Hot tips for furnace tune-ups

September is National Furnace Tune-up Month. After last week's shot of cold and snow, this period of warmer and dry weather might be the perfect time to think winterizing and giving the furnace a once-over.

Homeowners should remove any dust and debris located near the pilot light. Combustible material should never be stored near pilot lights or heat sources and should be in approved containers.

Check to make sure things did not get stacked up over the summer months around the furnace.

Air filters should be changed on a regular basis. The typical home should have the air filters changed every 60 to 90 days, and maybe you let yours slide at the end of last winter.

It is good to change and inspect the air filter when the season changes. Homeowners with special respiratory needs or pets need to ensure they get the right filter for their HVAC system.

Air ducts need to be inspected for any general maintenance issues that may have occurred over the summer. They should also be thoroughly cleaned before using the heater.

Homeowners should also have ducts checked for proper sealing. If ducts are not sealed properly heat loss can occur causing the system to work harder and raising the utility bill.