Tip #1: Change the filter in your furnace regularly.
A clogged filter causes your furnace to work harder than normal due to a decrease in air flow. This leads to the parts wearing out more quickly than normal. In the long run, it will decrease the life of your furnace. According to the EPA, the air in our homes can be up to 5 times more toxic than the air outdoors.
Tip #2: Make sure your ducts are sealed.
If your duct work contains leaks, you could be losing up to 40% of the warm air your furnace is producing. This causes your furnace to have to run longer to try and maintain the temperature you’ve asked it to keep. The longer your furnace runs, the quicker your parts will wear out.
Tip #3: Update your thermostat.
Newer thermostats are programmable. The old dial-style or even an older digital thermostat requires action on your part to change the desired temperature. The new programmable thermostats allow you to program the temperature to change at different points throughout the day. With this feature, you can now set the temperature to the most efficient setting while you’re away and have it start cooling down or heating up your home approximately 1 hour before you return. Most people are away from their homes around 10 hour per day. Can you imagine how much money you would save on your gas or electric bill if your furnace or air conditioner wasn’t running constantly during that 10 hour period? The savings are tremendous!
Tip #3: Schedule Maintenance on your systems.
Every spring and every fall, your air conditioner and furnace should be tuned up by a professional. During these visits, the professional will inspect the units thoroughly to ensure they are safe and running efficiently as possible. Something as simple as a loose wire could lead to your motor wearing out. By having a preventative maintenance service performed, you can save yourself time, money and frustration. Many companies such as Accutemp Heating & Cooling offer yearly agreements for these visits and will actually remind when it’s time to schedule.
Tip #4: Run your ceiling fans year round.
During the winter months, you should have your ceiling fan blowing towards the ceiling. This updraft forces the warm air to travel across the ceiling and down the walls to the floor. At this point, the room will feels warmer, your furnace isn’t working as hard and you’re saving money on your gas or electric bill. By doing this, homeowners can save up to 15% on their heating bills.
During the summer months, your ceiling fan should be blowing at the floor. This creates a wind chill effect which makes you feel cooler without actually changing the set temperature on your thermostat.
In order to change the direction in which your fan is blowing, simply locate the small toggle switch just below your fan blades. Moving that either up or down causes the fan to go clockwise or counterclockwise.
Tip #5: Get a duct cleaning every 3-5 years.
Contaminants in your duct work account for 25-40% of the energy used when heating or cooling your home. This leads to a shorter furnace life expectancy. Even when changing your filters regularly, the duct work gets dirty over time with normal use.
Annually, we produce approximately 40 lbs of dust through everyday living. These contaminants end up being pulled into our HVAC systems and circulate through our homes 5-7 times per day. Once this pattern continues, our duct work ends up with a build-up of dander, dust and chemicals. These contaminants can lead to respiratory health issues, autoimmune disorders and environmental allergies.
Clean duct work means your system has to work less to maintain the desired temperature and your family will breathe a little easier. The less your system has to work, the less energy you use which causes your gas or electric bill to be lower.