Self-Maintenance and Energy Efficiency Tips

1.) The higher the AFUE rating, the more energy efficient the furnace.

2.) Replacing an older furnace with a new one can pay for itself over time. Older heating systems cost more to run, and may not be as safe or effective as newer options. In fact, an 8 to 10 year-old furnace can be 60% less energy efficient than conservation conscious, present day models.

3.) Check with your utility company to see if they provide home energy auditor services. For little or no charge they can assess your home for problems, and then recommend customized solutions for ways to cut down on utility costs and make your home more energy efficient. If your utility company does not offer this service, ask a licensed heating contractor or other type home energy professional for suggestions.

4.) Whereas the power required for space heating in large buildings can account for nearly 30% of total energy costs, high-efficiency boilers are more practical; cutting the cost for heating by 10 to 30%.

5.) Changing your furnace or air conditioning air filter every 3 months or so will make it more efficient and can help conserve energy. Dirty filters force the unit to work harder - wasting energy. Changing filters regularly also keeps the unit cleaner; reducing the risk of costly maintenance needs or system failure. With the additional bonus of improved indoor air quality (IAQ).

6.) According to Michael Redding, a long-time plumbing and heating New Jersey area professional, spray foam is a good way to “air seal” your home against heat and cold extremes. For efficiency and safety purposes, however, he does warn homeowners to follow product directions to the letter.

7.) For more comfortable indoor climate during the summer, run the ceiling fan with blades downward - creating a cool breeze. In hot weather, use a ceiling fan with an air conditioner turned at a lower setting to maintain room comfort. Over the course of the summer you save nearly 14% in energy costs, than when using just an air conditioner for the same level comfort zone.

8.) Most ceiling fans have a switch to reverse the motor. Whereas running the fan with blades downward increases indoor comfort on hot summer days, the opposite is true for cold winter months. By running the fan on low with blades facing upward, a gentle updraft is created. Drawing warm air up toward the ceiling before circulating it back down into the living area for greater heating efficiency.

9.) The best time to make your home more energy efficient is when making home renovations or repairs. Especially when adding a room or making other structural changes. Alterations to walls, roofs, windows, lighting, ductwork, etc. provide the perfect opportunity to better insulate your home, increase indoor comfort, and conserve energy. All of which can help cut down on utility costs. A Home Performance Contractor or even a licensed heating contractor can assess your home, review your renovation plans, and then make helpful suggestions. Tip: certain home alterations that promote responsible energy use may qualify for rebates or tax credits of up to $1,500.

10.) When purchasing a heating system, consider both the sticker price and projected ongoing costs to run it. What may seem like a more expensive option could end up being your most cost-effective choice long-term.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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