Space Heating Improvement Tips
No-to-Low Cost Improvements
- Furnace filters should be changed at a minimum every 3 months to allow the blower motor to operate easier, saving energy. The more clogged the filter becomes, the harder the motor has to work to push air through the filter.
- Have your furnace cleaned and inspected annually by a professional technician to keep your furnace running up to maximum efficiency.
- Stopping the drafts coming into your living space is a great way to keep the cold out. Look for areas around your windows, door, or your pipes and wires going through the wall, to add a little caulking or weatherstripping to stop that cold air from coming in.
- Air leakage can escape through cracks and gaps in the duct, at the joints, and at the registers. Seal your heating ducts with a proper duct mastic compound, then wrap the joint with proper joint tape to prevent and eliminate leaks. This prevents heating an unconditioned area, such as an attic or vented crawl space, which wastes energy.
- Space heaters can save energy, if used properly. Use a space heater in a small area instead of heating the entire home. But remember, turning off the heater when you are done in the room saves energy as well.
Improvements Requiring Investment
- Heating boilers with an oversized burner wastes energy. Consider a burner upgrade, if the local building code allows the upgrade. The burner can be replaced by a qualified technician.
- Furnace efficiency could be as low as 56% to 70% in older models, while new energy efficient ENERGY STAR® certified models could be higher than 96% efficiency. The 96% efficiency rating means that 96% of the natural gas burned is used for heat, while only 4% goes out the chimney.
- Be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR certified label when making a new purchase. A qualified furnace technician will inspect for proper natural gas pressure, clean the motor and lubricate, check the flue pipe, clean or change the filter, check the safety controls, and inspect the igniter and heat exchanger. Having a technician check your system keeps the furnace running at its best, which saves energy.
- A geothermal heat pump system that uses the earth or outside air may save energy.