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  • Patti

12 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Furnace

When you are a home owner, you want to be aware of the many ways you can save money in your home. One of those ways to save money is to get the most out of your major appliances. It's February, the groundhog saw his shadow, and we still have six weeks of winter ahead of us. We are still in the thick of the bitter cold. Read on for 12 ways to get the most out of your furnace for the remainder of this winter and every winter to come.

1. Change your filter - It is recommended that you change your filter every three months. A dirty filter not only won't clean your air as well, but the air won't flow through as easily, thus making your furnace work harder. If you do any home improvement projects that create dust or cause other debris to enter the air, you will need to check your filter and likely change it.

2. Use a programmable thermostat - Setting your temperatures to a schedule will save you money on your utility bills. It is recommended to keep your temperature lower at night while you sleep. If you lower the temperature for at least 8 hours per night, you will make an impact on your bill. Bonus, if you get a smart thermostat, most brands come with an app that includes a reminder for replacing your filter.

3. Get an annual tune up - You get regular maintenance on your car, your HVAC system is a fine-tuned machine as well. The cost of an HVAC tune up will be absorbed into the money you save with a system that operates better and lasts longer.

4. Check for leaks - Air leaks that is! Check around your windows, your doors, electrical outlets and even the fireplace for any cool air you feel pushing through. There is a variety of weatherstripping products that will help with any every draft culprit you find.

5. Generate humidity - Whether you boil water on the stove (please watch the pot, watched pots do boil), use a vaporizer, or invest in a whole house humidifier, humidity will help warm your home. Have you ever noticed that 90 degrees in Vegas feels different than 90 degrees in Miami? That's because of humidity and it will do the same in your home. It will also help your throat and sinuses feel better.

6. Insulate your garage - If you have an attached garage, it's a good idea to insulate the walls and your garage door. Any heat you can keep in your garage will help keep the cold from entering your home. We insulated our garage door and the process was quite simple, but the impact was huge.

7. Check your intake/exhaust pipes - If you have a high-efficiency furnace this is a necessity for the health of your furnace and your health. If ice or snow blocks these pipes outdoors, you will cause stress on your system and it will allow dangerous gases to become trapped in your home. Gases that you don't want to breath in!

8. Use thermal curtains - Like blankets for your windows, thermal curtains can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Just walk by your windows in the winter and you'll feel the coolness by the glass. Thermal curtains do wonders in keeping that cool air away from your living space.

9. Don't block vents - If you have furniture blocking a vent, make sure you use a deflector to help the air get past your furniture and into the room. The less vents you block, the better. This includes the return vents in your home. If your furnace is not getting air, it's not giving it either.

10. Clean your vents - While you are having your tune up done, get your vents cleaned. This will ensure you don't have any blockages and the air can flow. Have them clean your dryer vent, too!

11. Layer up - Grab those hoodies, flannel pants and cozy blankets, wearing layers helps keep us from cranking the heat up. With so many soft options, save the skivvies for summer.

12. Bake cookies - Well, bake anything you want, but why not cookies? We are NOT recommending heating your home with your oven, but why not take advantage of the heat while you bake a casserole, lasagna or cookies? Jason's personal favorite is Snickerdoodle if anyone wants to share.

If the inevitable happens and you find yourself faced with shopping for a new furnace, don't skimp on this much-needed appliance. Do your research and buy the furnace that is the best fit for your home and your lifestyle. In the long-run, you can save money with the right purchase. Schedule a home inspection if you want to learn more about your system and discover other issues that may be lurking in your home.


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