In our last blog post, we talked about the differences in AFUE rating (energy rating) between gas and electric furnaces. If you read it, then you know the one that will be more efficient for your home depends on a number of factors. But whether you have a gas or electric furnace, there are some steps you can take to boost the efficiency even more, and subsequently save money.
The first step we’re going to share with you is this: schedule maintenance! Yes, this is a service we typically recommend in the fall, before you need your system the most. But the fact of the matter is that consistent maintenance is key to helping your heater work as efficiently and effectively as possible.
So let’s say you’ve got the maintenance part down, what else can you do to use your heater more efficiently before warm springtime temperatures arrive?
Lower the Temperature on Your Thermostat
Alright, we get it. This seems like crazy advice, right? Why would you want to make it colder than it should be in your home?
Well, we’re not saying you should make it colder than it should be. But think about it, do you really need it to be that warm in your home? Many homeowners set their thermostats around 72°F in the wintertime, when most people are comfortable at 68ۣ°F. That seemingly subtle difference will make a world of difference.
Lowering the temperature like this means your heater doesn’t have to run as long, and as a result it will lose less energy, ultimately working more efficiently.
Use Your Ceiling Fans!
Here’s another tip that may seem strange, at least for this time of the year, but hear us out!
In the summertime, you use your ceiling fans to keep cool, right? When you’re already using your air conditioner, you can combine it with the power of fans to feel even cooler. You can maybe even turn your air conditioner’s thermostat up a bit, giving it a break from running so long.
Well, this same concept can be applied in the winter. By flipping a switch near the center of your fan, you can reverse the direction of the fan blades in your ceiling fan. This helps pull heated air down from the ceiling. This helps you feel warmer, and just like with an air conditioner, you can adjust the thermostat accordingly so the system doesn’t have to run as long.
Change Your Air Filter
There’s a common misconception among homeowners that the standard air filter with their HVAC systems is in place to protect their indoor air quality. Not having one could impede indoor air quality, but that’s not their main purpose. These air filters are in place to protect the HVAC systems themselves from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get inside and harm the components.
When the air filter gets too clogged up with debris, it restricts airflow into the system, which restricts airflow out of the system, and can also lead to your heater overheating. So not only does changing the air filter make your furnace or heat pump more efficient, but it also protects the system from damage, too!