Preparing your heating system for winter

Preparing your heating system for winter

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - With temperatures falling and winter quickly approaching, more people are preparing for the cold by having their home heating systems inspected.

You may not realize that heating and cooling accounts for almost half of energy use in a typical U-S home, according to government figures.

That makes it the largest energy expense for most homeowners. That also explains why it's such a busy time for home heating inspections.

In fact, it's no exaggeration to say that business is really heating up this time of year for Southern Air Heating and Cooling.

"All nine of our technicians are booked out all day today," said James Preuett with Southern Air.

He credits their busy schedule partly on all the maintenance reminders recently mailed out to their 2-thousand customers in the Shreveport-Bossier area ahead of the cold winter months.

Of the 35 calls on this day alone, Preuett told us 60-percent were for heating tune-ups that require a 15-point inspection, "Making sure there's no carbon monoxide, there's, heat exchangers have no cracks in them."

That's because if a crack is found the technicians must condemn the unit until it's either repairs or replaced to avoid any tragedy.

And if you have gas heat you're strongly urged to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

"(It's) Worth 40, 50 or 60 bucks, you know. Is your life worth that much? I think it is," said Southern Air technician Tommy Parish.

If you're wondering if your heating unit needs repair, experts point to 5 telltale signs of trouble. Those include if it's noisy, runs constantly, if there's uneven temperature throughout the home, increasingly costly energy bills and repairs becoming more common.

Experts strongly suggest your find a licensed, bonded and insured contractor to avoid any trouble down the road, especially if someone were to be injured on your property.

Regular maintenance is recommended twice a year for your heating and cooling or H-VAC unit, once for summer and once for the winter months.

You're also urged to replace filters as needed, typically every three months. We're told that failure to do so can cause wasted energy, shortened equipment life and higher energy bills.

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