Your furnace will have a larger effect on your monthly heating bill than any other factor. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways that you can reduce your heating bill without the expense of upgrading to an energy-efficient furnace. Here are three home heating habits that can reduce your energy bill.
Set the Thermostat to Target Temperature
Your thermostat is designed to operate your furnace in such a way as to keep your home as close as possible to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Unfortunately, many people feel a strong urge to turn their thermostat all the way up when their house gets extremely cold.
Setting the thermostat too high wastes energy because it doesn't actually cause your home to heat up faster. Instead, the furnace will simply keep running after your home has reached a comfortable temperature. This leads to wasted energy, frequent manual cycling of the furnace, and increased wear and tear on your system.
Change the Furnace Filter Regularly
Cleaning or replacing the furnace filter is easy to forget, but it could have a larger impact on your HVAC system than you realize. A clogged furnace filter will reduce the efficiency of your system by restricting airflow, and can also lead to poor indoor air quality as the dirty filter is no longer able to remove pollutants from the air effectively.
The type of furnace filter that you have will determine how frequently you need to clean or replace it. Disposable fiberglass or paper should be replaced at least once per month. Washable cotton fiber filters can often go for up to two months without cleaning, but you should still check them monthly and clean them sooner if you see an especially thick layer of dust on the filter.
Don't Close Vent Registers
If you are not using one or more rooms in your home, it seems intuitive to close the vent registers in these rooms to avoid wasting energy by heating them. Unfortunately, this is not an effective method if you have a central HVAC system, and will actually cause your furnace to run less efficiently.
The problem with closing vent registers when you have a central system is that your furnace blower will still deliver the same amount of air through your home. Closed registers create bottlenecks in an otherwise balanced system, forcing your furnace to work harder to circulate air.
Use these simple steps to encourage good heating habits in your home and avoid paying an unnecessarily expensive heating bill. For more information, talk to a professional like Bill Rhiner's Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.