As we get deeper into winter, the cold weather means an increased use of your furnace. If turning on your furnace makes you cringe in anticipation of high energy bills, use these five steps to help you save money and increase your furnace efficiency.
Check/replace your furnace filter. Your furnace filter removes airborne particles that can be harmful to your furnace. If it has been awhile since you last replaced your furnace filter, there may be a buildup of dirt, dust and other pollutants restricting the airflow to your furnace and causing it to work harder than necessary, which decreases its efficiency.
Install a programmable thermostat. Heating your home to the same temperature when you are away as when you are at home is wasteful. Manually turning the thermostat down a few degrees when you leave the house for extended periods of time can be a hassle. It saves you money, but you come home to a cold house and have to wait for it to heat up. A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature in your home based on the day and time, to keep you warm and save you money.
Get your annual furnace tune-up Annual furnace tune-ups are extremely important. Just like regular oil changes for your vehicle, annual tune-ups keep your furnace running efficiently while extending the life of your system. Without regular tune-ups your furnace can experience a shortened lifespan as well as costly and preventable breakdowns.
Look into a zoned heating system. Sometimes, even when everything else is done correctly, your furnace’s efficiency is lacking. Zoning your heating and cooling systems allows for different zones in your home to be heated or cooled to different temperatures. This saves you money and increases your furnace’s efficiency by heating your home to more even temperatures and eliminating frustrating hot and cold spots.
Seal your air ducts. Old, worn or improperly sealed ducts can result in up to 20% of your heated air escaping on its way from your furnace into your home. By taking the time to have your ductwork professionally sealed, less of your heated air will be wasted. Also, your heating system will be more efficient because it does not have to work as hard to heat your home. This, in turn, saves you money by reducing your energy bills.
Still experiencing inefficient heating? Your unit may be sized improperly or, if your furnace is over ten years old, it may be time for a new one. The energy savings on a newer, more efficient furnace is quite significant and it can pay for itself quickly.