In order to keep your heating costs down, you should try to make your heating system as efficient as possible. Buying the most efficient furnace that you can afford is a good first step. However, if you connect your highly efficient furnace to a less than adequate duct system, you can decrease the overall efficiency of your entire system. Thus, you should inspect your ductwork from time to time and make repairs when necessary. 

Cleaning Your Ducts

Dirty ducts decrease the flow of air from the furnace to your house. The problem is that the dirt on the ducts create an uneven surface, and as air flows over the rough surface, eddies form, and the eddies slow down the flow of air through your ducts. Thus, you should pop off the vents in your house from time to time to get a feel for how dirty your ducts are and then have your ducts cleaned whenever you see the need. 

Sealing Your Ducts

Leaky ducts can reduce your system efficiency by up to 40%. If you notice that your heating bills have gone up, and there is no corresponding uptick in the price of gas, you should have your ducts inspected for leaks. If there are leaks, a duct repair technician should be able to seal them so that you don't have to worry about air leaking out of your ducts and reducing the volume of air going to the rooms of your house. 

Insulating Your Ducts

If you have ducts outside of the insulated areas of your home, cold outside air can chill the ducts. As warm air flows through the cold ducts, the ducts will cool the warm air flowing through them. The cooler the air is that flows into your home, the longer it will take your furnace to heat your home. Thus, uninsulated ducts can lead to higher heating costs. To avoid high costs, you should inspect the ducts in your attic, in your crawl space, or in any unfinished portions of your home, and if they are not insulated, you should insulate them. 

Ducts are an important part of a heating system. If you neglect your ducts, you will end up paying much more than you should to keep your home warm through the winter. Thus, homeowners should have their ducts inspected every year and then have heating repairs and maintenance done to their ducts as necessary. Homeowners who stay up with duct maintenance will be rewarded.