When winter settles in, you definitely don’t want to cross your fingers and hope that your furnace or heating system will efficiently heat your home. And, of course, you want to get the most out of your system — in other words,  you want your furnace to heat your home in the most cost-effective way possible. Here are six tips to maximize your heating system.

1. Look for Cold Spots

If you have a room that just won’t warm up, this can be a sign of trouble. Use a hand-held thermal sensor to check out a room’s temperature. This little device can help you identify cold spots within a room, which can indicate areas that might be missing insulation or have drafts. Repairing the areas using foam insulation or weather stripping can ensure that your furnace doesn’t have to work harder than it needs to. You may find major leaks around your old windows which may necessitate a call to Ideal Construction to have them install modern windows with far superior insulating qualities.

2. Install a Programmable Thermostat

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Image via Flickr by www.toprq.com/iphone

Install a programmable thermostat. This type of thermostat can let you set the temperature a few degrees lower when you are away from home. This can add up to several hundred dollars in savings each year. These are inexpensive and easy to install.

3. Maintain Your Ducts

Ducts are often huge energy waters. Sealing and insulating your ducts can improve the efficiency of your system — often up to 20 percent or more. The most important ducts to seal or maintain include those located in crawl spaces, attics, unheated basements, and garages. The seams of the  ducts should be sealed using a tape that is specific to your system. They should also be wrapped in insulation to keep them from getting too hot or cold.

4. Change the Filter

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Image via Flickr by Michael Sheehan

Checking your filter every month, especially during the heavy use months, can help maximize the performance of your HVAC system. A dirty filter can cause the system to work harder and waste energy. A clean filter can also prevent dirt and dust from accumulating in the system, which can lead to expensive maintenance costs.

5. Keep the Cold Air Returns Clear

Make sure that your cold air returns are clear of any blockages, such as furniture or rugs. This will let the system work more easily to maintain the proper temperatures.

6. Get the Professionals Involved

While these tips can help you ensure that your system is as efficient as possible, it is important to have your system inspected by a professional HVAC technician. These service technicians can tune up your system and inspect it for any possible issues that may make it run at less than optimal levels. Also, having your furnace cleaned during these maintenance visits can ensure that your HVAC system is burning at its maximum capacity to keep you warm during those chilly winter months.

This tips can help you keep your home warm as possible. Because your furnace will be running at its peak performance, you will also be saving money, which is always welcome!


Image via Flickr by Greg Habermann