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Kip Tips

Tune up Your Heating System

By Pat Mertz Esswein

Before winter sets in, consider getting a technician to inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in good repair so that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. It will cost you $80 to $100 -- but could save you money in the long-run.


The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage. And you minimize the chance of being 200th in line for repairs on the coldest day of the year. Look for a heating and air-conditioning contractor that belongs to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, employs technicians certified by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) program, and follows the protocol for ACCA's "national standard for residential maintenance" (or the "QM," short for quality maintenance), says Wes Davis, manager of technical services at ACCA.

See our Fall Home-Maintenance To-Do List for more things to tackle before winter begins.