Fall is a great time to tune-up your natural gas furnace to ensure it keeps you warm through the winter. Regular preventative maintenance helps identify and fix potential issues and can also extend the lifespan of your furnace. Here are some ways you can prepare your furnace this fall: Replace air filters. Air filters capture dust, allergens and other contaminants that can negatively affect the air quality in your home. A dirty filter makes your furnace work harder, which will wear your heating system down faster over time. Filters should be changed every one to three months. Check your air filter size and type before making a purchase. You could damage your system if the replacement filter does not fit properly. Vet your vents. Vents accumulate dirt and debris over time, clogging openings and causing heating issues. Clean your vents with a wet cloth and remove any items stuck there. Schedule an annual furnace tune-up. Have a professional tune-up your furnace once a year to clean and test key components to make sure that they work properly. Schedule your furnace tune-up before it starts getting cold, so you have time to make any necessary repairs or replacements. You can find qualified contractors through the Washington Gas Home Energy Savings Contractor Network. They can also help you get Washington Gas rebates on new, high-efficiency natural gas heating equipment. While there are no home heating tune up rebates in Virginia, these customers can also take advantage of rebates on new high-efficiency natural gas equipment. Upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace. The average lifespan of a furnace is 15 to 20 years. Older furnaces are less effective, so you may want to consider replacing yours if it’s over 15 years old. Upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace will help you save energy and money, and if you qualify for a Washington Gas rebate, you can save even more. Practice safety first. Avoid a potential fire hazard by removing clutter around your furnace. While you’re at it, make sure furniture and curtains are not blocking vents, so your home can heat more evenly. Test your carbon monoxide detector and replace the batteries as needed. Follow these tips to stay ahead of winter weather. If it’s time for an equipment upgrade, check for Washington Gas rebates on high-efficiency models.