4 Tips to Improve Your Furnace's Energy Efficiency

Construction & Contractors Articles

You're looking for ways to cut your energy bill, and you think you've done everything you can. However, if you've neglected your furnace, there's still a lot you can do to help improve energy efficiency and lower your monthly bills. Check out these four ways you can reduce your heating costs by fixing your furnace.

Get Necessary Repairs and Maintenance

If something isn't working properly, it's going to use more energy than it needs, so if you think there might be something wrong with your furnace, get it checked. Even if you don't think anything's wrong, it's a good idea to have your furnace serviced annually each Fall. Without proper maintenance and care, wear and tear wreaks havoc on your furnace, and even little problems can prevent it from working at full capacity.

During a maintenance check-up, the technician will do several things to ensure the system is working efficiency and makes any necessary repairs. The technician checks the different electrical connections to ensure it is safe to operate. If you have a gas furnace, the gas connection and gas pressure are also checked for safety. The technician will also examine the heat exchanger for any cracks. The controls and thermostat are checked, and any moving parts are lubricated.

Fix Your Ducts

Forced air heating systems are one of the most effective ways to heat your home because they work fast. However, they are also one of the most inefficient ways to heat your home because of the ducts. As the air travels through the ducts to reach the living space, 20 to 30 percent of the air can escape, causing you to waste more energy to get the temperature you want. You can use mastic sealant or metal tape yourself to fix the gaps and holes or hire a professional.

Another problem with heating ducts is they give the air time to cool before it reaches you. Most likely, you don't heat your attic, basement or crawlspace, so they can get pretty cold during the winter. As the air passes through these cold ducts, it cools slightly. When it reaches you, it may only be a few degrees colder than what you want, but that may be enough to force you to use more energy.

Replace the Filter

This may be an obvious one, but it's also one that is easily ignored. You need to replace your air filter. Air filters get dirty fast because they trap dust, dirt and other particles you don't want in your home. A filthy filter not only fails to keep the air in your home as clean as you want it, but it actually decreases your furnace's efficiency.

In most cases, you should replace your filter once every one or two months if you have fiberglass or paper filters. If you have a HEPA filter, replace it once every two or four months. This is particularly important if you have pets, notice a lot of dust, use your heating system a lot or notice that your filter is dirty.

Replace Your Old Furnace

If you've done everything you can to improve your current furnace's energy efficiency, but your energy bills are still high, it may be time to get a new furnace. Most furnaces last between 15 and 20 years, so if yours is nearing the end of its life, and you've tried everything, but it still isn't meeting your heating needs, ditch it.

Get rid of your old, inefficient furnace, and purchase an ENERGY STAR labeled one. ENERGY STAR appliances have to meet strict guidelines, so you know they are energy-efficient and can save you money on your energy bills.

Stop paying outrageous heating bills. There are many things you can do to improve your furnace's energy-efficiency. If you are in need of furnace repairs, maintenance or a new furnace, contact a technician in your area today. 

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6 August 2015

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