The winter months in East Tennessee are a never-ending battle against the cold – and high utility bills. In fact, heating accounts for about 34 percent of all the energy used by the average home in Tennessee. Fortunately, there are several ways you can arm yourself in the battle against high heating costs. In particular, excellent efficiency is your single greatest weapon. Here are a few simple and reliable ways you can make your heating more efficient and effective this winter.

Schedule a Heating System Tune Up

Simply put, a well-maintained heating system is an effective heating system. HVAC professionals who serve the East Tennessee area understand the toll that winter can take on your home heating. The accumulation of regular wear and tear is inevitable over time. The resulting drop in efficiency doesn’t need to happen.

The antidote to efficiency-sapping wear and tear is a heating system tuneup. Schedule a professional service visit before the worst of winter begins to ensure that your system is in top condition. A trained technician can inspect and service your heating system to identify and correct any developing issues. This includes testing electrical components, lubricating motors and mechanical parts, cleaning burners and blowers and more. A professional checkup can also make sure the airflow in your home is delivering heat where it’s needed most.

Swap out Your HVAC Filters

Your HVAC air filters are your first line of defense against indoor air pollution. They catch dust, dander, and other particulates from the air before they penetrate your living space and enter the air you breathe. They can help prevent illnesses, ease allergy symptoms and even protect your HVAC system against damage. Unfortunately, they can also become a major drain on efficiency.

Air filters are great at pulling pollutants from the air, but there’s nowhere for these particulates to go after that. Over time, your filters collect more and more pollutants until they become clogged. It becomes much harder for air to pass through them unobstructed, causing your entire system to work harder. Dirty filters can even impact your comfort level by causing uneven heating inside your home. Fortunately, you can prevent all this by simply swapping in a fresh filter when needed. For best results, visually check your filters every month and replace them at least once every three months.

Add Some Weatherization

Effective and efficient heating requires you to keep cold air outside and warm air inside. This sounds simple and self-evident, but it’s not always as easy as you’d think. In fact, the air leaks in an average American home add up to the equivalent of leaving a window wide open all year long. It’s likely your heating system itself also loses heat due to leaking and poor insulation. The end result is a less comfortable home and greater heating costs during the cooler months.

Fortunately, some basic weatherization can make a huge difference. Simply using caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks around doors and windows can significantly improve your home’s heating performance. It’s also important to prevent heat loss by making sure your attic and walls have enough insulation. If you don’t mind the appearance, installing window film can also slash heat loss by up to 70 percent. For a more comprehensive solution, consider scheduling an energy audit. A professional energy audit gives you the best possible picture of where your home loses energy and how it can be improved.

Winter in East Tennessee is tough enough without a home heating system that isn’t working up to its potential. The easy steps above will help you stay more comfortable and pay less in utility bills all winter long. To see more ways you can make your heating more effective, check out the professional HVAC maintenance services offered by Cook’s Comfort Systems. You can also reach a helpful representative by calling 865-248-5001.

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