Heating Season Home Comfort Guide
Here are 6 things to think about before Winter sets in. Cold, wet weather is here and we are closing up our homes and starting to use the furnace heating system in our homes. The following items will help you have a more comfortable heating season and could save you money on utility bills. If your gas furnace is over 15 years old you may consider replacing the heating system to increase the efficiency with a more modern model. Some models are manufactured up to 96% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). This could be an increase in efficiency by over 30% to older model gas furnaces.
You don’t need to replace your furnace to save money on heating bills. Check out the list below to improve the performance of your existing furnace heating system.
Change your heating – furnace air filter
Keeping the furnace air filter clean will help keep your heater move the right amount of air through the HVAC system. In heating mode your furnace main circulating blower will draw more power if the motor and blower wheel is dirty. This can cause your furnace to overheat. You can install a higher MERV rated furnace filter, however this is not always a good idea. Your existing furnace blower may not be able to handle the extra restriction created by installing a better quality air filter.
Seal your Ducts and registers
PG&E and the California Energy Commission has reported the average duct leakage rate in homes over 10 years old is 30%-35%. One of the biggest energy wasting, comfort robbing conditions found in Bay Area homes is the leaky duct systems installed when your home was built. The 2013 Title 24 – Energy Efficiency Code states; an existing duct system needs to be sealed to <15% or less when a gas furnace is replaced and <6% or less on new replacement duct systems. Duct tape is not an approved material to be used for duct repairs or sealing. The use of UL approved mastic and duct closure tapes when properly applied can greatly reduce the amount of conditioned air leaving the duct system before it reached the conditioned space. You can have your HVAC systems total duct leakage verified by a HERS Rater to determine the percent of lost conditioned air you are paying for to heat your attic or crawlspace. Just sealing the metal boots from the attic or crawlspace, to the sheet rock or sub floor will greatly reduce the amount of duct leakage you have in the system and keep critters and pests from entering the home.
Open all register vents
Some homeowners believe that closing off heating register vents in rooms that are not being used, is saving them money. By closing these room completely off you actually make your furnace heating system run more often than it needs to. Forced air heating systems heat up air. When a register vent is closed off in a bedroom that is unoccupied the air temperature in that room stays colder than the rest of the house. Hot air always moves to colder air, so this will create a draft inside your home. The draft will draw the heat from the rest of the house towards it and once the thermostat senses the temperature drop it will kick the furnace heating system back on, before the rest of the house really needs more heat. By keeping all of the vents in your home open the house will heat up more evenly will reduce the amount the furnace will cycle on an average Winter day.
Preventing dry conditions in the home
Installing a Humidifier to your central heating system can help you control the level of relative humidity in the home. The dry, Winter air in your home is dried out even more when you run your gas furnace. This can make your skin dry, increase the risk of static shock and increase nose bleeds in children and the elderly. Ask AAA Furnace & Air Conditioning Co. for information on installing a whole house Humidifier on your HVAC system.
Have your system cleaned and safety checked
Having your system cleaned annually is recommended by all heating and air conditioning equipment manufactures. Schedule a Winter Season Cleaning and Safety Check from AAA Furnace & Air Conditioning Co. today by calling our professional office staff.
Install a Smart Thermostat
AAA Furnace & Air Conditioning Co recommends the Sensi-Stat by Emerson.