The central heating system has been around since the 1800s and yet many people still don’t know how to use one properly. Here are three ways homeowners are compromising their comfort and the performance of their furnaces.
1. Tampering with the Thermostat
This is the most common way people can inadvertently increase their energy bills. Cranking up the heat is a natural reflex when the temperature inside your home drops. However, this sudden demand on the heater will drive up energy costs. For best results, set it and forget it. With a programmable thermostat, you can schedule your heating system to operate at a lower level while you’re away. By the time you come back home, your thermostat will have adjusted the temperature in your home to your desired comfort level.
2. Closing the Vents to Unoccupied Rooms
The thinking goes that closing the vent to an unoccupied room will reduce demand on the heating system, saving money, when in fact the opposite is true. Closing the vent might seem like a cost-saving measure, however doing this only increases pressure in the system, resulting in unnecessary wear and tear. This will also force more air out of gaps that are likely present in your ductwork. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, some 30 percent of air is lost before it reaches the vents.
3. Neglecting Routine Maintenance
HVAC systems are comprised of many moving parts. Blowers, belts, heat exchangers and other components all need to be tuned periodically to operate at peak efficiency. Neglecting to yearly maintenance will hinder performance, costing you comfort and money.
While a professional HVAC technician should perform most tune-up tasks, there is one simple step you can take yourself maintain an efficient system. Changing out the air filter every 30 to 90 days will improve air circulation, helping save as much as 15 percent on operating costs.
Bottom line: Operating your furnace the correct way will prolong its lifespan, improve your comfort and reduce your energy bill. So will routine maintenance and necessary repairs. To schedule an appointment with Elite Air, call (609) 581-8282.