No Canadian home is complete without a furnace. Winters here bring sub-zero temperatures along with harsh ice and snow. For this reason, a furnace is an effective and cost-saving way to heat Canadian homes. And yet, for all the benefits that a furnace provides, many homeowners may be taking this essential home investment for granted.
Simply put, a furnace isn’t something you can forget about. They need regular attention to compensate for daily wear and tear. Here in Toronto, we can all appreciate that local homeowners have it rough with harsh Canadian winters. And yet, if you’re not careful, a serious case of furnace neglect may require a call to HVAC professional.
It doesn’t have to come to that, however. You can do your part to ensure your house has an efficiently-running furnace. This way, you can cut down on fuel use and heating bills. Your furnace can also generate more heat and become less prone to breakage.
Do you want the best for your home? Here are 5 easy tips on how the average homeowner can improve the efficiency of his or her furnace.
- Keep Your Air Filter Clean
As the saying goes, “A little goes a long way.” This is especially true for keeping the air filter to your furnace clean. If the flow of air leading into the furnace is compromised by dust and contaminants, it will have to work harder. This will lead to higher usage and more expensive bills.
For this reason, homeowners should make it a priority to regularly replace air filters. If you have reusable filters, then they should be regularly cleaned.
Furnace repair in Newmarket company argues that frequency of new filter changes depend on many factors. These include household pets, how often you clean, and if your house has recently undergone renovation. A regular rule of thumb is to change your air filter every 30 days of heavy use, and every 90 days during the rest of the year.
This may sound expensive. But this tip is actually a smart investment that will eventually pay for itself.
- Keep Air Ducts and Registers Clear
Your furnace is the heart of your home heating system, but its not the only component. Air ducts deliver warm air from your furnace to the rest of the house. At the same time, air registers disseminate your furnace’s heat evenly throughout each room of your house.
In order to have a good heating system, air ducts and registers must be in good working condition. Air ducts should be kept clean and inspected for leaks; air registers should be clear of obstructions and not be blocked by furniture or beds.
Do your part to keep your furnace running smoothly. Conduct annual inspections of your air ducts and registers to ensure they are in proper working order. Use a flashlight or camera to help you peer down air ducts; look for anything out of the ordinary like large dust bunnies. Use incense or tissue paper to help you locate any leaks in your air ducts.
If you discover your ducts need cleaning or sealing, professional technicians can solve your furnace problems quickly.
- Invest in a Smart Thermostat
A furnace is a long-term investment that is expensive to replace. But before you decide to invest in a brand-new furnace, you should first consider upgrading with a smart thermostat. With this small investment, homeowners can significantly cut down on their heating bills. What’s more, smart thermostats currently available on the market come with a wide range of features.
The most basic type of smart thermostat will allow homeowners to program their furnace to operate at specific times. This ensures that no heating is ever wasted. As well, newer smart thermostats are equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity. This allows for remote control as well as automated weather and GPS triggers that turn your furnace on for you.
Smart thermostats allow for an unprecedented level of control. And with real-time data readily available, you’ll always be able to make the right decision.
Any way you look at it, a smart thermostat lives up to its name as a smart investment.
- Maintain Proper Humidity Levels
Even with all its parts and controls in order, a furnace won’t be at its optimal best if the air is too dry. Unfortunately, dry air is a far too common problem for many Canadian homeowners due to our harsh winters.
By investing in a humidifier attachment to your furnace, you’ll be able to maintain a proper humidity rate for your heated air. A humidity rate of around 40% is ideal for the transfer of heat to air. This will allow for lower temperatures and lower heating bills, saving you money in the long run.
- Schedule Annual Furnace Maintenance
As we can see, there is a lot that an average homeowner can do to make his or her furnace run smoothly. And yet, nothing can replace the sure-handed experience of a professional. An annual tune-up by a trained furnace technician will go a long way to extend the life of your furnace and prevent breakdowns.
Why take the chance when a hidden malfunction can impact the entire system? Schedule an annual tune-up to get the most out of your home furnace.
Up for more? Here are some more tips for improving your furnace’s efficiency as well as to keep your heating bills down:
- Keep a 3-5′ area around your furnace free of stored items and boxes
- Make sure your home is well insulated
- Keep your garage door shut as much as possible
- Close blinds at night and open them during the day
- Install a ceiling fan for your large rooms
- Use your oven more during the winter months
- Add carpeting and area rugs to rooms with bare floors
Don’t let neglect stop you from having an efficient furnace! With this list of improvements, you can start enjoying premium heating at low cost in your very own home.