Half of your
How Furnaces Work
- The furnace heats air.
- The heat is distributed by a blower through your home’s duct system.
- The hot air is released into the room through registers or vents in the floors, walls or ceilings.
Here are a few things you can do increase the energy efficiency of your furnace.
1. Get regular tuneups.
Get your furnace inspected and serviced annually to ensure its running at peak efficiency. Regular servicing also reduces the risk of breakdown and increases its lifespan.
If you notice that your heating or air conditioning bills seem to be rising steadily, your furnace could be the main culprit. Not only will servicing it regularly save money on your heating bill, it will also improve the air quality of your home and reduce your carbon footprint.
The ideal time to get your furnace serviced is just before the end of the summer before any cold weather hits.
2. Change or clean your furnace filter.
When your furnace filter gets clogged with dust, dirt and grime, your furnace and air conditioner have to work twice as hard to heat or cool your home. This will also pollute the air you breathe in your home, increase your carbon footprint and drain your energy bill.
You should normally change the filter on your furnace at least once a month. The more often you change your filter, the more efficiently your furnace will run.
3. Get the chimney inspected regularly.
A wood-burning fireplace may help you lower your heating bills a bit, and will certainly come in handy in the event of a power loss.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, be sure to get the chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year. Always burn wood that is dry to the touch to produce the most heat output.
4. Install a tempered glass door for your fireplace.
Open-hearth fireplaces are very inefficient. They send up to 90 percent of a fire’s heat up the chimney. They also pull in warm air from the home to fuel the fire.
Installing a tempered glass fireplace door can boost the efficiency of your open-hearth fireplace by regulating the amount of air that’s pulled into the fireplace while still radiating out the fireplace’s heat.
5. Turn down the furnace when using the fireplace.
Turn down the furnace to 55 degrees when using the fireplace. If you don’t, all of the warm air will be sucked up the chimney. According to U.S. Department of Energy studies, as much as 1,000 cubic feet of warmed air can be sucked up the chimney per minute.
6. Don’t close the vent of your forced-air furnace.
If you have a forced-air furnace, closing vents in unused rooms will not save energy or reduce heating and cooling costs. In fact, it can actually waste more energy because the furnace will keep producing the same amount of air. The excess cold air from unheated rooms will be pushed to other places in your home.
7. Clean your air ducts.
Cleaning the air ducts of your furnace on an annual basis allows it to work more efficiently and saves money on your energy bill. If you’ve noticed wisps of dust coming out from an air duct every time you turn on your home’s air conditioning, the ducts need to be cleaned.
8. Don’t block your registers.
A furnace needs to be able to circulate air around the home in order to work efficiently. You need to ensure that none of your registers are dusty or blocked by furniture.