There's nothing quite as comfortable as a toasty home during those nippy winters. However, the more heat you use to get that perfect temperature, the more energy and money you waste. To get the most out of your furnace, you need it to be as efficient as possible. So check out these five ways you can increase heating efficiency in your home.
Get Your Furnace Serviced
Whether your furnace is brand new or nearing the end of its life, some maintenance can go a long way in increasing efficiency. It's recommended that you get your furnace serviced about once a year. In fact, 75 percent of calls for broken furnaces during the winter are related to lack of maintenance, so if your furnace suddenly stops working, it's probably because you failed to have it maintained. An inspection costs about $60 to $85, and during the inspection, technicians clean it, check the controls, tune the system and make necessary repairs. All of these increase energy efficiency.
Have Your Ducts Sealed and Insulated
Ducts are how the heated air travels to the living spaces of your home. Unfortunately, many ducts are extremely energy inefficient. Often, the heat you enter into the thermostat is altered as it travels through the ducts. You may have set the temperature to 70 degrees, but it may actually end up closer to 65. The reason is that a lot of air escapes through gaps in the ducts, or the air simply cools as it passes through cold spaces. To correct this problem, you need to have the ducts sealed. You can do it yourself, but hiring a professional is better for those hard-to-reach ducts. Also, add insulation around ducts in non-heated areas of your home.
Upgrade to Newer Models
The average lifespan for a furnace is 15 to 20 years. If your furnace is getting close to 15 years, it might be time to start thinking about replacing it with a new Energy Star model. Energy Star appliances meet strict guidelines to be the most energy efficient possible. If you live in a warmer climate, a new gas furnace could be 12 percent more efficient, and if you live in a cooler climate, a gas furnace may be 16 percent more efficient. Electric furnaces are less efficient than gas ones, so your savings may be reduced if you have an electric system.
Consider Installing a Heat Pump
If you live in a region with mild weather, a heat pump could be a good alternative. Heat pumps move air, so during the winter, they'll pump warm air from outside into your home. At the same time, they'll take the cold air from inside your home and push it outside. They don't, however, create cold or hot air, so they aren't as effective. You may still need a backup furnace, but as long as the winters are mild, the heat pump should be enough. Heat pumps are extremely energy efficient. They can actually reduce your heating costs by 30 to 40 percent. Another advantage is that heat pumps can work in reverse to cool your home during the summer.
Create an Airtight Seal
If all else fails, you may need to consider that the problem is coming from outside your furnace. Even if you have a new Energy Star furnace with sealed and insulated ducts, you can still waste energy if your home has gaps and holes through which the air can escape. Check around windows and doors and where appliances/utilities pass through exterior walls or the roof (kitchen plumbing, vents, cords, etc.). These are notorious for allowing bits of heat to escape. Caulk can work for smaller cracks, but spray foam insulation in a can works better for larger holes because it expands to fill every crevice.
Stop wasting money when you're heating your home. There are so many little problems that can drastically increase your heating bills. For more information about furnace repair, maintenance or replacement, contact a specialist from a company like Anytime Plumbing Services.
The best way to handle major home renovations is to take them one step at a time. Instead of trying to change your whole home at once, start small. I started with the guest bathroom, then the guest bedroom, then moved on to my kids’ rooms, my bedroom, and the living room. Now I’m working on remodeling the kitchen. I started this blog to help other people who are attempting major home renovations. I’ll show you how to change your whole home by breaking it up into manageable chunks. Wondering which kitchen counters are right for you, or how to add more space to your bedroom? We’ll go over the pros and cons of different materials and discuss DIY renovation projects. Before you know it, you’ll have created your dream home.