that from happening.

Seasonal Maintenance Tips

A central humidifier works on the home heating system to provide the right amount of humidity throughout each zone of the house. However, these can become clogged with minerals from the water, and should be carefully cleaned at least each season. Dry air in the home spreads germs that cause illness; and humidity around 40 percent is comfortable. Lower humidity levels also affect the wood and wallpaper, causing them to dry out and become cracked, which can be costly to replace.

A humidifier installed on a furnace can help control the humidity levels throughout the house, or each zone if that is how the heating system operates. The pad or filter that the water passes through naturally trap minerals, scale, rust, and hard water deposits, and it is necessary to replace this at least seasonally, depending on the local water. Calcium and mineral deposits also build up in the water reservoir, and a full cleaning of the humidifier may require disassembly by a qualified HVAC technician.

Long-Term Maintenance Tips

Ductwork inside the home serves the purpose of passing heated or cooled air from one area to another, and can often become polluted with dust, debris and even fungus or mold. Some of the dust gathers around the air vents and registers, so vacuuming these areas helps, including removing the vent cover and carefully vacuuming inside the opening as far as the vacuum hose can reach.

However, proper duct cleaning is recommended around every four years, and should be done by a qualified professional who can contain the contaminants properly.

Proper maintenance now can make a difference in the efficiency of the home heating system throughout the year. Call Naugle Plumbing and Heating to check your system over, and save $25 off your next service call through April 30, 2016, when you mention the service code WebClean0430.