Heating and cooling makes up 40% of all energy consumed my homeowners. Ensuring your system is in tip top operating condition is essential to keep your heating costs down this winter.
Cleaning Your Air Filter
Check the furnace filter and change it if it’s dirty. This helps keep dust from collecting on the evaporator coil fins. Keeping your filter clean can cut energy consumption 5 to 15 percent. Turn off the power to the furnace before pulling the filter out so the blower doesn’t come on and blow dust throughout the system. Be sure to position the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Heat Pump Maintenance
Heat pumps are a great alternative to fossil fuel heat sources. Heat pumps offer incredibly efficient heat down to 30 degrees ambient temperature. To ensure your heat pump is operating to its highest efficiency it is important to ensure it has adequate air flow. Clear away leaves, grass, weeds, plants, and other debris that can block airflow through the outdoor condensing unit, which is the large metal box in your yard next to your home. Anything that collects on the unit’s fins will block airflow and reduce its efficiency. In autumn, piling leaves are common culprits.
Air Flow Restrictions
Make sure the air vents in each room are unobstructed by furniture or other items.
Install a programmable thermostat to reduce operation when no one is home. It is important to make sure you program these thermostats correctly otherwise cost savings will be minimized. For homeowners looking for simple solutions a couple of companies have come out with smart thermostats which do all the programming for you.