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 of time.
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 learn more!
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 effectively.
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.