Now is the time to service heating system

Don’t freeze up when it comes to servicing your heating system.

A regular system check before the season will help your system work efficiently when the temperature starts to drop. Here’s what to do to avoid wasting energy dollars:

First, check your house to determine how airtight and insulated it is, and then ask your heating contractor to check how efficiently your system provides heat.

Things he can check:

• The “R” value — the relative value of your home’s insulation — in such areas as the basement, crawl space and attic, as well as in the living spaces.

• Leaky seals or gaps around doors and windows.

• Ductwork for leaks.

Things you should discuss with him:

• If there is moisture inside double-glazed windows or if they are cloudy.

• Whether the snow melts and refreezes directly on uncovered window ledges or similar places.

When checking your heating system, ask the contractor to determine:

• If it is properly sized — one too large will do the job, but very expensively, and one too small incessantly cycles, running up bills while not delivering comfort.

• Whether flues are properly vented so combustion byproducts are not sucked into your home.

• Whether a humidifier moisturizing air would make your home feel warmer.

• If your system’s air filter is clean.

• If there are small problems that could affect your entire heating system if uncorrected.

With proper care, corrective action and prevention, your heating system may provide you with affordable comfort. Don’t put off a system checkup. Spending a few dollars this fall could save hundreds of dollars during the year.