While it is still recommended you have one of our trustworthy technicians of AFM Heating & Cooling come out to your property at least once a year for a routine service check, maintaining the performance of your furnace through the winter can be done on your own. Simply follow our handy checklist below and we’ll help you reduce heat loss and utility costs, improve the air quality of your property’s interior, monitor and address common heating concerns, and more!
Lower Your Thermostat
Did you know you can save almost $100 a year by simply lowering the temperature on your thermostat at night by only 7-10 degrees and then returning the temperature to normal in the morning? It’s true! In fact, you can save even more by turning your thermostat down to 55 degrees when you leave town for any extended period of time. Think of it this way, the closer the temperature inside your home is to the temperature outside your home, the more money you’ll save!
Calibrate Your Thermostat
Is your thermostat not reading correctly? If so, you could be losing money. Luckily though, it’s likely it was just bumped or is dirty and simply needs to be recalibrated, which is an easy fix. You can have a service technician come out and do it, or follow a simple step-by-step guide on your own. For greater efficiency, however, you may want to consider replacing it altogether with a newer, computerized model.
Replace Your Old Furnace
Whether you’re due for a replacement anyway, or your furnace is simply not as efficient as it could be, replacing it with a newer, higher efficiency model can save you an average of 25-30% on your utility costs. In fact replacing an older furnace that is 60 percent efficient with one that is 98 percent efficient can save homeowners up to $11,469 over the life of the system.
Optimize Furnace Burners
A sure sign that energy is being lost is corrosion, rust, or other damage accumulated around your furnace’s burners. Thankfully, this is just caused by a condensate leak and is not too terrible of a fix.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
As you likely already know, hot air rises – but did you also know you can force it back down by simply reversing the direction of your ceiling fan? This is an especially great trick for properties with higher ceilings, potentially cutting heating costs down by as much as 10%!
Inspect Your Insulation
Insulation can typically be found inside walls, in attics, lining crawlspaces, and more, and is meant to trap warm air inside your property – similar to putting a cozy sweater around the whole thing. Like having a hole in your sweater, however, insufficiencies with your insulation can cause warm air to leak out and cool air to get in, costing you big in energy. Fortunately, by simply adding a little more insulation to spaces that are lacking you can start saving instantly!
Examine Your Ducts
Research estimates that the average duct system loses 10-30% of its heated or cooled air through leaks into attics and crawlspaces. Sadly, these leaks can cost you hundreds of dollars each year in your heating and cooling costs, as well as reduce system performance. Furthermore, these leaks also leave your air susceptible to microscopic contaminants that can compromise the health of you and your family. So, what’s the DIY fix? Try mastic sealant or metal tape on any noticeable damage, and then do your best to insulate your ducts for good measure.
Let In The Sunshine
It’s no secret that the sun is warm, so why not keep your shades open all day long to let the sun’s beams naturally warm your home and cut down costs? Just make sure you remember to close your blinds/drapes at night to insulate your home from the evening’s cold chill.
Look Out For Leaks
Leaks can be a problem in more than just your ducts and insulation. If you have an older home especially, cracks in doorframes, worn sealing around windows, foundational problems, and more can leave a home susceptible to small openings that encourage air leaks that cost you up to 10% more on your utility bills. Luckily, this is a quick, affordable fix that typically only requires a caulking gun and a bit of time.
The more clogged up your filters are, the less efficient your system is going to run and the lower your air quality is going to be. Your best bet is to clean or change out your filters every month or so at least to optimize your air quality and system efficiency.
Keep It Clean
Keeping your furnace unobstructed is necessary for its performance. So, make sure you keep all boxes and furniture away and vacuum the area regularly to keep dust and debris away from its sensitive components. Need more information or have questions? Call AFM Heating & Cooling at 734.464.6700 for a free consultation, or simply fill out the form in the sidebar, today.