Take preventative action to keep your heating system working

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OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. -- What kind of shape is your heating system in? It's best not to wait until temperatures start dropping before you ask that question, or it might be too late.

Charles Craig was at the home of Andy Fletcher in Olive Branch, Mississippi, Thursday morning.

"We're going to be checking the furnace and clean the burners and flame sensor," he said.

Craig, a technician with Conway Services, knows firsthand preventative maintenance is the key to insuring a family has heat during the big chill.

"When it's this cold outside, it's going to run a lot more than normal. So, the opportunity for it to break it greater at this time," he said.

Conway Services and other heating and air conditioning repair companies offer maintenance plans that allow pros like Craig to catch little problems before they become big, costly headaches for homeowners.

Craig said one easy, but very important, thing you can do all by yourself is replace the filter in your HVAC system.

"A dirty filter, this time of year, can cause your furnace to overheat and cause it to fail and damage parts inside that regulate temperature," he said.

After performing a mufti-point check on Andy Fletcher's HVAC system, Craig found only a few problems.

"The capacitor, it's a 20. It's reading a 17, that's a little weak. We can talk about that," he said.

Fletcher said he's glad he invested in a maintenance plan.

"It's nine degrees outside and you certainly don't want to turn that thermostat up and the heat not come on," he said.

Professionals also say you should never attempt to take your heating system apart, especially if there's a natural gas line involved.