As winter approaches, most of us across Annapolis and Pasadena are getting ready for cold temperatures. The last thing you want during the season is to be worrying about keeping your family warm with a broken or overworked furnace! At Barstow & Sons Heating & Cooling, we understand how important it is to stay on top of your furnace maintenance–which is why we wanted to provide our readers in Annapolis and Pasadena with some tips to keep their furnaces working well all through this vicious winter season. Read on as the experts at Barstow & Sons Heating & Cooling give you 10 tips for avoiding an overworked furnace this year!
1. Don’t Turn Up Your Thermostat
When the temperatures outside drop, it’s tempting to turn up the thermostat to keep your home warm. While it seems like a quick fix, your furnace will work harder to keep up with the set temperatures. As a result, your heating bill will go up, and your furnace will be overworked. Instead, consider setting the thermostat at a moderate temperature, such as 68°F. This way, your furnace will work at optimal levels without consuming too much energy.
2. Make Sure Your Vents Are Clear
Furniture, curtains, and other household items can obstruct airflow through the vents, making your furnace work harder to maintain the desired temperature. Ensure that your vents are clear and free from clutter by moving furniture and vacuuming regularly to clear dirt and debris.
3. Replace Your Filter
A dirty filter creates a strain on your furnace, forcing it to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. Therefore, replacing your filter is an essential step to keeping your furnace in tip-top condition. If your filter is clogged or dirty, your furnace will work harder to push air through the filter, leading to overheating, a decrease in efficiency, and a higher energy bill. Therefore, consider replacing your filter once every three months.
4. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is crucial to ensuring your furnace is working at optimal levels. When overlooked, furnaces become overworked, which can lead to mechanical problems. By scheduling regular maintenance, you can prevent extensive repairs, extend your furnace’s lifespan, and save on energy costs. Professional maintenance includes cleaning and replacing filters, checking the motor, and evaluating the system’s overall performance.
5. Turn Your Thermostat Down When You Aren’t Home
One of the simplest ways to avoid overworking your furnace is to turn down your thermostat when you are away from home. Many homeowners make the mistake of leaving their thermostat at a constant temperature, even when they are not at home. This practice can result in higher energy bills and unnecessary wear and tear on your furnace. Therefore, we recommend investing in a programmable thermostat that allows you to set different temperatures for various times of the day. Moreover, you can also consider using smart thermostats that enable you to control your home’s temperature remotely through your smartphone.
6. Find and Eliminate Drafts
Another crucial step to avoid overworking your furnace this winter is to find and eliminate the drafts in your home. Drafts are tiny leaks in your home’s insulation that allow cold air to get in and warm air to escape. When your furnace has to work harder to combat the cold air, it can overwork and eventually break down. Therefore, we recommend inspecting your home’s doors, windows, and other areas for drafts and sealing them up. You can use weather stripping, caulking, and other various insulation methods to prevent drafts and protect your furnace’s efficiency.
7. Seal and Insulate Your Ductwork
Your ductwork plays a vital role in distributing warm air throughout your home. If your ducts have leaks or cracks, it can cause your furnace to overwork, leading to issues like higher energy bills and reduced efficiency. Therefore, it is crucial to seal and insulate your ductwork correctly. You can use duct sealing tape or mastic to seal the leaks and insulation to prevent heat loss. Moreover, you can also consider hiring a professional HVAC technician to inspect and repair your ductwork.
8. Improve Your Insulation
The first and most crucial tip is to improve the insulation of your home, especially if it’s an older structure. Poor insulation allows heat to escape, which means your furnace works harder than necessary to keep your home warm. Start by sealing any unused rooms, such as spare bedrooms, to prevent heat loss. Also, check for drafts and seal any gaps around your doors, windows, or chimneys. Upgrading your home’s insulation and weather-stripping can save you hundreds in energy costs and reduce the amount of work your furnace has to do.
9. Invest in a Good Furnace – Replace When Necessary
If your furnace is over ten years old, it may not be heating your home efficiently or effectively. Older furnaces require more energy and upkeep, driving up your energy bills. Upgrading to a new, energy-efficient furnace can help reduce your utility costs. When shopping for a furnace, look for energy-efficient models that are appropriately sized for your home. A furnace that is too large or too small can work harder to heat your home and negatively impact your energy consumption.
10. Have a Professional Energy Audit
A professional energy audit can detect areas where you may be wasting energy. A certified HVAC technician can assess your home’s energy usage, find leaks, and recommend solutions to maximize efficiency and minimize energy usage. They can also inspect your furnace to ensure that it’s running safely and efficiently. An energy audit is an excellent investment that can help you identify blind spots where you may not know you’re losing energy and identify how you can improve your home’s heating system.
Contact Barstow & Sons to Schedule a Furnace Inspection in Annapolis and Pasadena, MD
Don’t overwork your furnace and spend more on energy bills this winter season. Try these three simple tips to help make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable. Improved insulation, investing in a good furnace, and having a professional energy audit can go a long way in reducing your energy consumption and increasing your home’s comfort level. At Barstow & Sons Heating and Cooling, our experts can help you maintain, repair, and install your furnace to keep your home safe and warm throughout the winter season. Contact us today to learn more!