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Written on: August 6, 2014

Summer is still here, in all its hot and sticky glory. But it won’t be long before we start pulling out our sweaters and turning up the heat when the first fall chill arrives. The big question is: will your boiler, furnace or heat pump be up to the task of keeping your family warm when temperatures take a big dip?

If your heating equipment hasn’t had an Annual Tune-up, you might be tempting fate.

Annual tune-ups are a must for any home heating system – and not just to keep you comfortable. Did you know that four out of five system repairs could have been prevented with routine maintenance? Or that improved efficiency from a tune-up can save you as much as 10 percent on your annual fuel bills? Or how about the fact that routine maintenance can extend the life of your equipment – often by several years?

When you add it all up, a tune-up is a terrific investment for the comfort of your home and family (If you want to make it an even better investment, sign up for one of our Service Plans for just a little more and get the tune-up–plus priority emergency service and big savings on repairs for a whole year. Contact us for details.

The bottom line? Don’t wait until your system breaks down on a cold day before calling us for service. Schedule your Annual Tune-Up today.

In the meantime, we’ll leave you with 5 tips to help you keep your home comfortable and save you money when the cold weather returns.

–Let your heat circulate. If you have cast-iron radiators, place metal reflectors behind them to “bounce” the heat into the center of the room. If you have an armoire, china closet or other large furniture piece blocking radiators or baseboards, move it to another wall in the room if possible. The heat will circulate better in the room. Radiator covers can also block airflow and should be removed if insufficient or uneven heating is a problem in the room. You can also save fuel and money by insulating pipes in unheated areas, such as attics or crawl spaces.

–Change your filter. If you have a forced air system (a furnace), keep your furnace filter clean. If you have a standard disposable filter, replace it about once month during the heating season. Washable filters should be removed and cleaned as needed. After changing or cleaning the filter, make sure the furnace door or panel is completely closed. The furnace won’t run unless you do this.

–Control heat output and save 10% or more. Modulating aquastats or outdoor reset controls can be added to your boiler system. These controls automatically adjust the boiler’s water temperature, depending on the outdoor temperature. If it’s not cold outside, your boiler’s water doesn’t have to get as hot, which conserves fuel. There will also be less heat lost through the pipes when your boiler shuts off.

–Add a propane fireplace. This will heat a room more evenly and efficiently than a wood-burning fireplace because as much as 90 percent of the heat produced by wood goes straight up the chimney. Propane gives you more control over your fire, and you’ll do less work too, thanks to accessories like remote controls, variable heat controls, thermostats and push-button ignitions. Today’s propane fireplaces also feature natural looking log sets, complete with glowing, crackling embers and high, flickering flames.

–Use propane to lower your water heating costs. Not only will you get all of the hot water you need, but you’ll get it for about half as much as you would if you heated your water with electricity. One exciting option is the tankless water heater. The unit incorporates an on-demand system that stops heating water when the water supply is cut off (basically, when you turn off your faucets). Tankless water heaters are up to 50% more efficient than a standard water heater.

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