When your furnace runs efficiently, you’ll save money on heat bills. And since an efficient furnace experiences less wear over time, it’s likely to last longer. Here are a few things to do if you want to make your furnace run as efficiently as possible.
1. Lower The Thermostat Temperature
This one probably sounds obvious. But when you’re trying to keep your home very warm when the weather outside is very cold, your furnace works especially hard. You don’t need to make your home feel like an ice box to see a difference in your utility bill, either. Even turning it down two or three degrees can help.
Especially if you tend to have your thermostat set high, this might be a bit of an adjustment to make. But there are a few things you can do to make your slightly cooler home more comfortable. Wearing slippers and warm clothing helps. And even in carpeted rooms, try putting down dense, warm rugs. When your feet are cold, your whole body feels cold.
2. Hire A Pro To Check For Problems
Seeing a doctor regularly is a great way to catch health problems before they progress. Similarly, it’s good to have preventive maintenance done on your HVAC system to correct any developing issues.
Especially if it’s been a while, contacting a furnace repair professional is a great idea. A trained professional can conduct a full assessment of your furnace and recommend any necessary repairs. These issues tend to be less expensive to fix when caught early, so make sure your unit gets checked out on a regular basis!
3. Seal Your Duct Joints
Air ducts without sealed seams and screwheads can lose about 20% of their air. In the winter months, you’re paying to heat that air, so you want to keep as much in as you can.
This fix is one you can at least partially perform yourself. Furnace tape and similar products can form an airtight barrier on your ducts. However, many homes have ducts in the walls or ceiling that you can’t see. In this case, you may want to contact a professional who specializes in sealing ducts. This is a service that will quickly pay for itself in utility bill savings.
4. Weatherize And Insulate Your Home
Warm air escapes through leaky ducts, though it will also quickly escape your home if it is drafty or poorly insulated. If this happens, your furnace will need to turn on more frequently. To maximize your furnace’s efficiency, you’ll want to make sure your home has adequate insulation.
Since heat rises, it’s especially important to make sure the top floor of your home is insulated. Weatherstripping and sealing around doors and windows can be a big help, too.
5. Keep The HVAC Fan Set To Auto
Often, small changes can make a big difference when it comes to maximizing your furnace’s efficiency. One of these changes is keeping the fan on your thermostat set to “auto” instead of “on.” When the fan is set to auto, it only runs when the furnace needs to push warm air through the ducts.
When the fan is turned on, it blows continuously. That can put stress on your furnace, and it also tends to run up your utility bills fairly quickly.
6. Change The Filter Regularly
If your furnace filter is dirty, the furnace has to work harder to move air. And in the case of very dirty filters, the furnace motor also may become partially clogged by dirt particles.
Your HVAC professional may have more specific recommendations, but generally speaking, a furnace filter needs to be changed once per year. However, if you often find dust and dirt in your home or if you have indoor pets with fur, it might be a good idea to change the filter every three months. Make sure you write down when the filter needs to be changed so you can make each change on time!
Whether you’ve seen your utility bills start going up or just want to be proactive about keeping your furnace in good order, the above tips should help you get a great start. Give them a shot before winter sets in!
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