As energy costs rise each of us can benefit from reduced usage. Some of the more obvious tips are the first to be forgotten.
As children mom and dad always had us turn out lights when not in use. Today we can also benefit from low energy lighting such as CFL and LED bulbs. Tip No. 1 is to use low energy lighting wherever possible. A fringe benefit of LED lighting outdoors is it attracts less bugs (low heat).
Clean air filters for your HVAC unit will allow it to run at peak efficiency. Tape or magic marker on your filter duct the exact filter size so you’ll know it when you need it. Tip No. 2 is to buy more than filters than you need and you’ll have spares handy to change more often.
Turn the thermostat down when your not home. Programmable thermostats are inexpensive and easily installed (low voltage). Make sure you get the thermostat appropriate for your heating unit (heat pumps have special requirements). Tip No. 3 is to program your thermostat to lower heat or cooling when your not home and during the night.
While you’ll only wear warmer clothes during the cold weather your house will benefit from insulation all year long. Unconditioned spaces (not heated or cooled) should be insulated from the rest of your home. Typical unconditioned spaces are attics, basements or crawl spaces, and garages. Tip No. 4 is to install or add insulation to bring you house to the recommended R value for your region.
Winter is on its way.
Chances are you’ll be running your heat well before the official astronomical date.
Now is a good time to change those furnace filters to ensure your comfort and energy savings during the heating season.
While most of us are aware of our furnaces presence, it is rarely thought of until it doesn’t work as expected. You can save on heating and cooling costs by doing a little maintenance now and ensuring your comfort during the coming season.
Checking your furnace filter will provide you with the following benefits:
>> Help to reduce heating and cooling costs
>> Improve the comfort of your home
>> Protect the heating and cooling equipment
Many programmable thermostats have a function similar to the maintenance reminder on your car which will remember the last time you changed your filter. If your thermostat has this function, don’t forget to reset it after you service your furnace filter.
How often should I check my furnace filter?
Your ‘mileage’ may vary depending on the actual operating time of your air handler, but consider checking it every month as a base to determine your scheduling needs.
Where is my furnace filter located? The filter is usually located in the air return to the furnace which can be on either side of the furnace cabinet. In some cases you may need to remove the furnace cover (face) to access the filter, you will most often be able to do this without tools.
What type of furnace filter should I purchase? The need for clean air in the home has given rise to a wide variety of filter types, including electrostatic, washable and disposable filters. You needn’t ‘re-invent the wheel’ here, chances are the best filter for your installation is already present. Just replace with the same size and type.
How much does a furnace filter cost? Furnace filters can range from $2 to $30 depending on the type of filter you select. The ‘big box’ stores and even many grocery stores carry furnace filters, make sure to buy the correct size. If you prefer the less expensive type of filter buying more than one now will save you future trips.
Helpful Tip: Write down the size of your existing furnace filter in a convenient place before going to purchase a new one (many homeowners write the size directly on the visible portion of the furnace cabinet with permanent markers or on a piece of tape stuck to the cabinet – include the date of service if needed).
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