Between holiday travel plans and needed home maintenance, winter can be an expensive time for many homeowners. By improving your heating energy-efficiency, you can keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket. In this article, we’ll review several ways you can help make your furnace or heat pump more energy-efficient.
Schedule seasonal maintenance
A professional heating tune-up can be a game-changer for your heat pump or furnace. While fall or early winter is typically the best time to have an expert inspect and maintain your system, there’s really no wrong time for preventative maintenance. As the “preventative” in “preventative maintenance” implies, a tune-up can greatly help reduce the risk of an in-season breakdown for your system. This can potentially save you hundreds on heating repair during the winter.
From an energy-efficiency standpoint, you can also position yourself to save money. Maintenance helps your system operate more efficiently. During a tune-up, our technicians clean out the system, optimize comfort settings, and ensure that the heater is running at its most efficient entering the colder months of the year. Added up, this can amount to significant savings for you and your home.
Clean or replace your air filter
Your home’s air filter is more important than you might initially be led to believe. In addition to playing a key role in your home’s indoor air quality, the air filter also helps its HVAC systems “breathe” in-and-out. Your furnace or heat pump draws in air from inside the home through the air filter, and then pushes air back out through it to the living spaces of your home.
As you might imagine, the more clogged and dirty an air filter is, the harder this process is to execute. Given enough time (and enough dust!), the air filter might have a significant, negative impact on your home’s energy efficiency. Essentially, the furnace or heat pump blower is having to work much harder to push air out than it would otherwise.
This is an easy fix. If you use replaceable filters, swap them out every 1-3 months, with more frequent swaps becoming necessary if you have either pets or children. If you have a washable filter, you should take it down and give it a thorough wash about every three months.
Complete home energy upgrades
A great long-term strategy for improving your home’s energy-efficiency is completing home energy upgrades. These upgrades can greatly range in scope and complexity. However, here are three of the most-effective ones homeowners can make:
- Installing a smart thermostat: A programmable thermostat allows you to have precise control over your home’s comfort. More than that, you can set and schedule temperature changes around when you’re gone. In total, a smart thermostat can greatly reduce your home’s energy use.
- Adding attic insulation: Most heat is lost through the attic during the winter. After all, heat rises! The best way to keep more of that hard-earned heat inside the living spaces of your home is by beefing up your attic insulation. Refer to this guide to determine just how much additional insulation your attic needs this winter.
- Repairing your air ducts: A good deal of the cooled and heated air in your home never actually reaches you. That’s because cracks and pinholes in your ducts lead to a significant amount of wasted energy. That’s why having a professional seal and repair your ducts can set you up for big savings.
Talk to a professional
Of course, what we’ve discussed in this article is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to energy smart upgrades for your home. Our recommendation is that you give our team a call. During your seasonal tune-up, our NATE-certified technicians can point you toward other energy-efficiency upgrades that may make a big difference on your monthly utility bills moving forward.