Winter is officially upon us, and while we may not experience as bitterly cold of temperatures compared to our friends or family in the midwest and northeast, we still need our furnaces on a pretty regular basis.
Of course, running our heaters all season long doesn’t always seem like the most affordable choice, even though we know we deserve comfort, right?
Well, what if we told you there was a way to increase your comfort, decrease your utility bills, and never sacrifice your heater use? There are a few ways, actually! Read on to learn how you can boost furnace efficiency to stay comfy all winter long while reducing your energy bills.
Use Your Curtains and Blinds
The sun is a constant source of ambient warmth and energy, so why not use it to its full advantage? Be sure to open the curtains and blinds to south-facing windows during the day, and you’ll be able to enjoy the free heat from the sun. This means that your furnace or heating system may not run as often, since the temperature will stay warm naturally.
Do be sure, of course, to close the curtains and blinds back up at night time to keep the heat in your home.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
It may seem odd that we are recommending anything that has to do with your ceiling fans, but bear with us. Turning your ceiling fans on in reverse during the winter can actually make your living space feel warmer. This is because the fans help pull down heat from the ceiling.
Check and Change the Air Filter
When the air filters in your furnace system or heat pump get too clogged up, it restricts airflow in and out of the system. This makes it harder for your heater to circulate warm air throughout your home. Swapping out your air filter every 1–3 months during the heating season (and during the cooling season, in the case of your air conditioner) will keep your HVAC systems working as efficiently as possible.
Program Your Thermostat
Do you have a programmable thermostat? If so, make sure you use it to the best of its ability! If not, now is the time to install one.
Setting the right temperature is really important, and just by lowering the temperature a few degrees at night when everyone is asleep, or when nobody is home, you can actually save hundreds of dollars on annual heating costs.
Programmable thermostats enable homeowners to create heating programs based on their personal schedules. This means you’ll never need to worry about forgetting to adjust the temperature.
Schedule Annual Maintenance
The best way to maintain the efficiency of your heating system is to schedule annual tune-ups, completed by a trained and experienced professional. During maintenance tune-ups, your professional HVAC technician will comprehensively inspect the system to detect and correct minor problems before they become bigger emergencies, which helps the system retain up to 95% of its efficiency rating overall.