Operating your furnace during a harsh winter consumes a lot of energy. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average home spends $2442.00 for heating oil annually. Because nearly 40% of your home's energy costs is spent for heating, making your furnace run at peak efficiency is a great money saving opportunity. The following tips will help you do just that.
Turn Down Your Thermostat
One of the easiest ways to make your furnace more efficient is to simply not make it work so hard all the time. In general, you will save 1% on your heating costs for every degree that you turn down your thermostat. If you lower your thermostat by 10 degrees when you are sleeping and at work, it will save you 5%-15% percent on your winter heating bill.
Keep You Vents Clear
One of the most common ways that a furnace has its efficiency lowered is when the vents in the house are blocked. You should not place any furniture or other items over a heating vent. The air needs to be able to flow unobstructed to obtain the maximum efficiency of your furnace. In addition, you should have the ducts of your furnace's heating system checked periodically. A leaky portion of the duct system could contribute to a 25-40% loss of heating energy put out by the furnace.
Get a Yearly Tune-Up
Just as you take your car in to be serviced regularly to keep it operating at peak efficiency, your furnace should be looked at annually by an expert to help it maintain its efficiency. A qualified HVAC technician will be able to give your furnace a thorough inspection to make sure that all of its components are operating without any problems. These inspections should be performed at the beginning of winter to make sure that your furnace is as efficient as possible for the duration of the season.
Check the Furnace Filter
Another important way to ensure that your furnace is operating efficiently is to check your furnace filter every month. Take the filter out of the furnace and hold it up to the light. If you can see light shining through the filter, then it is still clean enough to leave it in the furnace. However, because a filter only costs a dollar, it probably makes more sense to simply change the filter every month. This will make sure that your furnace is operating with no obstructions in the filter, which makes the furnace operate more efficiently and provide cleaner air in your home for your family.