Home heating systems are the lifeblood of the home during harsh winters. In Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan, the energy efficiency of a heating system is especially important to keep heating costs low.
A basic home heating system works like this: You set the temperature on the thermostat. The thermostat tells the furnace to turn on when the air falls below the set temperature. The furnace collects the heated air into a heat exchanger, from which a fan blows the air into the duct system that carries the air throughout the house. When the temperature in the house reaches the desired setting, the furnace shuts off.
Each of those components — the thermostat, the furnace and the ductwork — contributes to the energy efficiency of a home heating system as a whole. Clunky, inaccurate old thermostats can be replaced by energy-saving programmable models. Many of us are living with energy-wasting furnaces. (A furnace’s AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency, rating measures the efficiency of a furnace; a furnace with a 70 percent AFUE turns only 70 percent of the energy it uses into heat for your home.) And in many of our homes, leaky or poorly designed ductwork is shedding conditioned air.
Here are some ways to increase the efficiency of your home heating system:
- If your furnace is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with a model with a higher AFUE rating.
- Have your furnace inspected and tuned up once a year by a qualified heating professional. Replace your furnace filters regularly.
- Look for leaks or missing insulation in your duct system. A professional duct inspector can find leaks even in hard-to-see areas.
- Install a programmable thermostat to set back temperatures while your family is away from home and at night.
For more information about how the components of your home heating system can combine to make an energy-saving home, contact us at Home Comfort Experts. Serving the Mishawaka and South Bend areas, we are happy to offer expert advice.