There are countless benefits to improving your furnace’s energy efficiency. You can lower your energy bills and extend the life of your furnace, all while helping the environment. All it takes is a few simple steps to make your furnace more energy efficient. Check out these tips from Quality Comfort HVAC.
Adjust Your Thermostat Settings
One of the easiest ways to improve the energy efficiency of your furnace is to change your thermostat settings. Dropping the heat by just one or two degrees can significantly decrease your energy bills. This is the same effect as maintaining higher temperatures in the summer. Your unit doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain your indoor climate. Less strain means less energy usage.
What are the ideal thermostat settings for winter? That will vary from one family to the next. We recommend starting with a temperature you feel comfortable with – 70°F, for example. Lower the temperature by one degree for a week’s time. If your family is comfortable with that temperature, you can lower it by another degree for one week. This gives your family time to adjust to the change and see what feels best for you.
Should the temperature stay the same throughout the day? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can reduce your energy bills by 10% by turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day. Turn the temperature down while you are at work or while you’re sleeping at night to improve energy efficiency. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to automatically change the temperature during different times of day. If you have a smart thermostat that pairs to an app, you can use your phone to change the temperature settings throughout the day.
Is there a minimum thermostat setting for winter? You can set your interior temperature as low as you are comfortable with. Just keep in mind that the pipes in your home also need heat to prevent freezing/bursting. If you have a rental home without a tenant, you should still keep the heat on during the winter. You could set it to 50°F and keep cabinet doors open around your faucets. The temperature required to keep your pipes warm will vary by climate, insulation, housing structure, etc.
Replace Your Air Filter and Clean Your Vents
If your air filter is clogged and dirty, your heating system has to work harder. Replace your air filter once every few months, depending on how quickly it gets clogged. Also clean the air vents around your home to maintain a clear path for air to travel. This will preserve energy efficiency.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fan Direction
When you transition from cooling your home to heating your home, it’s time to change your ceiling fan direction. In the summer, your fans push cool air from your vents downward. This circulates cool air through the room. In the winter, you want the fans to circulate the warm air around your ceiling (hot air rises). Check out our guide to learn how to reverse ceiling fan directions between seasons.
Get a Furnace Inspection and Tune-up
An annual furnace inspection will ensure your unit is working efficiently. This is important for older furnaces and new installations. The inspector can tune your furnace and make sure it is in tip-top shape. If the furnace needs any repairs, you can get those taken care of right away. Catching furnace issues at the first sign cuts down on future repair costs, and it prevents your furnace from working harder than it has to.
Quality Comfort HVAC offers furnace inspections and annual maintenance plans. If you would like to learn more about our pricing and availability, contact us at (586) 778-8600.