Before too long, winter will be here once again. That means that the temperature in the Salem, OR area will start to drop quickly and your home will be getting chilly. If you want to stay warm and cozy throughout the season, you’ll likely be relying pretty heavily on your furnace. However, if you have the heat cranked up all the time, it can lead to your monthly energy bills going through the roof. As a result, you end up having to choose between being comfortable or saving money, and that’s a choice nobody should have to make. Fortunately, there are several straightforward things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your heating system. That way, you can keep your household warm this winter without having to spend a ton of money on heating bills.
1. Schedule a Tune-Up
If you want your furnace to run like new all winter, one of the wisest things you can do is schedule a professional tune-up. At Woodward Heating, our team would be glad to take care of this service for you. One of our skilled technicians will take several measures to ensure that your heating system is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. The tune-up will involve cleaning the accumulated contaminants from the appliance, which will allow it to circulate air more easily. That will directly improve its energy efficiency. Our team will also inspect your furnace for any mechanical problems that could be hampering its performance.
Ultimately, furnace maintenance should be viewed as an investment. After you have it done, the unit will run much more efficiently and will be much less likely to need costly repairs. Plus, it will be more capable of keeping you comfortable all winter long.
2. Replace the Air Filter
Before you start depending on your furnace more frequently, it helps to switch out the dirty air filter for a clean one. The filter has the crucial task of catching airborne contaminants. That way, they don’t get cycled into the appliance and around your home. Over time, though, the furnace filter becomes clogged with contaminants. Eventually, that will start to hamper the appliance’s airflow, which can worsen its efficiency and strain the unit. Ideally, you’ll want to monitor the filter closely throughout the season and switch it out whenever it gets dirty.
3. Clean Your Air Vents
When you have the heat turned on, your furnace must push air through the different air vents around your home to reach the various rooms. However, the interior of those vents tends to become packed with dust, dirt, and small debris over time. If there are enough contaminants accumulated, it will be more difficult for your furnace to circulate air consistently. That can result in quite a bit more electricity being required to keep your home comfortable. Plus, you could end up with uneven temperatures around your household.
Before winter, it’s worth taking some time to clean all of the air vents in your home. Fortunately, the task is pretty easy. Using a screwdriver, you’ll want to remove the cover from each vent. Then, all you have to do is take a vacuum cleaner’s hose extension to suck the dust and dirt out of the chamber. Put the cover panel back on, and you’ll be good to go. If you can, try to do this every couple of months to keep your furnace running at peak performance.
4. Get Your Ductwork Cleaned and Inspected
Your home’s air ducts also have an extremely important job when it comes to keeping the house comfortable. Essentially, they serve as the pathway for your HVAC system to circulate air to all the different parts of your living space. When the ducts are clean and in good shape, your furnace can smoothly move warm air around without any problems. However, your air ducts can get dirty or even damaged, and that can have several unfortunate effects.
Much like your air vents, your ducts can accumulate contaminants over time. This includes dust, dirt, mold, pollen, dander, and random debris. If enough of those particles build up, they can start to obstruct the airways and force your heating system to increase its air pressure to push through. That significantly worsens the energy efficiency of the appliance and has a direct impact on your monthly bills. If the ducts are leaky, on the other hand, hot air can escape through the openings when your furnace is running. As a result, the appliance has to work harder to compensate for the loss, using up more energy in the process.
At Woodward Heating, we offer thorough duct cleaning services for residents of the greater Salem area. We’ll clean all the contaminants out of your ductwork and ensure that there aren’t any leaks or other problems. That will allow your furnace to run at maximum efficiency throughout the winter.
5. Seal Household Air Leaks
Although you may not realize they’re there, your home could have multiple air leaks around the edges of windows and doorways. Even if they’re very small, these leaks can allow quite a bit of warm air to escape during the winter. When that happens, your furnace has to run significantly longer to make up for the lost heat and keep your household at a comfortable temperature. That not only worsens your heating system’s efficiency, but it also puts extra wear and tear on the equipment, which can end up shortening the furnace’s lifespan.
Before the cold Oregon winter arrives, it would be smart to inspect your home for leaks and seal any that you find. Check all your doors and windows, and if you can’t see the openings, be sure to feel around for moving air with your hands. If you find any gaps that need to be addressed, you should be able to seal them effectively using caulking and weather stripping from the hardware store.
6. Insulate the Attic
Having quality attic insulation is important for keeping your furnace energy-efficient. If the attic isn’t insulated, warm air will rise to the top of your home and dissipate through the roofing. As a result, the lower parts of your household won’t be warm enough and your furnace will need to work much harder to provide a sufficient amount of heat. However, if you have your attic insulated, there will be a barrier that prevents that warm air from rising to the top of the house. Instead, it will remain on the lower floors, which will keep the dwelling more comfortable and evenly heated. Spray foam insulation is a great choice that will be extremely effective for improving your comfort and furnace efficiency.
Since 1989, we at Woodward Heating have been providing residents of the greater Salem area with high-quality home comfort services. Over the years, we’ve become known for our honest, straightforward approach. We offer upfront pricing estimates and dedicated customer service. Whether you need heating, air conditioning, indoor air quality, gas piping, or fireplace services, our team will be up to the task. Contact us at Woodward Heating today if you’d like to schedule an appointment!