Maximizing The Heating Efficiency In Your Home

Your heating bill fluctuates throughout the year and you likely cringe when the winter months come. Heating bills can skyrocket during cold weather if your house isn't energy efficient. Stop fretting when those chilly days arrive by having your home ready with these household tips to keep the heat in and the cold out.

Optimize Your Furnace

The first step is to make sure your furnace is running as well as it can. Have a heating repair service inspect your furnace and ductwork for any problems. Broken or blocked ductwork, a straining blower and rust in the heat exchange box can cause your furnace to work harder to maintain the same temperature. A fine-tuned furnace gives you heat with the least possible effort.

One important thing you can do is to keep clean filters in the furnace. When they become dirty, the furnace must work harder to pull air through them. They are so inexpensive that it's worth changing them when they start to look dirty, especially in the winter months.

Get Rid Of The Drafts

Any place in your home where you can feel cool air while the furnace is on is the result of air leakage. This means you're losing heat to the outside, making the furnace work harder to keep you warm inside. Walk through your home with a lit candle or incense, holding it close to the areas around your doors and windows. When the smoke or flame flickers, you've likely found a draft. Fix these leaks and seal your house with these weatherproofing tips:

  • Push foam insulation into cracks around the window and door frames. You may need to remove the trim to get to the openings where the air is coming in.
  • Attach weather stripping to the top and bottom of doors to create a seal when they close.
  • Use silicon caulk to seal air leaks around items that go through the wall to the outside of the house such as dryer vents, plumbing pipes and cable TV wires.

Improve Air Circulation In the House

Walk through each room and find the furnace vent. Make sure it is free from obstructions and the warm air can get out to the room. A heat vent underneath a dresser or behind a couch reduces the warm air circulation through that room. Rearrange the room to get the best use out of the vent.

Consider ceiling fans in most rooms in the house. In winter they help to pull the room air up and force the warm air near the ceiling down. This keeps the warm air circulating in the room and promotes a more constant temperature throughout.

Keep Only The Important Places Warm

If you crank up the heater to make sure the craft room or other seldom-used spaces are warm enough, you're wasting energy. Your home is more energy efficient if you keep those rooms closed and install baseboard heaters in them. You'll have a separate thermostat in those rooms to control the temperature without affecting the rest of the house.

A weekend's worth of work will make your home more energy efficient. You'll stay warmer in the cooler months and your furnace won't have to work as hard.