Furnace Maintenance: 6 Tips to Energy Savings
Energy Efficiency Requires Furnace Maintenance
Whoa! Energy costs are way up and paying your heating bill this winter is tough, with a capital T! If only there were some low-cost or no-cost options to lower that nagging utility bill. Here are a few things to try:
- Make sure you change your air filter regularly. The air filter constantly cleans airborne particles from your home’s indoor air. Air filters tend to be very effective, so the dust builds up rather quickly. However, once the filter is clogged, it restricts airflow. That seems like a small thing, but heating and air conditioning depends upon good airflow.
- Speaking of good airflow, check all of the supply vents and return air registers to make sure they are not covered. Occasionally a drape or piece of furniture gets moved and covers the opening.
- If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed when not in use. Remember, heat rises and when it is open heat is escaping from your home.
- Learn to appreciate solar gain and begin a habit of opening and closing window treatments to heat your home. Opening the drapes and blinds on the south side of your home during sunny days can warm your home by 100 Be sure to close them after the sun goes down since they can prevent heat loss.
- Use the existing ceiling fans in your home to enhance your comfort. The wintertime setting for ceiling fans is clockwise; this draws air up and pushes the warm air trapped in the ceiling out and down. For your comfort, keep the fan on the lowest setting.
- Pay attention to your thermostat and learn how to program it for energy/cash savings. Newer thermostats are either programmable or have smart capabilities, with a cell phone app to customize your programming. Find agreeable times with your family members to lower the thermostat for several hours. Ideal times for lowering the temp include while everyone is asleep or away at work or school. Reducing the temperature by 6 or 80 for at least eight hours per day will make a discernable dent in your utility bill.
Don’t forget that you are also heating water; check the temperature setting on your hot water heater to make sure it is not set too high.
- Whenever possible, take the opportunity to add insulation, caulk, and weather stripping to prevent heat loss.
- Schedule a routine preventative Furnace Maintenance visit with an HVAC professional annually. Keeping the system clean and in proper repair will ensure your furnace is functioning at peak efficiency. This does reduce costs as much as possible.
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