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Heating is a powerful tool to keep you and your family comfortable throughout the harshest of winter months. But, it can be expensive to keep the thermostat cranked to the maximum level for three or four months at a time. So, to help you get the most out your heating system without killing your budget, here are some heating tips.
Make sure your thermostats are accurate. Not only should they be maintained regularly with proper calibration, they should be kept away from external heat sources that might give false readings. Being near a fish tank or an oven or other heat or cold emitting appliances can cause these false readings and cause your heater to work improperly.
Additionally, you should consider installing new thermostats that provide better control. Multiple climate zone control helps you set the heat in individual rooms while digital thermostats allow you to set timers that keep the furnace from turning on when no one is at home.
If you plan on leaving the house, make sure to turn down your thermostat as well. If it is not freezing outside, turn off your heating system completely. If it is below freezing, keep it on just warm enough to ensure nothing freezes.
Regular Heating Maintenance
We recommend regular maintenance on an annual basis. However, you can also maintain certain aspects of your heating system throughout the year with some simple tasks.
On a monthly basis you should vacuum any vents or grills you can easily access to reduce debris buildup.
If you need maintenance done on your thermostat, burners, pilot assembly, pressure regulator, heat exchanger, flue pipe, diverter, supply line, or any moving parts, call for professional assistance. It’s not recommended that you perform your own maintenance on these parts due to the danger of injury.
Reduce Heat Loss
Heat loss is a major factor in the overall efficiency of your heating system. If you allow too much heat to escape from your home through unsealed windows, open doors or poorly insulated attic space, your heater is forced to work overtime to replace the lost heat. You can avoid this problem by having insulation installed throughout your home and any cracks sealed. There are a number of incentives to make these energy efficient changes, not to mention the reduction in energy cost on your next bill.
Most people don’t realize that humidity can have such a substantial effect on the heating capacity of their furnace. However, if it is too dry in your home, heat dissipates far more quickly, rising out of the room and leaving you with only cold, dry air. Humidifiers are generally inexpensive and easy to install. Not only will proper humidity control help you maintain steady heating in your home, it will keep your skin and furniture from drying out during the coldest months of the winter.
Heating Problem Warning Signs
Just because your heater turns on does not mean it is working at optimal efficiency. Check your heater on a regular basis to make sure there are no accumulating problems with any of the components. Listen for unfamiliar sounds, check for uneven heating in rooms, and watch for a spike in energy costs on your next bill. Any of these factors may signal a problem with your heating system’s efficiency.
Changing your filters
As part of your heating and cooling system maintenance program, you need to change your filters regularly. Failure to do so can cost the homeowner a great deal of money, as the system will not operate efficiently. A dirty filter will provide increased resistance to the airflow of your heating or air conditioning system, which translates directly to increased fuel consumption costs and extra carbon dioxide emissions. Pay careful attention to manufacturer recommendations on filter changes and schedule them accordingly.