Depending on what type of heating you have the service interval will differ.
Oil fired furnaces should be serviced annually, the oil filter changed, nozzle cleaned, and burner blower lubricated. Oil fired units loose efficiency yearly unless serviced, making them expensive to operate the second year of being unserviced.
High-efficiency (92%) gas furnaces should be serviced annually. Not sure if you have one of these? High-efficiency furnaces will have one or more of the following components: electronic ignition, PVC plastic flue pipe, or a small blower motor mounted on the front of the furnace.
Gas furnaces (80% sometimes referred to as “mid-efficiency”) should be serviced annually.
These furnaces have 26 gauge flue pipe, or double wall B-vent pipe. (These look like galvanized pipes).
Air Conditioning / Heat pumps, have them serviced once a year for optimal efficiency.
The best time to have them serviced is in the spring once the temperature is above 70 degrees.
Servicing heating and cooling equipment extends the life of the furnace or air conditioning unit, as well as insuring that it operates at maximum efficiency which will in turn save you more money than the cost of the service call.
Remember: Air filters should be changed or checked monthly.