So many of us were waiting patiently for the fall weather to arrive. But now, it feels as if we skipped fall and went right to winter! That means we went right from using the AC to turning on the heat. (And, just because we’re in Indiana, sometimes we used both in the same day!)
Since winter is inevitable, as is the use of your furnace, we put together some helpful tips to help you save on your heating costs during the upcoming winter season.
Surprisingly, dirt is the biggest enemy of your furnace. It can waste fuel and drastically lower efficiency. Dirt affects all three basic components of your furnace, so cleaning is the most important part of regular maintenance. A dirty air filter will cause your furnace’s fan and motor to work harder, increasing energy usage. It will also restrict air flow, eventually leading to component failure and expensive repairs. The furnace filter should be replaced or cleaned at the beginning of the heating season and about once a month during periods of continuous use. To check the filter, take it out and hold it up to the light. If it looks clogged, replace it with a new filter of the same type and size regardless of the length of time it has been used.
Periodically check to make sure all vents and registers are obstruction free. If any of the vents or registers are blocked, you will not get proper airflow.
Once a year, you should remove your furnace’s access panels and use your vacuum with a long attachment to remove dust and debris that may have settled inside of and immediately surrounding the furnace. (Be sure to check your warranty first so as not to do anything to void it!)
Prior to the heating season, do a heating system tune-up with a licensed HVAC company. This is a great investment in extending the life of your furnace!
Turn on your furnace and monitor your system’s thermostat to ensure that it’s working properly.
Use expanding foam (available at home improvement stores) to seal holes around your home’s exterior.
Inspect duct work for air leaks and seal with duct tape.
Inspect and repair caulking and/or weather-stripping around windows.
Do these things and you and your family should stay warm for less this heating season!