Have your furnace system tuned-up for the season.
Furnaces that are left without preventative maintenance have a huge risk of causing safety issues around the home. One of the most common is the production of poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) gas, an odorless, colorless gas that can cause nausea, dizziness, and even death. Having your heating system professionally inspected and repaired can reduce the risk of harmful CO buildups, keeping your home safer throughout the heating season. Also, a heating system tune-up can prevent your furnace from costing you a small fortune to use. Because your heating system has been dormant for so long, it needs a little maintenance to get it ready to run properly again. Without this maintenance, it can be sluggish and inefficient, which means higher energy costs every month.
Set the thermostat correctly.
The most economical operation of your system comes from setting the thermostat properly. Set the thermostat at the lowest winter setting at which you are comfortable. Typical settings are 68 degrees for winter heating. When heating, your operating costs increase similarly for each degree your thermostat is raised.
Keep the air filter clean.
The easiest way to ensure your system operates efficiently and economically is by keeping the air filter clean. There are several types of air filters and several possible locations for the air filter. Ask your service technician next time he’s out at your home to show you where your air filter is located and which type of filter to use. If you have allergies, you should look at a pleated allergy filter or a media or electronic style air cleaner.
Keep doors and windows closed.
Close all doors and windows to the outside. This will reduce the heating load in winter and your system will operate more economically as a result.
Keep vents and grilles unobstructed.
Arrange your furniture and drapes so that all output vents and intake grilles are free from obstruction. This will reduce the heating load on your system for more economical operation.
Avoid excess use of exhaust fans.
Excessive use of kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans will make your system work harder. This will increase energy consumption and costs. Keep costs in check by making wise use of exhaust fans.
Control direct sunlight.
Let the sun in during the winter. In winter, direct sunlight reduces the load on your heating system. Open window shades and awnings to increase direct sunlight and lower the heating load.
Keep heat away from the thermostat.
Make sure no heat-generating appliances are near your thermostat. These include lamps, TV’s, stereos and computer equipment.
Use ceiling fans in reverse.
You can save energy in the winter by reversing the direction of your ceiling fans to a counterclockwise direction. This pushes the any warm air that rises back down into the living spaces.
Warm air leaking out of your home during the winter can waste a substantial portion of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal and weather-strip all seams, cracks and openings to the outside. You can save 10% or more on your energy bill by reducing the air leaks in your home.