Keeping your energy bills low once the temperatures drop in Jacksonville, FL, can be a challenge. A large portion of your monthly bills likely consist of heating expenses. If your furnace is damaged or old, its efficiency could be low. This means that your home’s energy consumption will be higher. However, you don’t need to replace the unit to improve efficiency. There are numerous actions you can take to boost efficiency and reduce your monthly energy bills.
Find and Seal Leaks
First, find and seal any air leaks that may be present in your ductwork. If you believe that your furnace isn’t functioning efficiently, spotting these various cracks and small openings can allow heat to escape while your furnace is in use. In this scenario, your furnace needs to work harder to heat your home to the desired temperature. If your furnace has to work overtime, it could suffer from mechanical failure sooner than usual.
While you can look at your ductwork to search for air leaks, consider calling an HVAC technician to do this task for you. If you’re not sure what to look for, it can be challenging to spot smaller gaps and spaces. The areas that you should check first include your doors and windows. Even if it doesn’t look like there are any gaps, a leak could still be there. If any leaks are detected, they can be sealed or repaired.
Replace or Clean Air Filters
Your furnace’s air filter is crucial for maintaining your system’s efficiency and integrity. As air passes through a filter, everything from dirt to dust is trapped within the filtering medium. Over time, this debris accumulates, which can make it more difficult for the furnace to properly circulate air. The system must then work harder to keep your home warm, which means that it will use more energy.
A furnace filter can either be temporary or permanent. If you have a permanent filter, you’ll want to clean it every three months or so. You may need to clean it more often throughout the winter if your furnace is running frequently. As for temporary filters, they should be replaced every two to three months, depending on the type you’re using. If you don’t replace it often, a mechanical issue within your furnace is possible. This can also reduce the quality of your indoor air.
Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
A simple way to improve the efficiency of your furnace is by upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat. You’ll be able to set different temperatures for specific times of the day, which allows you to keep the temperature cooler when you’re asleep or away from home.
When you have a furnace installed in your home, air is circulated to every room through ductwork. These pathways make it possible for your furnace to deliver warm air to all areas of your home in just a few seconds. When the ducts are clean, air can be transported without issue. This means that the system is efficient. However, ductwork doesn’t remain clean indefinitely. Contaminants can build up within your home’s ducts. These contaminants include everything from rodent droppings to mold spores.
While you should have your home’s ducts cleaned occasionally, this process only needs to occur once every few years or so. Make sure you call a professional instead of doing this work yourself. It’s easy to damage ducts if you’re not careful.
During a cleaning, an HVAC technician will inspect the ducts to make sure they haven’t been damaged. If a leak is present in your ductwork, your home’s energy efficiency will decrease further. However, identifying the issue early on gives you the opportunity to fix the problem before it causes your energy bills to spike.
Obtain Annual Maintenance
Regardless of where you live, it’s highly recommended that you obtain furnace maintenance once every year. This comprehensive tune-up checks all system components to make sure they’re working properly. If any part is damaged, it will be replaced or repaired. Annual maintenance helps to prevent costly repairs down the road and identify efficiency issues early on. During routine maintenance, professionals also clean and lubricate metallic parts to make sure they’re running smoothly.
Clean Interiors Regularly
Your furnace’s efficiency isn’t solely determined by components within the system. If you allow dirt and dust to accumulate in your home, you might notice that your furnace’s efficiency is getting worse. If you don’t regularly remove contaminants from your home, they’ll get into the air and flow through your furnace.
While the filter will trap most of these contaminants, a dirty home means that the filter will become blocked at a quicker rate. The inner components of your furnace can also become coated in particulates. This can lead to a decrease in efficiency and system strain. To avoid performance and efficiency issues, make sure you thoroughly clean your home periodically. Doing so should keep your air clean and your furnace in good shape.
Maintain Consistent Airflow
While your ducts need to be cleaned every few years, there are other things you can do to maintain consistent airflow during the winter season. Before air leaves the ducts and circulates into your home, it must pass through the vents that are positioned in different rooms. If one or more of the air vents are blocked, the airflow may be stopped altogether. This means that your furnace will be placed under more stress. If you notice that some rooms are colder than others, one or more vents may have improper air flow.
Clean and clear the air vents in your home at least once every month. Make sure furniture or other items aren’t sitting directly on top of the vent. Consider calling a professional HVAC technician to have them clean your vents for you. By obtaining regular cleanings, you can maintain your furnace’s effectiveness and efficiency.
You can improve system efficiency and make sure your furnace lasts longer by installing additional insulation in your home. If your home isn’t well-insulated, it’s easier for heat to escape. Your furnace will then work overtime to keep the indoor temperature high. This means that efficiency will be low. While the upfront costs are an investment, the long-term savings cover the initial expenses.
Are you thinking of improving your furnace’s energy efficiency this winter? Our team of technicians at J&W Heating and Air can help you by identifying problem areas and providing the necessary solutions. To make sure we exceed expectations, we’re transparent about our work. Before we perform a repair or conduct maintenance, we’ll tell you what to expect.
Along with heating maintenance and repairs, our team also offers installation services for heat pumps and furnaces. You can also schedule indoor air quality assessments, energy audits, and duct services. Call J&W Heating and Air today to have us inspect the furnace in your Jacksonville home.