Tips for Maximizing Your Heating in Winter Weather

During the past couple of weeks much of the country has experienced bitterly cold weather with wind chills that have even further lowered that temperature. Here are some tips on how to improve your heating efficiency during extreme cold.

Keep The Air Moving

In order to ensure energy efficient heating make sure you don’t turn those ceiling fans off! Most fans have the capability to reverse the direction on the fan. By reversing the direction you will not feel a breeze, but it will circulate the warm air that collects close to the ceiling. This will distribute that warm air to the lower parts of the room where it will help to warm the room.  When the room warms up it will register on the thermostat and require the heating system to run less.

Seal Up Your Ductwork

To ensure energy efficient heating you need to make sure that you are maximizing the amount of heated air that reaches the finished rooms of your house. It may be tempting to try and seal holes in your ductwork with duct tape, but this does not created a tight enough seal to improve your heating efficiency.  Duct mastic is a putty that you can apply to the joints of your ductwork that does seal tight and prevents heated air from escaping from your ductwork before it reaches the parts of your home that need to be heated.

Prevent Heated Air From Escaping Out Your Chimney

A key to energy efficient heating is keeping your heated air inside your home. If you have a fireplace, when you aren’t using it be sure to close the flue damper. If you do not use your fireplace you can install a chimney balloon, which will help to further block the chimney and keep your heated air inside your home and not escaping out the chimney.

Only Heat Your Home When It’s Needed

Energy efficient heating includes only heating your home when the heating is needed. When you are not home, or are sleeping it is a good idea to lower the temperature of your thermostat. You can do this manually, or you can purchase a programmable thermostat. There are a number of these thermostats available. Some you set the times and temperatures yourself, but there are others that learn the daily rhythms of your home, and even some that you can control from your smart phone.

Understand How Your HVAC System Functions

In order to make sure you are taking advantage of energy efficient heating you have to understand how your thermostat works. If your home is chilly and you want to warm it up, you shouldn’t turn your thermostat to an excessively high number. This will not heat your home any faster; this will just keep the system running until the thermostat reaches that higher temperature. If your thermostat currently reads 70, but you would like it to be 72, that will be reached in the same amount of time whether you set the thermostat to 72 or to 76. By setting it to 76 the system will keep running though, until it reaches 76 in the room.

Make Sure Your HVAC System Is Maintained

In order to achieve the most energy efficient heating you have to make sure your system itself is properly maintained so that it can operate properly. Having it routinely serviced is a great idea. You also have to ensure that you are replacing the filter at the appropriate time frame, which is usually once a month, or so. You also want to make sure that the area around the furnace is clear and clean. Ensure that boxes, dirt, debris, etc. are kept an appropriate distance away form the unit to ensure proper airflow into the unit. Check to ensure that furniture or rugs do not cover any vents or cold air returns.

By following the tips outlined above you can make sure that your system is functioning at peak capacity, you are not heating an empty home, and that heated air is not escaping your house or collecting in areas that don’t assist in heating your home. All of this helps with energy efficient heating, which means you are maximizing the heated air your furnace is creating and that you are minimizing the need for the furnace to run. Energy efficient heating is the best, and most cost efficient way, to heat your home.

If you have further questions on how to achieve energy efficient heating contact your local HVAC specialist, they can guide you through these steps to help you get the most heat out of your furnace, especially when the temperatures drop to such extremely cold temperatures.