Soot buildup, dusty or poorly lubricated fans, flickering pilot lights, and loose fan belts can add hundreds to your heating costs each year. Getting your furnace tuned up regularly by a heating contractor can do wonders for both your wallet and your overall comfort. Natural gas–powered systems should be serviced every two to three years, while oil-fired units need a tune-up every year, since they burn dirtier. To make your system even more efficient, prevent heated air from leaking into your attic or crawl spaces by sealing ductwork with mastic duct sealant—a nontoxic, paint-on material—or foil-backed tape. Doing so will reduce your home's air leakage and could save you a bundle in heating and cooling bills. Hire an HVAC pro
to service your heating system.