It has been a fairly mild winter, but that won’t last. When the temperature drops later this winter and weather sticks around for a few months, your home energy bill may increase. These winter furnace tips will not only help mediate increases to your energy bill, but also keep your furnace from breaking down in the middle of a cold snap.
1. Schedule an Annual Tune-Up
The best way to ensure that your furnace is running as efficiently as possible is to schedule an annual tune-up. When you hire a licensed technician to inspect your furnace before it is turned on for the season, they will ensure that your unit is ready to keep your home warm and your family comfortable. Preventative care often catches small problems before they become large issues at inopportune times.
Furnace inspections don’t only help you avoid breakdowns; they confirm that your system is running as efficiently as possible. This will help prolong the life of your furnace and decrease your energy bills throughout the summer months.
2. Upgrade your Thermostat
Not all winter furnace tips are centered around your furnace. This tip actually focuses on your thermostat. One way you can optimize your home’s efficiency and keep your furnace running smoothly is by upgrading your thermostat. Out of date or broken thermostats will force your furnace to work harder and run longer than necessary. You can upgrade to a smart thermostat to help save money on your energy bills and ensure that your furnace is only running when it needs to be. Learn more about smart thermostats from our blog post, “How to Choose a Smart Thermostat.”
If you are not sure about swapping out your thermostat for a new smart thermostat, you can also simply replace your current thermostat’s batteries to ensure that the reading is as accurate as possible throughout the winter. Although, this will not improve the efficiency of your heating system, it will help keep your bill lower than a thermostat with dying batteries.
3. Seal your Home
Seal your home to help keep warmed air indoors. This helps regulate your home’s temperature and prevents your furnace from running unnecessarily. You can buy cheap weather stripping for your windows and doors to keep warm air from escaping, which will help your home maintain its temperature.
4. Reverse your Ceiling Fan
Your ceiling fan can also help lower your energy bill and make your home feel warmer. A lot of people are unaware that ceiling fans have a switch that reverses the direction of the fan blades. When the blades rotate clockwise, they help push warm air down and disperse it throughout your home. Just be sure to put the fan on the lowest setting to avoid a wind chill effect.
5. Stay Aware of Scent Changes
Be cautious of strange scents coming from your furnace. It is normal to smell a burning scent when you turn your furnace on for the first time each year. However, if you start to smell any odors coming from your vents or furnace after it has been running for a few days, you will want to contact a professional immediately. If left alone, you could cause harm to your furnace, or worse – it could cause your family to breath in harmful chemicals.
If your furnace has been acting up lately, schedule service with BGE HOME to make sure that your furnace is fixed before temperatures drop and you aren’t left in the cold. For more furnace tips, you can also check out our furnace troubleshooting guide, or contact us.