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The sun is setting earlier, the temperatures have started to fall and depending on where you live, you may have even seen flakes of snow start to fly. That means that winter is very nearly upon us, and heating season is about to begin – if it hasn’t already.
That also means that if you have not gotten an annual tune up of your heating system, time is running short to get it done. In case you need some reminders about why that is so important, read on to learn more.
The Tune Up
When a professional comes to your home to do annual maintenance on your HVAC system, you may wonder just what he is up to. Usually, it is just routine tasks. He will do a general inspection, tighten connections, check lines to make sure they are moving freely, lubricate any moving parts and clean the parts that get dirty easily, like filters, fans and vents.
Also, if there are any parts that need to be replaced during this time, he will take care of that as well.
That all seems simple enough, so why is it so important? There are several reasons, such as:
- Replacing worn parts early prevents major breakdowns later, such as in the middle of winter. Being without heat in the chilly midst of January while you wait for a repairman to make it through the snow is no fun.
- Tightening, lubricating and cleaning the various components of your heating system helps keep the whole system running smoothly and efficiently. This means your home is as warm as it can be, and your family is comfortable and happy.
- Routine maintenance extends the life of your heating system, so you can avoid dropping big money on a replacement as long as possible.
- You save money, not only on the replacement costs we just mentioned, but also on monthly bills and future repair costs.
When you look at all those benefits together, it only seems natural to have your heating system inspected and tuned up. The sooner, the better, so give a call to local professional today.
That way, you can be warm all winter long and rest easy knowing that your heating system is in great shape.
Energy costs are at record highs, and everyone is looking for ways to save a buck. However, no one wants to compromise on their family’s comfort. After all, what good are savings if you have to suffer? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help trim your energy bill without compromising the comfortable surroundings of your home.
Saving energy starts with small habits, little things you can do every day to slightly reduce energy use and pare down those monthly bills. These are steps that do not involve buying any new equipment or drastically changing your lifestyle. For example, start with some of these little tips:
- Turn off lights and the television when no one is using them.
- Shut your computer down at night.
- Unplug "vampire devices" such as cell phone chargers when not in use. Chargers and other devices can draw power even when they are not charging anything.
- Use power strips. Turn them off when none of the devices or appliances plugged into them are being used.
- Turn off your cable box. Many people miss this step because the TV is off, but many cable boxes can draw even more power than the TV!
Upgrade to Efficiency
If you have tried all those little tricks and are still looking to cut energy costs, it is time to make your home more efficient. This means making some purchases, but consider them investments in your energy costs. When used properly, these things pay for themselves in savings over time:
- Switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. These draw less energy and last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Install a programmable thermostat to control heating and cooling when no one is home.
- Consider upgrading appliances, like your dishwasher, refrigerator and washing machine. New appliances, especially Energy Star approved models, can save a bundle over older machines.
If you don’t think you are due for upgrades yet, or just don’t want to absorb the upfront cost, there are plenty of things you can do to keep the appliances you already own running as efficiently as possible. Remember to change AC and furnace filters, vacuum household vents and clean your water heater routinely.
Aside from these DIY tips, if you would like even more help, consider hiring a professional to do an energy audit. He will inspect your whole home to determine where you may be wasting energy and how to correct those issues.