Old Man Winter can be driving up your energy costs. As the temperature plummets, your energy bills move in the opposite direction. Keeping your home comfortable during the winter without breaking the bank can be a challenge. Learning how to make your furnace more efficient will help you stay nice and toasty without having to take out a second mortgage to pay those energy bills.
These tips for how to make your furnace more efficient can help anyone get costs under control without having to sacrifice comfort. Apply these tips for how to make your furnace more efficient as soon as you can and watch as your bills start to drop with the temperature.
Tip Number One: Maintenance Really Matters
If you have not done any maintenance on your furnace over the last few years. you are not alone. Many homeowners forget to have their yearly furnace maintenance done. Unfortunately, out of sight, out of mind seems to apply with HVAC maintenance. We tend not to think about the furnace or our heating system until something goes wrong.
A little preventative care can go a long way in ensuring that your system is working at peak energy efficiency. Maintenance activities provided by an HVAC contractor will address many parts of your system, including:
- Electrical connections. Connections should be tight, and the voltage readings should come back in the range they are supposed to. Vibrations and more can shake loose connections apart. Regardless of what type of fuel you use or what type of system you have, there are electrical connections that your system relies on.
- All mechanical parts are lubricated. The proper lubrication helps to put less strain on your system and can heighten energy efficiency.
- Fan assessment, general operation, thermostat, and other parts of your system will be assessed for function.
Yearly maintenance of your system can ensure that any issues are corrected before becoming full-blown problems. It is always better to do furnace repair before something completely breaks and causes more damage.
During the heating check-up, any clogged filters will be replaced. Filters play a vital role in improving energy efficiency. An easy way to manage how to make your furnace more efficient is to have a professional HVAC company provide some yearly TLC.
Tip Number Two: Keep Air Vents Clear
A basic tip for how to make your furnace more efficient is to make sure that you are not blocking heating vents. Make sure that there are no furnishings placed over vents and nothing is left on top of them.
Blocking a vent can make your furnace work harder. It changes the pressure throughout your home, and the furnace fights the pressure. Be sure to check every room for blocked heat vents.
Tip Number Three: Open All the Vents
Contrary to popular belief, shutting off vents in your home is not how to make your furnace more efficient. As a matter of fact, it can make your furnace work harder. Your furnace is designed to work with the number of vents you have in your home. You cannot divert the heat to other rooms by shutting off a vent. The exception is if you have radiators instead of vents. Turning off a radiator in an unused room will make your furnace work more efficiently.
Tip Number Four: Address Repairs As Soon As Needed
If your furnace is limping along, it is always best to get HVAC repair as soon as you think you have a problem. This is a key tip in how to make your furnace more efficient. If your system has issues, it’s using more energy than it should. Making repairs early on will save you money not only on your energy bill but also on the repair itself.
A heating system that is giving you problems will not correct itself. If you notice that your energy bill jumps, it can mean that your system needs repair. If your system is running nonstop, even when you lower the thermostat, that is another indicator that you may have a problem.
It is always best to err on the side of caution and call a heating repair service if you suspect something is wrong. Addressing issues as they come up can help to prevent further damage to the system and costlier repairs down the road.
Paying for minor heating repairs now is how to make your furnace more efficient in the future. Make the call, and you’ll not only get peace of mind but more energy efficiency too.
Tip Number Five: Keep Up With Your Filters
Any type of forced air heating system has filters. The filters play a vital role in how to make your furnace more efficient. Changing filters frequently ensures that your system does not have to work as hard to circulate heat through your home.
Pick a day of the month to change the filters, and make it a habit each month. For example, make the 1st of the month or the 15th of the month the day you change your heating filters. Mark your calendar so you do not forget.
The simple act of changing filters in your home can save you about 3% on your heating costs. While it is not a ton of savings, it is just one little step that can make a difference. Additionally, changing filters frequently helps ease some of the burden on your system. An unburdened system lasts longer.
Tip Number Six: Upgrade Your Thermostat
You do not have to have a complete residential hvac installation to upgrade your thermostat. An upgraded thermostat will give you more control over your heating system, and you will know that it is calibrated perfectly.
Sometimes, how to make your furnace more efficient is to install a better thermostat. A new thermostat will give you more options than your older thermostat, which is how to make your furnace more efficient. For example, with newer thermostats, there are many different programming options. You can lower the temperature for the times you are sleeping and set the thermostat to raise the temperature right before you get up. This means that while you are sleeping cozy under the blankets, your furnace can take a bit of a break and use less energy. If you set your thermostat on 70 degrees during the day, you can lower it down to 68 while you are at work. Lowering your thermostat those two degrees while you are gone is an easy answer to how to make your furnace more efficient.
The US Depart of Energy estimates for every degree you lower your thermostat over an eight-hour period, you can realize a 1% savings on your energy bill.
Tip Number Seven: Use The Sun to Your Advantage
By investing in thermal drapes, you are making a very easy move in how to make your furnace more efficient. Keep drapes closed at night to keep out the cold, and open them during the daylight hours to let the sun in. The sun will help to warm the house, taking some of the pressure off your heating system.
Radiant heat from the sun shining through your windows can help to warm the house nicely. It is an easy and decorative way to reduce your energy costs.
Tip Number Eight: Seal Up Drafts
How to make your furnace more efficient can mean making your entire house more efficient. Gaps around windows and doors can literally suck the heat right out of your home and exchange it for frigid air. Go around the house and put your hand up to the areas around your windows and doors. If you can feel a draft, caulking around windows and doors will help to seal out the cold. Like anything else, caulk fails after a while. Re-caulking is something you should do annually. It can make a tremendous difference in the comfort of your house.
While you are on your insulation mission, feel around outlets as well. If you feel a bit of a draft, you can buy outlet insulation at any home improvement store. Installation is as simple as removing the plate and placing the pre-cut foam insulation.
Making sure that you are managing drafts is an easy way to help your furnace work more efficiently and save a few dollars on energy costs. Look for other areas in your home that feel drafty, like around pipes in the basement. Take steps to insulate these areas as well. Insulation is an inexpensive way to keep energy costs under control.
Tip Number Nine: Consider a Professional Cleaning
Over time, gunk can build up in your ductwork and really slow down the airflow. A professional cleaning can help you to make your furnace more efficient. Some residential heating services offer duct cleaning. It can be an easy way to increase energy efficiency, reduce allergens in the home, and give your entire home a nice clean scent.
Tip Number Ten: Consider Upgrades
The Heating and cooling units available today are about six times more efficient than their counterparts from 15 years ago. Home improvement spending increased by about 14% over the last couple of years, and a nice chunk of that spending went toward new, more efficient heating and cooling systems.
Sometimes, how to make your furnace more efficient means getting a new system installed. There are some signs that new residential hvac installation is the best option for you:
- You have had more than three repairs in the last three years. If you are getting to the point where you have to patch your system together constantly, it may be cost-productive to replace your system.
- Your system is more than 20 years old. If your heating system is more than 20 years old, it may be time to consider something newer. Old, outdated systems are not energy efficient and costly to run.
- Your system no longer meets your needs. If you made any structural changes that added square footage, you may need to change your heating system. Your heating system is designed to heat the space your home was built with. Making any changes to increase square footage may require a call to residential heating services to look into a system that can handle the new load.
A new heating system is an investment, but it is an investment that comes with a great deal of return. New systems are far more energy-efficient, which means your energy bills will plummet as soon as you have that system installed.
Many of the tips listed here are easy tips that anyone can follow. A lot of how to make your furnace more efficient depends on the things that you do for your furnace. The more care you provide your system, the more efficient it will be. The more effort you put into insulating your home, the more efficient your energy use will be.
Not following tips to make your home more energy-efficient and improving the efficiency of your furnace is just throwing money away. Follow the simple tips on how to make your furnace more efficient and enjoy the savings. Following energy-saving tips by making sure your furnace can run efficiently is good for your wallet, and it is good for the environment.