A furnace is important because it keeps your house warm and comfortable during the cold season. A new furnace installation is a big investment. So, keeping your heating unit in tip-top condition is always a good idea, and doing so will also help maximize its performance and service life.
A well-maintained furnace will also be more energy-efficient, meaning lower utility bills since it’ll utilize less energy. Your furnace can decrease in efficiency with time. However, it’s your responsibility as the homeowner to ensure that your unit remains as efficient as possible. The following tips can help make your furnace more energy efficient while keeping your living space comfortable.
1. Programming Your Thermostat for Winter
One of the best ways to save money this winter is by programming your home’s thermostat for the cold weather. That means setting your thermostat at low, comfortable temperatures. The lower the temperatures on the thermostat, the less energy your furnace will use to heat your residential property.
Experts recommend lowering the indoor temperature when there’s no one at home. You might also want to lower your home’s temperature if you are planning for a winter vacation. However, keep the temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent freezing pipes.
If you have a dial or manual thermostat, you’ve got much to gain from a thermostat upgrade. Learning thermostats and programmable thermostats maximize energy efficiency and cut heating expenditure while you enjoy warmth and savings.
Learning devices typically observe your behavior. After determining your preferred temperatures, the devices can easily maintain the desired indoor conditions while keeping heating costs as low as possible. On the other hand, programmable devices minimize heating output while your family is asleep and when there’s no one at home.
A Wi-Fi or smart thermostat allows you to control your property’s indoor environment remotely. Most of these gadgets provide monthly and weekly energy reports. They also offer tips to enhance energy efficiency, among other things.
2. Cleaning and Sealing Your Ductwork
Many homeowners do not know what’s happening in their ducts. Your ductwork can harbor dirt, dust mites, microbes, insect droppings, pollen, and pet dander. Besides, your ducts may undergo wear and tear with time, causing heated air to escape through cracks and openings.
Energy Star says an average homeowner loses around 30% of warm air through duct leaks. Professional duct cleaning can help eliminate contaminants in your ductwork. After cleaning, the professionals can seal the cracks and holes in the ducts to maximize your heating unit’s efficiency.
3. Changing Filters
Furnace filters trap allergens floating in your indoor air, such as dust mites, pollen, pet hair, and dirt. However, it would be best to change the filters regularly to keep your furnace running efficiently. A dirty filter forces your furnace to work harder to heat your indoor environment. Unfortunately, overworking can cause the furnace to break down prematurely or increase your energy bills.
For instance, a clogged filter can cause the unit’s blower motor to overheat. As a result, the safety sensors will trip to shut down your furnace. Running your furnace with a dirty filter can also destroy other furnace components. For example, it can cause your heat exchanger to develop cracks, reducing the efficiency of your heating unit.
A cracked heat exchanger can also allow toxic carbon monoxide (CO) to build up in your house, putting your household at risk. Overall, check filters regularly and change them when dirty. According to experts, changing your furnace filters every three months can improve the performance and efficiency of your heating unit. However, you can increase the changing frequency if your household has pets or smokers or your heating system is in constant use.
4. Insulating Your Home
Insulating your property is among the best ways to maximize your heating unit’s efficiency. Air leaks rob your living space of warm air from your furnace and force the system to work harder to attain your desired temperatures. As a result, your energy bills will increase, and the excess strain can damage the unit’s motor. Entry points for your pipes and cables, doors, windows, crawl spaces, attic, basement, bathroom, and kitchen vents are among the common areas in your home that allow heated air to seep out.
A heating expert can help you seal any holes, gaps, and cracks in these areas utilizing weatherstripping or even caulk to avoid potential air leakages. If your residential property has old and inefficient windows, consider replacing them with new ones to minimize your heating costs. Insulating your house can also ease your heating unit’s workload. For instance, insulating the attic will help make the most of the heated air by keeping it inside the house where it belongs. This way, your heating unit will be more energy efficient, and your home will remain cozier throughout the cold season.
5. Running Your Ceiling Fans Counterclockwise
Some research studies indicate that combining a ceiling fan with a furnace can cut energy bills by approximately 15% during the cold season. Running your ceiling fans clockwise can help distribute heated air better in your living space. Fans distribute the warm air to the higher parts of your rooms. As a result, the entire house will insulate the heated air more effectively, allowing your furnace to rest. As a result, the furnace will not overwork, which means it’ll use less energy.
6. Unblocking Registers and Air Vents
Air vents are responsible for distributing air throughout your residence. However, it would be best if you cleaned them more frequently to ensure they work properly. In addition, blocked heat registers or air vents will hinder warm air from circulating evenly. Similarly, blocked return vents restrict airflow in your home, forcing your furnace to overwork to warm your space. This continued strain on your heating unit can lead to frequent repairs and decreased efficiency. Therefore, ensure nothing is blocking your registers and air vents to make your furnace more energy efficient.
7. Scheduling Furnace Maintenance
The other way to enhance your heating system’s energy efficiency is by scheduling annual inspections and servicing. According to statistics, furnace tune-ups can save you around 30% in energy costs. In addition, annual maintenance allows HVAC professionals to inspect your furnace thoroughly. This way, your technician can discover minor problems before they become significant furnace repairs.
Cleaning furnace condensate drains, making minor adjustments, lubricating all the moving parts, and testing components will keep the heating unit running efficiently and optimally. Furnace maintenance also keeps the unit’s components from failing due to wear and tear, meaning your heating system will stay in good working condition and serve you for longer.
Partner With the Furnace Experts Today!
As you can see, there are many ways through which you can boost the efficiency of your home’s furnace. Changing filters, programming your thermostat, and scheduling maintenance significantly affect your furnace’s efficiency. Running ceiling fans clockwise and insulating your attic is also important in minimizing your furnace’s workload and energy usage.
If you are looking for furnace maintenance services or more information about enhancing furnace efficiency, reach out to our technicians at Express Plumbing Heating & Air. From new furnace installations to repairs and maintenance, our team of heating experts can help keep your residential property comfy throughout the year. We are also experts in UV lights, plumbing, air conditioning, duct cleaning, and drain and sewer services throughout Boise, ID and the surrounding area. Call us now to book your furnace maintenance appointment or request any other service.