When the temperature dips in Chesterfield, Missouri, you tend to increase the usage of your furnace. But how do you increase your furnace’s efficiency to make it last longer and help you save energy? Pay attention to these six factors that can affect furnace efficiency so that you can save energy and money:

Dirty Filters

Changing your air filter makes sure that your furnace runs efficiently. When dirt and other particles build up in your filter, your HVAC system has to work harder to push air through. To make up for the airflow blockage, your furnace works harder and consumes additional energy.

How often you need to change the filter depends on several factors, such as how often you clean, if you have pets, and if you’ve made recent renovations inside. Check the filter each month to determine if it’s dirty and in need of replacement.

Poor Insulation Levels

Insulation gives your home a barrier and contains the heat that your furnace creates. If your home doesn’t have good insulation, your furnace must work harder to keep your home warm. You can schedule an energy audit or perform an inspection on your own to determine the quality of your insulation.

The attic should have a thick layer of insulation on its floor. Your walls should also have a decent amount of insulation. To check this, turn off the power, remove the cover of an electrical outlet and peer inside with a flashlight. Look to see if there’s adequate insulation, and add spray foam or loose-fill insulation if needed.

Closed or Dirty Registers

You might think that closing registers in a bedroom that’s not in use is a good way to increase energy efficiency. However, a furnace needs to be able to freely circulate air around your home, and shutting the vents doesn’t prevent air movement. Walk around your house and make sure none of your registers are blocked or closed. When looking at the registers, check to see if they’re dirty. If so, schedule an air duct cleaning. Dirty ducts can cause your furnace to work harder, lowering its efficiency.

High Thermostat Settings

Every degree counts, so lowering your thermostat requires your furnace to use less energy. Even lowering your thermostat by a degree or two will save energy and ease the load on your furnace. Find the lowest setting you’re comfortable with and program your thermostat. That way, the system can adjust the temperature based on the day and time to keep you warm and save you money.

You can also install a smart thermostat to make your system even more efficient. These types of thermostats let you program the temperature via an app on your smartphone. So if your plans change and you aren’t going to be home, you can lower the temperature remotely. You can also set it to turn on right before you get home so you’re not returning to a cold house.

Lack of Maintenance

Performing annual maintenance on your furnace can make it more efficient. Skipping out on the annual tuneup can drive up energy bills and increase safety hazards. Scheduling a tuneup can make sure that your furnace is working to the best of its ability. Your service technician can determine if any issues might cause an increase in energy usage. Sign up for an HVAC maintenance program.

Leaky Ducts and Air Leaks

Old or improperly sealed ducts can cause heated air to escape, and leaks around your doors, walls and windows can seep out of your house. Make sure your home is as tightly sealed as possible so the furnace doesn’t have to work harder to maintain a constant temperature and waste energy.

Furnace efficiency can affect not only the temperature of your home but also your energy bills. If you’re unsure if your furnace is operating at its full capacity, reach out to Averill Heating & Air Conditioning at 314-328-0437. We can send out a professional to come out to check your furnace efficiency and repair any issues.

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