Heating Efficiency Tips

Tips to Improve Heating System Efficiency

Tip #1 – Dirty Filters Kill Efficiency:

Dirty filters restrict airflow.

Which makes your heating system work harder - driving up energy costs, decrease your comfort, and possibly leading to damage to your system. According to one source, a dirty filter could increase your energy use by 5-15% every day your system runs.

If you have a standard filter, we recommend checking it once a month and cleaning or replacing as needed. After a few months, adjust your schedule to match your needs. For high-efficiency filters, follow your manufacturer’s recommendations. We suggest marking it on your calendar so you don’t forget!

Tip #2 – Give Your System Room to Breathe:

Proper airflow is vital to maintaining system efficiency. Without it, it will develop pressure problems that will make your system work harder. Meaning you’ll be less comfortable, and your system will use more energy (leaving less in your wallet).

  • 3-Inch Rule: Take a few minutes and check vents and cold air returns to ensure they have room to breathe. You’ll want to have at least 3 inches between vents and furnishings or personal items (even light fabrics can decrease airflow).

  • 12-Inch Rule: One thing we commonly see is stored items way too close to the heating system. This is a huge safety issue and also restricts air flow. Nothing should be stored within 12 inches of your system. Keep flammables in another room.

  • Solving the TOO Warm/TOO Cold Room: Although it’s tempting to close vents in rooms that are too warm, it’s not the best idea. Closing vents (more than two or three) can lead to increased pressure which will make your system work harder (decreasing your comfort through the rest of the house). Instead, adjust them for less airflow by leaving them slightly open.
Tip #3 – Set Your Thermostat to Maximize Comfort (& Efficiency):

The temperatures are dropping, and that means it’s time to adjust your thermostat for the season (keeping it the same year-round will waste energy and $$$).

Adjust Your Thermostat for Efficiency & Comfort: You don’t want to freeze, but unless you are at home 24/7 you probably don’t need to keep it the same temperature at all hours of the day. Programmable thermostats make it easy. Set it once to match your lifestyle, and you’re done for the season.

Here’s an example of settings to that will help you save without sacrificing comfort:

  • Overnight: While everyone is snuggled in warm beds, adjust the thermostat back 5-10 degrees.

  • Morning: About a half an hour before everyone wakes up, set it to warm back up. When your toes hit the floor, it will already be warm.

  • Daytime: Adjust the thermostat back 5-10 degrees for times in the day when no one is home. Kick it back up about a half an hour before you get back.

  • Evening: Set the thermostat for a comfortable temp while you and your family are home in the evenings before you go to bed.

BONUS! Set your temperature back 5-10 degrees for 8 hours a day, and you could save 5%-10% on your heating bill each year (if your system is a Heat Pump only set it back 5 degrees)!

Tip #4 – Look for Loose or Disconnected Ducts:

If your ducts are outside of the conditioned space in your home, check to see if anything has come loose. Fixing a supply duct that’s sending all its warm air to the attic or crawl space can have an immediate impact on your comfort. This problem is more common than you may think.

Tip #5 – Seal the Air Leaks:

Caulk your windows and weather-strip your doors. Also - take a look in your attic, crawl space, or basement for potential leaks that need to be sealed.

Tip #6 – Schedule Regular Maintenance:

The secret to keeping your system working longer is to keep it properly maintained (think about how important oil changes and tune-ups are for your car – it’s the same concept for your system).

Improper maintenance is one of the TOP CAUSES of system breakdown and early system failure.

Proper maintenance will increase your system’s efficiency, your comfort, decrease your energy usage, and, when done consistently, ADD YEARS to the life of your system. In fact, it is so important that most manufacturers of heating systems require maintenance to keep warranties in force!

Tip #7 – If Your System is Over 10 Years Old:

In general, if you keep your heating system maintained a system should last about 15 years. However, if your system isn’t keeping you comfortable, your energy costs are skyrocketing, your system keeps breaking down (or you’re currently facing an expensive repair) it may be time to consider a replacement.

Now, if you’ve fallen for any of these misconceptions, it’s not your fault. There are a lot of myths and faulty info about furnaces that are even held true by people in the business.

JUST CALL DALE’S for service if this doesn’t get your system up and running!