The largest energy expense in the average American household comes from their heating system. If you notice your energy bill increasing during the cold seasons, you have experienced this firsthand. Maintaining your furnace can maximize its heating efficiency, thus warming your home and giving your wallet some relief. Here are 4 ways that you can maintain your furnace.
1. Change Furnace Filter
As your heating system runs, air filters pick up dust and debris. Over time, this accumulation can block airflow and decrease the effectiveness of your furnace, forcing it to run for longer and harder to achieve the same results. Changing your air filters regularly limits this energy consumption, saves you money, and gets you warmer quicker.
For best results, change your air filters frequently. How often should you change it? A general rule of thumb is to replace your filters every 90 days for homes without pets, 60 days for homes with pets, and 6 weeks if someone in your home has asthma or allergies.
2. Clean Your Vents and Ducts
Cleaning the vents that circulate air around your home is helpful for the same reason that changing your air filter is helpful. Take the time to check your vents before the cold season hits. Remove your air vents and remove any dust, fur, or debris that may have collected there. Taking the time to clean these vents before you begin using your furnace will improve airflow and air quality.
3. Insulate Your Home
Image via Flickr by Witches Falls Cottages
Insulating your home well has many benefits. Proper insulation makes any attempts to heat your home more effective and gives you control over your home temperature. Because your heating system doesn't need to work as hard to meet your ideal temperature, your home becomes more energy-efficient, you save money on your energy bills, and you become comfortable.
To insulate your home, check for cracks along your windows, doors, and between your vents and walls. Any open spaces between stationary objects can be sealed with caulk. For moving objects, such as windows and doors, investing in weatherstripping is a good choice. Attics and crawl spaces can often be poorly insulated, so be sure to examine those parts of your home as well.
4. Professional Heating Maintenance
When your heating system is working fine, it's easy to overlook the importance of preventive maintenance. But the more your system is put to use, the more wear it will experience. Regularly scheduling service checks for your furnace will help ensure its effectiveness and lifespan.
Keeping your furnace well maintained will make your life easier in the long run. Performing simple tasks once or twice a year can prevent larger and more costly problems. Consider scheduling a pre-season tuneup before winter this year, to make sure your furnace keeps running smoothly when you need it most.