Avoid Big Repairs with Smart Maintenance

There are many serious and costly headaches that can pop up this winter. To avoid costly repairs, plan on getting your furnace an annual checkup, says Mark Lea, owner of Lea Heating & Air Conditioning in East Dundee.

“Every home’s heating system accumulates dust, dirt and other particulates that affect its performance and efficiency, which will cause your utility bills to go up,” Lea says.

A checkup By Lea Heating & Air Conditioning involves a 22-point inspection that covers things like the fan speed, the wire connections, and the heating exchanger.

Of course, there also are easy things you can do by yourself to keep your furnace running smoothly.

For one, Lea advises against closing off vents in unused rooms. While you might think this helps to reduce heating expenses, it actually makes the furnace work harder and less efficiently.

“When you start closing registers, you increase the static pressure, and the more static pressure you have, the higher your electric bill will be,” says Lea.

Installing a smart thermostat can take some of the pressure off your furnace, says Lea. Among other things, these devices control how much heat circulates in your home, whether or not you’re inside.

“A smart thermostat has the ability to learn the climate patterns in your home, and it adjusts the heating and cooling according to when a home is occupied or if it’s about to be occupied,” he says. “It reduces the heating and cooling systems when no one is in the home for significant periods of time.”

In part, those systems work with geo-fencing, a technique that gauges whether you’re home based on where your cellphone is. If your phone isn’t nearby, it assumes nobody’s around.

“Having a smart thermostat can save a lot of energy,” Lea says. “A lot of people are going to the smart thermostats.” ❚

Lea Heating & Air Conditioning is located at 570 C Rock Road Dr., in East Dundee, (847) 305-2800.