New Year’s resolutions are about creating new habits that will help you have the best year possible. Part of having that kind of year is not just improvements for yourself, but improvements around your home. Here is a checklist of resolutions to consider that will help your heater work more efficiently to keep you and your family comfortable while reducing your expenses.
Use Thermostat Programs
If you have a system that is currently running efficiently, using your thermostat’s programs can give you an extra boost. In fact, they may help you save up to 10% of your annual heating costs.
While it’s not advised to turn your heater off completely when you’re not home, you can reduce the temperature. If you lower it by 7 to 10 degrees for at least eight hours each day, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your bill. Doing this will require your home to heat back up, but that uses less energy than keeping it at a higher temperature all day long.
You may consider dropping the temperature while your family is at work or school. Another popular option is lowering the temperature a little while everyone is in bed, asleep. Using the program, you can set it to automatically warm-up before everyone is home or out of bed. If you have a remote access model, you can easily adjust this schedule if it flexes or there’s a temporary change.
Zone Your Home
You likely have areas of your home that you’re not using all day, every day. However, with a standard single-thermostat setup, you are paying to heat your entire home all the time. Zones allow you to use a single heater while setting different temperatures for different parts of your house.
A zoned system controls two things: the furnace and dampers in your ductwork. When a part of your house doesn’t need heating, it closes the dampers to direct more airflow to the parts you want to heat.
Improve Your Home’s Airflow
Your heating system relies on airflow to heat your home evenly and efficiently. However, you likely have some airflow restrictions around your home that you’re not even aware of, cutting into your system’s efficiency.
Start by checking all of your vents to ensure they are open. While you’re there, check to make sure each has the proper clearance. For output vents, you want to give it at least 2-inches all the way around the vent, including above it.
Also, consider using your ceiling fan throughout the winter. On the side of the fan is a switch to reverse the direction it spins. You want it spinning counterclockwise on low while you’re running your heater. This gently pulls cooler air up, forcing the warmer air from near the ceiling back down where you’ll enjoy it.
Check On Your Furnace Filter More Regularly
To circulate enough air through your system, your furnace filter must be clean enough to pass air through it. Unfortunately, this is often neglected, causing preventable strain as your system works to heat your home.
For the smaller 1- and 2- inch filters, it is recommended to change them about every three months. If you check your filter monthly, you’ll catch when it gets dirty enough to change sooner. To help improve the efficiency of your filter, gently vacuum the intake side while you have it out.
Get Current on Routine Maintenance
Your system naturally loses some of its efficiency as it ages. Some of this is due to components wearing out, but other causes include issues that are preventable with annual maintenance. If you haven’t had your furnace maintained since you turned it on for the season, call to schedule your appointment.
During a maintenance visit, a technician will clean your circulating fan and heat exchanger to help maximize the circulating air volume. They’ll check and tighten electrical connections to ensure everything is getting the right signal. Your technician will tighten your circulating fan’s mounting hardware to prevent damage from excessive vibration and movement. Finally, they’ll test your system to ensure all components initialize at the right time. If they find something working suboptimally, you can schedule the repair before it affects other components in your system.
Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. has served people around Normal with reliable heating and cooling services since 1983. Our team of award-winning technicians provides heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair combined with indoor air quality solutions. Call to schedule your furnace maintenance or repair appointment with one of our expert technicians today.