Now that November is here, the AHRI has some tips for homeowners on keeping their heating systems operating properly.

"Heating and cooling is the single biggest energy consumer in your home, and accounts for about 40 percent of all the energy used by homeowners," said Steve Yurek, president and CEO of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. "That's why taking steps to ensure your unit is running as efficiently as possible can help offset heating costs this winter."

Among the manufacturer group’s recommendations:

●Change the air filter. A dirty filter can reduce efficiency as well as reduce your home’s indoor air quality.

●If your home has a heat pump, ensure that the area around it is clean. Remove debris, leaves and other items that can block airflow to the outdoor condenser.

●Make sure no furniture blocks your home’s room vents.

●Install a programmable thermostat.

The AHRI also recommended having an HVAC contractor – preferably one certified by North American Technician Excellence – perform a maintenance check.