If there’s anything we know about Chicagoland residents, it’s that you need an effective heater to get you through winter comfortably and even healthfully. If there’s something else we know, it’s that you want this without having to pay an arm and a leg for that comfort.
Even if you’re staying comfortable this winter, if you find yourself paying more than you should in order to warm your home, then you aren’t getting the most from your furnace or heat pump system. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take. Some of these steps don’t take anything but a bit of your time. Curious? Read on!
Did You Have Your Heater Maintained in Fall?
You might be wondering why we’re talking about a service you have to pay for, when we just said some of these steps won’t take anything but your time—but hear us out!
We cannot talk about how to boost the efficiency of your heater without mentioning step #1: a maintenance tune-up. Ultimately, maintenance will save you more money than the service itself costs, by actually preventing inefficient operation, and repair needs!
We advise you to schedule furnace maintenance each fall (and heat pump maintenance each fall and spring), before you need the system to do most of its work. However, it’s more important that you be consistent with maintenance than it is you have it done the right time of year. This means that if you skipped maintenance this past fall, it’s not too late to schedule it now.
During your tune-ups, our technicians comprehensively inspect and clean your heating system’s interior components, making adjustments as needed and checking for areas that may need minor repairs. Taking care of minor things now prevents them from becoming major emergencies later. Therefore, you can avoid pricey repair bills and help your heating system operate as efficiently as it should.
How Often Do You Replace Your Air Filter?
If you have a heat pump, or even if your furnace and central air conditioner share ductwork, then your air filter is often shared by two systems. And the thing about that air filter is that it’s not in place to protect your indoor air quality, but instead there to protect your heating and cooling systems from being infiltrated with dirt, dust, and other debris that can cause it to struggle.
When this air filter becomes too clogged up, airflow is restricted and your heater can run longer than actually necessary to try to meet your desired temperature. This is inefficient!
Depending on the kind of air filter you have, and the level of contaminants in your home, we recommend replacing the air filter every 1-3 months during periods of use. The air filter is typically located at the air return register, and has arrows on it indicating how to remove and replace it. If you have any trouble replacing this filter, please give our team a call.
Do You Open Your Curtains and Blinds in the Winter?
You may be missing out, if not! Step #3 is to open the curtains and blinds of your south-facing windows. These windows get the highest amount of sunlight—using the free resource of the sun and helping to regulate temperatures in your home earlier in the day. Therefore, your heater may be able to stop running earlier, boosting efficiency.
With this in mind, it’s important to remind you that your thermostat should be properly installed. If the thermostat itself is exposed to too much sunlight, it can signal your furnace to shut off too soon. Instead, your thermostat should be installed in a temperature-neutral area of your home for optimal efficiency.