10 Ways to Make Your Furnace as Energy Efficient as Possible
While you need your furnace to heat your home in the winter, you don’t have to put up with sky-high energy bills. There are several ways you can help your furnace work as efficiently as possible while still keeping your home comfortable.
1. Schedule Annual Maintenance
One of the best ways to make your furnace energy efficient is to schedule annual tune-ups. Furnaces gradually lose their efficiency over time unless they are professionally maintained. A technician will perform several tasks that keep your furnace operating at its best, such as cleaning critical components and adjusting controls.
It’s best to schedule this service in the fall. You don’t want to wait until the winter because HVAC companies are busy with installations and repairs. Also, it’s best to know if there are issues with your furnace before the days get cold enough for you to need it.
2. Turn Down Your Thermostat
The greater the difference between your desired temperature and the outside temperature, the less energy-efficient your furnace will be. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. If you’re used to setting your thermostat higher than this, gradually turn the heat down over the course of a week or two to acclimate your body to this indoor temperature.
3. Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save you money by setting the temperature of your home according to your schedule. You can set a schedule in which the temperature is lower when you’re not home or asleep. Depending on the thermostat, you can set a schedule for each day or program two different schedules for weekdays versus weekends.
4. Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats use artificial intelligence to heat your home. There are many different configurations of these smart devices. Depending on the model, your thermostat may learn your routines and adjust the temperature of your home automatically. Other types can sense when you’re nearing your home, so they can start heating the building before you arrive.
5. Increase Insulation
You can increase the insulation in your home to make it more energy efficient. The main area you should concentrate on is the attic. Keeping your basement or crawlspace well-insulated is also a priority. Beyond this, look into increasing the amount of insulation in your walls. Adding insulation can save you around 15% on your monthly energy bills.
6. Change the Air Filter
The air filter for your furnace collects lots of dust, dirt, pollen, pet hair, and other debris. You need to check it regularly and replace it whenever it’s dirty. This could be as often as every month.
A dirty air filter reduces the energy efficiency of your furnace. A furnace needs proper airflow to work at its best, which a dirty air filter prevents. When a furnace doesn’t have enough airflow, it works much harder than it needs to. This reduces its efficiency.
7. Attend to Your Vents
Check your vents to make sure they’re clear and clean. They shouldn’t have drapes, rugs, furniture, or other objects obstructing them. You should vacuum them on occasion to remove dust, dirt, and other debris. You can clean the register using a damp, soapy cloth. Let them dry out before putting them back in place.
8. Have Your Ductwork Checked
The EPA says most homes lose up to 30% of conditioned air through the vents. This air goes into unconditioned spaces of your home instead of where you want it, which dramatically reduces the energy efficiency of your furnace.
If your ducts are leaky, have an HVAC company repair or replace them. HVAC companies have a few different options available to fix your ductwork. Also, call a professional if you want to have your vents inspected and cleaned.
9. Use Your Curtains and Blinds
When it’s a sunny day outside in the winter, open your curtains and blinds. This lets in sunshine, which is a free way to heat your home. The more the sun heats your home, the less hard your furnace has to work.
10. Use Ceiling Fans
Use your ceiling fans in the winter to push warm air down from the ceiling. Use the switch on a ceiling fan to operate it in a clockwise motion. You can reduce the temperature on your thermostat by up to 4 degrees by using ceiling fans.
Medcalf Heating & Cooling in Terre Haute, IN can help you keep your furnace operating as efficiently as possible. We tune-up, repair, and replace furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioners, and boilers. Other services we provide include improving ductwork, water heaters, and indoor air quality. Please call today to find out more.