How to Get the Most from your Heating System
Staying comfortably warm in winter without doubling your energy bills often boils down to how you get the most from your heating system. The solutions to this problem that you and your neighbors face in winter range from simply rearranging household furniture to more complex tasks. Now, let us start burning some heating tips.
- Clear vents of obstacles. Clearing heater vents of shelves and other obstacles is probably the fastest and easiest way to increase indoor temperature. You can move furniture away from vents and design your curtains around the vents to let the warm air flow freely through the house.
- Prevent heat loss. Check for leaks and cracks in the doors, windows, electric outlets and switches. Heat can easily escape through a crack while cold air can come in through it. You can spot a crack or leak by holding a lighted candle over these areas and observing if the smoke moves horizontally. Apply caulk or weather strip over these areas or add additional insulating material.
- Use thermostats. Programmable thermostats adjust the heat according to a predetermined schedule so you can keep your house warm for long periods without the corresponding increase in the energy bill.
- Set a regular maintenance and checkup schedule. You can schedule a regular heating system check up annually if your central furnace or central heating system is electric or oil and every other year if it is a gas unit. You should change your heater’s air filter seasonally or monthly. A dirty filter can decrease the heating system’s efficiency, increase its energy consumption, and even damage it. Remember that a new and highly efficient heating system can bog down if poorly maintained.
- Use local heating when necessary. A modern central heating system comes with vents and air registers that can be closed in unoccupied areas of the house to reduce energy consumption. You can alternatively use a local heater for heating a room or a part of it.
- Pick an efficient heating system. Remember the type of fuel available and your heating and other needs when choosing a heating system. Modern central heaters commonly run on natural gas, oil, electricity, and propane. Check which fuel is readily available in your area. If you want a heating system with a cooling function, you can use a heat pump, preferably the air source pump because it is the most common and cheapest.
- Use geothermal energy. You do not have to live near a hot spring, geyser, or a volcano to develop a home geothermal system that often includes a heat pump. It is a high efficiency heating system as it consumes about 25 percent to 50 percent less energy than an air source heat pump. You can recoup your investment in setting up the geothermal-heating system through savings in energy bills and income tax credits if you are in America.