The New Year is nearly upon us, and everyone is thinking of their new set of resolutions. Among those resolutions, be sure to consider your heating system. Here is a simple checklist of things to commit to so that you get more from your heating system, keeping it running more efficiently for longer.
Keep a Closer Eye on Your Furnace Filter
Many people simply forget about their furnace filter, or they think about it when it’s inconvenient. However, this one thing can be the difference between excessive utility bills and continual repairs versus an efficient and reliable system.
Many furnaces use a 1- or 2-inch filter. With average air quality, these should be changed about every 90 days. If you have a thicker filter, refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended changing schedule.
Regardless of the size, plan to check it monthly to keep an eye on its condition. Some seasons lead to more airborne contaminants, which will clog the filter faster. When you do check it, plan to gently vacuum the intake side to remove any loose debris and help improve efficiency between replacements.
Manage Your Thermostat More Effectively
Did you know that using the programs on your thermostat can make your system more efficient? In fact, the Department of Energy suggests you can save up to 10% of your energy costs by reducing your temperature by 7 or 10 degrees for eight hours each day over the winter. The ideal time to do this is when everyone is in bed or out of the house for school or work.
Your programs can automate these changes so that you don’t forget. Some models even allow you to set specific schedules for the weekend. If you have a remote access smart model, you can set this up from your phone, and change it on the fly if your schedule changes.
Clear Your Vents
Your system can only operate efficiently when it can circulate the amount of air it was designed to move. Closed or blocked vents are common airflow restrictions in many homes, cutting into your system’s effectiveness.
Check to make sure your vents are open. Then make sure each one has at least a 2-inch clearance around and above the vent to encourage circulation. Your air return vent may need a larger clearance, depending on its size, so check with your HVAC technician on the ideal clearance.
Keep an HVAC Journal or Log
It may seem odd to keep a journal or log for your heater, but it’s really helpful for keeping your system operating at peak efficiency. How many times have you noticed a recurrent problem, but can’t remember how long it’s been an issue? This log helps you track odd occurrences with your system so that you can identify when it’s time to call a repair technician.
Schedule Heater Maintenance
Next to changing your air filter, annual maintenance is the next most important thing for keeping your system running efficiently. During this visit, a technician will clean your system, tighten connections, and test the system. This testing seeks to identify problems early, allowing you to correct them before they become a major repair.
Tend to Warning Signs Early
It’s easy to notice something like a sound or a smell from your system and just ignore it, hoping it’ll resolve itself. However, as a mechanical system, when one component operates suboptimally, it strains other components. As this continues, you cause your utility bills to climb and start chipping away at your system’s service life. If you notice an issue, work to solve it quickly to prevent it from ballooning.
Improve Your Air Quality
Better air quality generally leads to a more efficient heating system. Better air quality simply means you have fewer contaminants floating around in your air. This means you’ll breathe more easily, but also that your filter won’t clog as quickly, and your system will experience less strain.
No single air quality solution is right for every situation. Some houses need more effective humidity control while others need an air scrubber. Others benefit most from a UV light purifier. Rather than guessing at what your home needs, work with a trusted IAQ professional to find the right solution for your environment.
People around Cypress call AirDepot when they need heating or air conditioning services. Our team of NATE-certified technicians provides installation, maintenance, and repair for both heating and air conditioning systems, along with indoor air quality solutions. Call to schedule your consultation or service call with one of our expert technicians today.