When it comes to the weather we’re used to, our recent temperatures have been relatively cold! As such, our heaters are getting quite the workout. Hopefully, you had maintenance done this past fall, to ensure that your system works as efficiently and effectively as possible. This is the #1 way to maintain heating efficiency, actually, by scheduling tune-ups once a year if you have a furnace or boiler and twice a year if you have a heat pump system.
But maintenance isn’t the only way to improve efficiency, and subsequently save money! In fact, there are a number of things you can do to boost efficiency that don’t cost you any money at all. Read on to learn what they are.
Lower the Thermostat
No, we don’t want you to freeze yourself out. But the truth is, many homeowners turn there thermostat up much higher than it needs to be, especially when they aren’t home or when they’re sleeping. Most people are comfortable with the home being at 68°F during the winter when temperatures outside drop into the 50s or below. Yet, we often find that homeowners set their thermostats to 70 or even 72°F.
This will keep your furnace running longer than it really needs to in order to keep you warm, and as a result you’ll pay more for your energy month to month. Additionally, this increases wear and tear on your heater, threatening its lifespan.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
This may seem like a strange wintertime tip, but hear us out! You probably use your ceiling fans all the time in the summer. In fact, you probably use them in combination with your air conditioner to make it feel even cooler in your home, right? This makes sense!
Well, this same concept can be applied in the winter. By flipping a switch near the center of your ceiling fan, you can reverse the direction of the fan blades, and pull hot air down from the ceiling. This helps you feel warmer, and as a result you can turn the thermostat down a bit. And then your furnace won’t run as long, therefore operating more efficiently.
Open Your Blinds and Curtains
This is an especially good tip if you have south-facing windows. From about noon until the sun sets, you can count on the radiant warmth of the sun on clear days. True, this isn’t going to totally solve any heating issues you have, you’ll still have to use your furnace. But like the above tips, it can help you feel warmer and subsequently adjust your thermostat so your furnace doesn’t have to run as long.
It can also help rooms in your home reach your desired temperature faster, so the system cycles off.
Change the Air Filter
There’s a common misconception that the standard air filter that comes with a furnace or central air conditioner is in place to protect the home’s indoor air quality. It certainly doesn’t hurt your indoor air quality, but that is not the filter’s purpose. That filter is in place to protect the system itself from dust, dirt, and other debris.
When the filter gets too clogged, it blocks airflow, and as a result makes your furnace work harder than it should have to, therefore working inefficiently.