Living in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, means dealing with every type of weather extreme. While I really enjoy having four distinct seasons, the constant need for heating and cooling can be expensive and challenging. The local summers are hot, muggy and wet while the winters are severely cold, snowy and windy. We get high winds, rain, sleet, hail, freezing rain and blizzard conditions. The average year round temperature fluctuates from eighteen degrees to eighty-nine. Subzero conditions and thermometer readings in the triple digits aren’t usual. I continually search for opportunities to tighten up the house, reduce energy waste and trim utility bills. I’ve invested into a high-efficiency forced air furnace and central air conditioner. The furnace offers a 98% AFUE rating and the air conditioner achieves a 26 SEER. Both units are ENERGY STAR rated, include adaptable-speed technology and accommodate zone control. With a thermostat located in each room of the house, I’m able to avoid heating or cooling empty living spaces to the ideal comfort level. I can also target those rooms that tend to feel especially chilly or overheated. I make sure to take very good care of the heating and cooling equipment. I replace air filters every month and have enrolled into a maintenance program with a local HVAC company. A NATE-certified technician services the furnace in the fall and the air conditioner in the spring, handling the necessary diagnostic testing, cleaning and tuning to keep all components operating at their best. Not only does this service fulfill the manufacturer’s warranty requirements, but it helps to optimize efficiency, avoid costly repairs and extend system lifespan.