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Is Your Heating System Not so Hot?


Correct these five problems to increase comfort and efficiency.
Correct these five problems to increase comfort and efficiency.

Your home is your refuge from those freezing winter winds. If your heating system has left you feeling a little cold, don't despair. There are simple actions you can take to warm things up. Start by contacting a qualified pro to inspect and clean your heating system. Beyond that, here are things you should look for to increase comfort and efficiency.

  • Clogged filter. Dirty filters make your system work harder to get heated air into your living space and can cause damage to system components. Change your filter at the beginning of the heating season and regularly thereafter according to manufacturer's guidelines.

  • Malfunctioning thermostat. Make sure your thermostat is set to the “heat” position. Replace older thermostats with new programmable units. Advanced thermostats provide cool features such as remote control and self-programming.

  • Air leaks. Air escaping from your home makes your heating system work harder and you less comfortable. Check for gaps around exterior doors and windows, as well as wiring or piping holes in your attic or basement walls. Seal any gaps you find with caulk, weatherstripping or expandable foam.

  • Closed or blocked vents. Are some rooms too cold or even too hot? Make sure all supply and return air vents are open and not covered by furniture or rugs. Closed or covered vents restrict airflow, reducing comfort and heating system efficiency.

  • Older system. Is your heating system getting along in years or frequently in need of repair? Replace it with an ENERGY STAR®-certified furnace or heat pump. ENERGY STAR systems use less energy than standard units while providing the same level of performance.

Get an energy checkup

Looking to save more? Hire a qualified auditor to perform an energy assessment of your home. You'll receive a targeted set of recommendations on measures you can take to improve the efficiency of your home and make it more comfortable. For more information, visit

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