Homeowners interested in being energy wiser and energy misers can conduct a basic 12-point heating system checklist.

- Check chimneys and fireplace flues for blockages, including bird nests or other obstructions.- Make sure furniture, draperies or other obstructions do not block air return grilles or heat registers.

- Make sure the pilot is lit and the flame is blue on gas-fired boilers or furnaces. Main burners should also have a steady blue flame. If the flame is orange or red, contact a qualified service technician to adjust the air-to-fuel ratio.

- Change filters on forced air system. This should be done at least once each season, more often if possible.

- Electronic air cleaners should have collector cells washed frequently throughout the season.

- Replace or clean humidifier drums and pads. Make certain the manual shut-off valve is open.

- Make sure liquid propane or heating oil tanks are full to begin the season.

- On heat pump systems, make sure the outdoor unit is free of leaves and debris and make sure the indoor coil is clean and free of dust or debris.

- Make sure energy-saving programmable thermostats have been adjusted for the change from daylight savings time.

- Move the thermostat system selector switch from cooling to heating on manual systems. Make sure it is set for auto on automated systems.

- Test the system by setting the thermostat above room temperature and check for heat entering the room.