It’s winter and Iowans are no strangers to the idea of putting off furnace usage for as long as possible to avoid having to see that dreaded energy bill at the end of the month. Are you taking steps to make sure the furnace in your home is running as efficiently as possible? The better condition your furnace is in, the less it should cost to run. Additionally, taking good care of your furnace can help increase its lifetime, saving you money on repairs or a replacement. Here are some tips we have to help make sure you stay warm this winter, while keeping a little extra change in your pocket.
Clean or Replace Furnace Filters
The purpose of a furnace filter is to collect stray dust, hair, or other particles in the air that could potentially be harmful to the furnace. Eventually, these air filters become clogged, forcing your furnace to work twice as hard to draw air in. Depending on what type of filter your furnace uses, you may be able to clean it off, or you will need to replace it. Try to do this monthly. Not only does frequently checking on your furnace filter keep your furnace running efficiently, it also improves the quality of the air that is circulating your home.
Take Advantage of Your Programmable Thermostat
Most homes and apartments come with a programmable thermostat, but are you using it to its full potential? Keeping the temperature the same whether you’re at home or not can be wasteful, and there is no reason to be constantly heating an empty place. Programmable thermostats are designed to give you the ability to set a schedule for both weekdays and weekends to lower the heat while no one is there, and bring it back to a comfortable temperature when people are actually there to enjoy it. This also helps you avoid the hassle of feeling like you have to constantly change your thermostat by two degrees every time you leave your place.
Keep Your Air Vents Clean & Unblocked
In order to maximize its efficiency, a furnace needs to have the ability to easily circulate air around your residence. If vents are filled with dirt or dust, or blocked by furniture or curtains, it makes it difficult for the furnace to get the air it needs to function properly. Make sure your furniture is in a position that will not affect your vents, and be sure to sweep or vacuum near your air vents to prevent dust from accumulating and getting trapped in any vent covers.
Avoid Storing Items Near Your Furnace
A large factor in a furnace being fully efficient, is making sure it has enough space to circulate air frequently. Most furnaces can be found in the basement of a home, or closet of an apartment, which are both places people tend to like to store items they can’t find another place for. Make sure you provide at least a 3-foot perimeter around your furnace to allow it to have enough space to work like it needs to. This also helps prevent any fire hazards as some of the items you store may be flammable if set next to heat for extended periods of time.
Be Mindful of Curtains, Carpet, and Area Rugs
Curtains, carpets, and rugs can all play a part in fully maximizing the heat your furnace is putting out so you can avoid having to continually raise your temperature to stay warm. Area rugs do a good job of insulating rooms from drafts and make any hardwood floor warmer. At night, close your curtains to retain heat and prevent it from leaving through cold windows.
Consider Installing a Mini Split System
Not all rooms in your home need to stay heated all the time. Installing a mini split system is a great way to allow a person to control temperatures of specific rooms. This process requires little to no ductwork like a central air system would, and is easy to install. This not only helps take some of the weight off your furnace, but allows your home to stay more energy efficient all year long.
Schedule Routine Furnace Checks
Like an annual health check-up or a routine oil change, setting up a time throughout the year for a licensed technician to check out your furnace can save you lots of money and headaches down the road should a problem arise. Through these maintenance appointments, HVAC technicians are able to remove any particle buildup in the furnace, fix any faulty parts, and diagnose any current or potential problems. Maintaining your furnace’s efficiency helps extend the life of your system. It is important to stay proactive when it comes to service checks, because one small part can lead to a large issue that requires a lot of time and money.
Is Your Furnace Still Not Running Well?
A furnace’s lifespan can range anywhere from 15-20 years, and even if you take care of it as much as possible, parts within the furnace will eventually wear out and stop working. If you have noticed that your energy bills continue to rise, or that you find yourself constantly needing to replace parts in your furnace, it may be time to start looking at the idea of installing a new furnace. At Wyckoff Heating and Cooling, we ask our customers to follow our rule of 50 — if the repair you need costs over 50% of what a new system would cost, we advise you to purchase a new system. Furnaces that require frequent repair will force you to end up spending more money at the end of the day than buying a brand new furnace unit.
Contact Wyckoff for Furnace Repair & Installation
Should you need a new furnace, Wyckoff Heating & Cooling has experience installing a variety of furnaces in many different kinds of homes, and all of our employees are System Adjustment an Verified Efficiency (SAVE) certified. This ensures that the technician working on your system understands how to properly install your furnace to ensure it not only functions, but increases your home’s energy efficiency. If you’re interested learning more about what the process of getting a new furnace would look like for you, please contact us today!