Most of us in the region noticed some cool temperatures this month–much cooler than usual for September. Fall is coming to Sacramento, and it’s got many folks thinking about their heaters. It makes sense to be more worried about cooling than heating when you know the summer heat isn’t over yet, but don’t let that fool you into neglecting heater and furnace maintenance. There are several kinds of heaters for the home, all of which present their own maintenance concerns that are important to examine before you’ll be needing heat this winter. Most homes are heated by heating air and sending that hot air through ducts, just like air-conditioning a home. In fact, most modern heating systems use the same ducts and vents as the AC uses in the summer. The actual heating of the air happens several ways, either with an electric heater or a gas burner (furnace) using natural gas or propane. If you don’t have ducts installed then your heat comes through radiators instead, either baseboard or old-school upright ones, or underfloor (radiant) heating tubes, that use hot water or steam to send heat into the room. These systems require a boiler, which, like a furnace, can be gas or electric.