5 Habits that Hamper Furnace Efficiency

Furnace Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

For the next few months, the winter’s coldest weather will be upon us, and we will be trying to find ways to stay warm. According to the Department of Energy’s Energy Star program, 55% of the average utility bill pays for heating and cooling American homes; with energy prices on the rise, it is important to look for energy-saving steps to save you money.

It is not unusual for homeowners to develop habits, based on what seems to be “common sense,” that may cost money during the heating season. In this article, we will attempt to expose a few habits that you might have developed and reveal the science behind better measures to keep warm and comfortable.

Furnace Efficiency Habit 1: Using Inefficient Heating Sources

If your home was built with a central HVAC system, it is the most efficient way to heat your home. A fireplace can add ambiance to holiday settings, and it is an emergency source of heat should you lose power. An energy fireplace can be used in tandem with the HVAC system during extreme cold snaps. However, most fireplaces are not an energy-efficient way to heat your home comfortably for the entire winter.

The same is true with area space heaters: they might add a temporary measure of comfort, but they are not an efficient way to keep your home toasty and warm.

Furnace Efficiency Habit 2: Delaying Weatherproofing

Gaps around windows and doors allow the warm (expensive) air to leak outside. You will know this happens when you feel the cool draft coming in to replace the warm air that is escaping. Gather the supplies and spend a day weatherproofing your doors and windows. Each year that you procrastinate you lose energy through those gaps.

Furnace Efficiency Habit 3: Restricting Ventilation

It may seem sensible to restrict airflow to vacant spaces, but this is counterproductive for heating your home in an efficient manner. If you close vents in vacant rooms, it restricts the airflow being pushed out by the blower motor. The HVAC system will compensate by using more energy to turn the blower motor. Any savings that you might hope to gain by closing vents will be lost by the stress you place on the furnace.

Furnace Efficiency Habit 4: Frequently Adjusting the Temperature

Your furnace is, of course, heating the air in your home, but it is also heating the surfaces, furniture, and flooring. Because of this fact, an actual temperature change will take time—at least 30 minutes. It might feel good to “bump the thermostat,” but it is a terrible way to heat your home with energy efficiency. A better approach is to set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature and leave it alone—except when …

Furnace Efficiency Habit 5: Keeping the Temperature the Same All the Time

Your heating needs are not the same at all times. Invest in a programmable or smart thermostat and determine a heating schedule that works with your family. Lowering the temperature setting while everyone is sleeping or while the family is gone to work or school, are proven methods of saving money.

Want to Learn More About Furnace Efficiency?

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