You don’t have to shiver through the winter to help the environment and potentially save money on your heating bills. You’ll help to lower your heating costs, maintain a cozy home and cut carbon emissions by following these home heating efficiency tips.
1. Schedule furnace/boiler maintenance once a year
A broken furnace or boiler can leave you in the cold. And worse, it can be dangerous, spewing microbes and allergens into your home. Carbon monoxide fumes are deadly, and a gas leak can cause an explosion.
Lastly, consider the costs. If your system isn’t running smoothly, you are wasting energy and driving up your heating bill. With preventive maintenance, your system runs economically. Yes, you’ll have to spend some money, but maintenance is cheaper than repair — and safer.
2. Install smart thermostats
Explore getting a smart thermostat to make home heating more efficient. You can program them according to your preferences and patterns. Many systems learn your home, optimizing how your heating system runs to take advantage of the heat of the sun, when you are sleeping and when you are out of the house. You won’t waste money blasting heat when you are at work or heating a room that is already warm from the sun.
3. Insulate and weatherize your home
Keeping warm air in your home can help improve heating efficiency as your furnace or boiler doesn’t have to work as hard. Here are several ways you can retain warmth:
4. Bleed your radiators and install reflectors
Prevent cold radiators on a frigid day. Bleed your radiators in advance of cold weather to ensure air doesn’t get trapped in them, blocking the flow of heat. Fortunately, bleeding your radiator to let out trapped air is an easy task:
Beyond improving your home heating efficiency, bleeding your radiators lowers the cost of operating your forced-hot-water boiler. Installing reflectors, thin sheets or foil placed between the coils and the wall, will send more heat into your room. This practice is especially effective for radiators on outside facing walls and walls that are not well insulated.
5. Change your air filter
If you’re wondering how to heat your home efficiently, start with the air filter. Old and dirty air filters block the flow of air, which makes your forced-air furnace work harder. Fortunately, this kind of do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance is simple. To ensure that your furnace is heating your home efficiently, replace the air filter regularly.
Washable air filters reduce your ecological footprint and work well if you regularly clean it with a vacuum cleaner or give it a rinse under running water. To remove serious grime, diluted dish soap will remove oily buildup.
6. Install a heat recovery ventilator
One of the more innovative central heating efficiency tips is to invest in a heat recovery ventilator. These systems capture heat from exhaust air and mix it with fresh intake air. They also remove mold-causing moisture, along with many contaminants and odors, in the process.
Most homes exhaust some air through bathroom fans, kitchen oven hoods and appliances. Heat recovery ventilators capture up to 90% of the heat that would otherwise be lost to the outside.
7. Get a new energy-efficient heating system
Furnaces last, on average, up to 15 years. The life expectancy of your unit will vary, depending on the quality and regularity of your maintenance. If your furnace is getting near that 15-year mark, it may simply quit without warning. Start shopping before your furnace wears out so that you can make an informed decision without the pressure. With the right choice and an ENERGY STAR™ rating, you may find it quickly pays for itself in energy savings.
Newer units are also easier to maintain and may offer performance enhancements, like sound absorption and additional insulation. And some forced-air systems are fitted with advanced air filtration systems to help improve the quality of the air inside your home.
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