February 2, 2018 7 Tips to Maximize Heating Efficiency During those cold winter days, nothing is better than feeling nice and toasty in the comfort of your own home; until you receive your noticeably high energy bill. Your heat is one of the bigger utilities that can raise your bill, so here are seven ways to maximize your heating efficiency. 1) Purchase a Programmable Thermostat There are four common types of thermostats that people usually have in their homes: Mechanical / Manual Digital Non-Programmable Programmable Thermostat Learning or Smart (usually Wi-Fi enabled) What separates a programmable or smart thermostat from the others is that they can be programmed to increase or reduce temperatures at pre-determined times based on your schedule. You can automatically adjust the temperature setting to be higher when you’re home and lower when you’re not, rather than leaving it the higher temperature throughout the day. Learning and Smart thermostats can interpret the right temperature based on past adjustments and by learning when your home is usually occupied. Additionally most of today’s newer Learning or Smart thermostats can also be connected to some of the more popular home automation systems that are available today such as Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, and Wink. Some of these have the ability to pair with your smartphone to determine when all of the occupants of your home have either left or are returning based on a preset geographic area. 2) Change Your Filter Your HVAC unit works incredibly hard during the winter and summer months. With all that hard work, your systems air filter will most likely be clogged or dirty due to all the dust and particulate matter it collects from your home. Most HVAC systems require that you change your air filter once per month, though some high quality filters can last a few months longer. A clogged or dirty filter affects the air you breathe, as well as the performance and longevity of your heating and cooling equipment. In most cases, your heating and cooling systems share the same air filter (you may have one or more filter in your home), so it’s important to make your filter replacements in both hot and cold seasons. 3) Scheduling Consistent Maintenance Services By having annual maintenance services completed on your HVAC system, you will ensure the best performance from your equipment, and save money on your utility costs in the long run. Most local heating professionals will provide you with a clear understanding of your heating and cooling system’s condition, whether any immediate or preventative repairs should be done, and if your filter is clogged. By having these routine maintenance services completed, you won’t have to worry about why your house is too cold or overheated, while saving money. 4) Home Energy Audits Piggybacking off of consistent maintenance services, having a home energy audit done is also beneficial towards maximizing heating efficiency. A home energy audit allows you to learn how you’re using your energy, determine where it’s being wasted, and will help prioritize your efficiency upgrades. Once you figure out where your energy and heat is being used, local heating professionals can help review your HVAC system and suggest improvements on how to efficiently get the most out of your system. 5) Purchasing a Hand-Held Thermal Sensor A hand-held thermal sensor is a nice tool that allows you to place it on a wall, ceiling, etc. and figure out what the temperature is in that specific area. Being that the sensor is easily portable, once you figure out the temperature in one spot, you can then move it to another spot in your home to figure out if a certain area isn’t getting enough heat or getting too much heat. 6) Sealing Your Home Sealing your home can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to maximizing your heating efficiency. The point of sealing your home is to prevent the warm air in your home from escaping, meaning that if you have specific areas in your home where air leaks, you run the risk of losing all the moisture in your home while the cold, dry air enters your home. After you or a heating professional performs a home energy audit to find out where the leaks are, you can then take the necessary steps towards sealing your home. 7) Lower Your Heat A contradicting way to using your heat, lowering your heat can actually help maximize your heating efficiency. As stated before, keeping your heat at a low but constant temperature helps reduce the cost of your bill and prevents your home from overheating 24/7. Instead of setting your thermostat at a high temperature at all times, try putting on a couple of layers of clothing to help keep you warm without the risk of overheating. For help with implementing any of these steps or updating your heating system, get in touch with Appolo!