Furnaces are one of the most expensive home appliances to operate, and as such, they can absorb more than their fair share of your winter budget. If you are looking for ways to make room in your budget, you should find ways to improve your home's energy efficiency. While optimizing your HVAC system is a great place to start, you can also find ways to make your whole home more energy efficient.
Finding and Repairing Leaks in Your Ducts
Leaky ducts can happen to any system. They form as the air moving through your ducts exerts outward pressure on the walls of your ducts. Combine this pressure with a constant cycle of heating and cooling, and it is enough to deteriorate the seals at your ducts' joints and seams. Leaky ducts can decrease your furnace efficiency by up to 40%. If your ducts are hidden behind the drywall of your home, you will need to call in duct professionals to use special scopes to inspect your ducts and make repairs. On the other hand, if you have ducts running through an unfinished attic, crawlspace, or basement, you can use these steps to inspect and make whatever repairs are necessary:
1. Turn your thermostat to the "fan" position.
2. Access your ducts and light a stick of incense.
3. Slowly run the incense along the joints and seams in your ducts.
4. Use a market to mark any place where air escaping from your ducts ruffles the incense smoke.
5. Once you have inspected the full length of your ducts, turn your fan to the "off" position.
6. Paint a thick layer of duct mastic over the marks you made with the marker.
7. Allow the mastic to dry, then turn your thermostat back to the "on" position.
Windbreaks Can Make a Big Difference
The wind moving across the outside of your house can rob your house of heat. Even with solid insulation, you still have to worry about the effect of wind on your windows. Planting trees along the north and west side of your home can break the wind and reduce your heating costs by up to 30%.
The two above examples should be enough to show how much you stand to save on your heating costs simply by taking steps to improve your home's energy efficiency. When you spend a little bit of money, you can end up saving a lot of money in the long run. If you don't feel confident doing these on your own, contact a furnace repair specialist today to make your home more energy efficient.