As we soldier through the coldest part of the year and use
our heaters to keep us comfortable on a minute-by-minute basis, it’s important
to think about how you can improve your home energy efficiency. The Maynard Man
insists; it is possible to be both
comfortable and cost-efficient this winter.
You just need to know how to use your heater the right way!
The good news is, we’re here with some tips to help you do just that. Not that
there’s a wrong way to use your
heater, but there are certainly things you can do to help the system operate
better, last longer, and ease the strain on your wallet. Read on as we uncover
some heating efficiency truths.
Your Curtain Use Makes a Difference
It’s tempting, when you have your heater going, to keep your
curtains closed all day in order to retain more heat, right? You have the right
idea, but you’re missing out.
What exactly are you missing out on? Radiant heat from the
sun! Go to those curtains on your south facing windows and go ahead and open
them up for a few hours midday. This allows the sunlight to bathe your home,
increasing the temperature and allowing your heater to run for shorter periods
Ceiling Fans Can Help in Winter, Too
Turning your ceiling fans on in reverse helps circulate warm
air throughout your living space. Similar to utilizing radiant heat from the
sun, this helps you feel warmer, and
you may even be able to adjust your thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees, making a
difference in efficiency and operational costs.
Thermostats Should be Programmed
Setting the right temperature is important to heating
efficiency. The Maynard Man and the EPA recommends a temperature setting of
68°F during the winter, and even lower when you’re asleep or not at home. The
best way to achieve this is with a programmable or WiFi model—contact us to
Air Filters Need Changing
Most heating maintenance tasks should be left to the
professionals. But changing your air filter isn’t one of them. Homeowners
should be changing their HVAC air filter every 1-3 months, to prevent dirt and
other debris from infiltrating the system, leading to repair needs and even
shortened equipment life. A clean heater performs more efficiently and more
Ducts Should be Properly Sealed
Whether it’s from poor initial installation or damage from weather
or vermin, damaged ductwork will do a number on both your heating and cooling
efficiency. And no, you can’t just slap some store-bought duct tape up there
and call it a day. In fact, this duct tape is not properly named. For duct
sealing and repair that makes a difference, you’ll need an experienced
professional to provide specialized mastic sealing.
Your Heater Needs Maintenance
This isn’t a “luxury” service—heating maintenance is
required to ensure that your system is thoroughly cleaned, properly inspected,
and checked for adjustment and repair needs. If you have a furnace then you
should be scheduling maintenance once a year. For heat pump systems, go ahead
and bump up that recommendation to every 6 months.