You should have your system checked in the fall, and again in the spring to make sure everything is operating as it should at optimum efficiency. It’s much better to be on the proactive side of a minor repair than to have an emergency heating situation in the dead of winter.
Take a good look at the structure of your home and make sure that there aren’t any issues which could cause your furnace to work harder. Missing shingles, cracks in chimneys, and windows that need to be caulked are just some to the things that will let cold air get into your home.
The air filters on your furnace trap a lot of pollutants, keeping them out of your furnace and the air that you breathe. Maintaining a regular schedule of changing them out every three months is a good idea. You might want to do it a little more often in the colder months when the furnace is running constantly.
You’ll also keep your HVAC running more efficiently this winter by cleaning your vents. Maybe set up a routine where you clean the vents on the same day that you change the filter to allow for the best airflow.
If there are air gaps letting cold air get into your home, your furnace will have to work harder to maintain the heat, making it less efficient. If your home feels drafty, the attic and basement are good places to look first. Adding?insulation?will help your furnace use less energy this winter.
Use your windows.
Heavy drapes or blinds over windows will help keep your home warmer in the winter, especially in older homes with wood windows. But, if those windows face the sunshine during the day, they can also take advantage of the warming rays of the sun.
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, it’s definitely worth looking into. It’s one of the easiest ways to keep your HVAC running efficiently, and will significantly reduce your utility bills. You will usually program temperature settings for four different day-parts.
- Morning: Program the thermostat for whatever temperature you are most comfortable with. You’d want the start time to kick on a few minutes before you get out of bed and last until you leave for work.
- Afternoon: If the house is empty in the afternoon, you could program the temperature to be a few degrees cooler.
- Evening: About the time everyone starts getting home, the thermostat could be programmed back to the comfortable temperature.
- Overnight: When you are sleeping, you can lower the temperature again.
Add a dehumidifier.
If there is excess moisture in your home in the winter, it will make your HVAC work harder to maintain the comfort level that you desire. It can also create a breeding ground for mold and mildew as well as cause health issues. In the past, you would have portable dehumidifiers in rooms to help with the humidity. Now, you can have one installed as a part of your HVAC system.
Consider an upgrade.
Today’s furnaces will usually operate efficiently for about 15 to 20 years. After that, the repairs and maintenance will start to add up. Older furnaces were made to last much longer, but they aren’t very efficient. Replacing your old furnace with a new energy efficient furnace will save you money in the long run with fewer repairs and lower utility bills.
Keeping your HVAC system energy efficiency is not only good for your pocket, but it’s also helping out the environment of the world in which we live. Conserving our natural resources will make it possible for future generations to thrive.