For some homeowners, their main strategy for reducing heating bills is to lower the temperature on the thermostat. However, other effective steps are available for reducing the load on your furnace or heat pump, and most of them won’t result in your family turning into icicles. Following are some tried-and-true methods for reducing the heating load in your home.
- Upgrade insulation. A home that’s poorly insulated will lose heat quickly, forcing the heating system to work harder to compensate. It’s especially important to have adequate insulation in the attic (as well as ventilation and air sealing). This helps keep heat in the living spaces from escaping into the attic (or transferring downward in the summertime).
- Seal air leaks. When your home isn’t properly sealed, warm air is constantly escaping through gaps and cracks in walls, windows and other spots (such as where utility wires and pipes penetrate the walls). For effective air sealing, use caulk, weatherstripping or spray foam depending on the size and type of air leaks. One easy way to find leaks is to walk along the inside of the home’s outer walls with an incense stick or candle. When the smoke or flame wavers or moves, you’ve found an air leak.
- Check and change the air filter. A dirty air filter will impede airflow through your system, forcing the blower motor to work harder to push air through the furnace and ductwork. This wastes energy, stresses equipment and results in uneven heating. Inspect the filter once a month and change it when it looks dirty.
- Upgrade windows. If your home’s windows are old and leaking, an enormous amount of warm air will escape. Consider upgrading to Energy Star-certified modern windows.
- Install a programmable thermostat. You can program energy-saving temperature setbacks for when you’re away for the day or asleep at night. There’s no good reason to fully heat and cool a home that’s empty for nine hours every day.
For more advice on reducing the load on your Southwest Oklahoma home’s furnace or heat pump, please contact us at Davis Air conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Lawton and Duncan, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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