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January 30, 2012
If the thought of running your furnace even another day makes your wallet ache and your stomach turn, maybe it’s time you look at ways to help your furnace heat your home without spending extra money. More often than not when a homeowner complains of high heating bills, it’s not the furnace that is to blame, rather, all of the other elements that make up your heating system. So what are we talking about? Paying attention to your overall heating system can help your furnace perform more efficiently and save you more money. Here’s how:
A dirty air filter is your furnace’s worst enemy. Air filters protect the unit from damage against particulates and dust and allow clean air to flow through the system. The dirtier the filter, the harder your furnace has to work to do its job. Your filter should be inspected and changed every month.
Running exhaust fans in bathrooms, laundry and utility rooms are a great way to expel odors or moisture in the air. The problem, however, is letting the fan run too long. In a matter of an hour, some exhaust fans can suck out a whole house full of air – air that you are spending money to heat. When this happens, your furnace has to work harder to keep your home up to temperature. Running exhaust fans is always a good idea, but don’t run it more than 20 minutes.
If you don’t already use a programmable thermostat and you’re usually away from home for extended periods of time several times a week, get one! Programmable thermostats allow you to enjoy different temperature settings based on your comfort needs throughout the day. A thermostat that automatically sets back the temperature during the day when you’re not at home means your furnace runs less, which can translate into energy savings of up to 33%.
The ductwork, the primary catalyst for air distribution throughout your home, is often the culprit when it comes to wasted energy – especially in older homes. When ductwork is poorly insulated or sealed, the air your furnace works so hard to heat is lost. An airflow and whole house analysis is a good way to identify weaknesses in your ductwork. Once the weaknesses are identified they can be sealed and/or insulated to reduce heat loss or the duct system can modified to help your furnace work more efficiently since almost all duct system are short on return air or improperly sized and designed or installed.
There are many factors that contribute to the overall performance and efficiency of your furnace. While evaluating each of these areas is always a good idea, its important to remember above all, your furnace needs attention, too. Annual maintenance is key to efficiency.
Are you looking for more ways to save on heating and cooling costs? Does your system need service? Contact Pippin Brothers online today!