HOME SWEET HOME: Back to cool

HOME SWEET HOME: Back to cool

Once the kids go back to school, it seems like fall is right around the corner. In Tennessee, the change of seasons means it will soon be time to turn the air conditioner off and the heater on!

You might think the change is as simple as throwing a switch on your thermostat. However, there are smart steps you can take now to help ensure you’re heating your home as safely and cost-efficiently as possible.

The first thing to do is schedule the annual maintenance appointment for your heating system; don’t wait until the last minute. These yearly check-ups do more than protect your heater. They protect your family. Gas heating systems have many components that can be very dangerous to your health and your home if not properly serviced.

For example, if there’s a problem with ventilation, carbon monoxide might leak from the heat exchanger area, where the combustible gases ignite to produce the fire that produces heat. A professional heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) technician will check to be sure the heat exchanger and other parts are in safe working condition.

If your home has a heat pump keep in mind they consume extra energy if there are leaks in the refrigerant circuit. The leaks lead to low refrigerant pressure which can become a real energy drain as they kick your emergency heat on to maintain temperature.

In addition to checking the circuit, the HVAC technician will inspect the coils on your heating system. Dirty coils can cause the system to freeze up outside, once the weather turns really cold. If that happens, the system goes into continual defrost mode: It runs air-conditioning for defrosting, along with electric heat to keep the house warm.

Does it matter? Absolutely. Most people don’t like leaving a 40-watt lightbulb on because it burns too much power – and mom always says to turn the lights off! Running the heater in emergency mode continually is like leaving a 9600-watt lightbulb burning eight-to-10 hours per day. Imagine what mom would say about that!

As you get your house ready for the cooler temperatures, don’t forget to check the fireplace. Some people use it for heat, others like the ambience of a crackling fire. Either way, if your fireplace isn’t clean, it can create too much carbon monoxide inside the home. Vented fireplaces should have professional maintenance at least once every two years. Ventless fireplaces should be cleaned at least once a year, and twice if you leave the pilot light burning.

Learn your lessons before we go back to cool! Get your home ready for the Tennessee fall and winter now. Lee Company has friendly, experienced, professional technicians ready to inspect your heater, make repairs, and handle all your HVAC needs. Check out leecompany.com/promotions for special offers on tune-ups and financing.

Dan Kalman

Vice President of Home Services

Lee Company

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