High-efficiency gas furnaces can significantly lower your heating bills. But over time, it’s common for your furnace to lose efficiency. As a result, it costs you more money to operate. There are several things you can do to improve efficiency in your furnace, we’re going to take a look at those factors.
It’s only over the last few years that people have really started talking about energy efficiency. Before it was something people should have been thinking about, but because the times were good and the money was rolling in. Many people didn’t care much about whether their annual energy bill was a couple of hundred dollars extra each year.
However, in the last few years, that’s all changed and millions of homeowners have been forced to tighten their financial belts and make cutbacks where they can.
One way they have been able to do that on a consistent basis is by using energy more efficiently. In terms of your furnace, it’s not just the condition of the furnace itself that can affect how much energy it consumes.
Why Is Your Furnace Losing Efficiency?
There’s actually a number of other “external” factors that could place greater demand on your furnace and cause it to work harder than it should really have to.
I have had the pleasure of working with thousands of clients over the last two decades. When tasked with carrying out a new furnace installation (or a furnace repair for that matter), I always first carry out a full onsite evaluation to check for any issues that could potentially affect the furnace performance.
While it’s not always possible to address these issues immediately, it’s important to be aware of them and what needs to be done to resolve them.
The first factor that we are going to talk about is actually a human factor. If you use your furnace for longer periods than you really need to, how can you expect your energy consumption to be kept to a minimum?!
The problem is, is that it’s very easy to switch on a furnace and forget about it, which is why we would recommend you select a model that features a programmable thermostat. This feature allows you to program your furnace around your schedule and will turn it on and off automatically.
Wrong Size Furnace
If you select the wrong size of furnace for your home, your furnace installation is going to be doomed from the very beginning, even if you tick all of the other “boxes.” Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking “bigger is better” and select a new furnace that is too big for their property.
While this will obviously be capable of heating your property, it almost certainly won’t do so efficiently and will use more energy than a correctly sized system would.
On the flip side, if the furnace is undersized, it will have to run for much longer periods of time (constantly if it is dramatically undersized) to meet your heating needs, which will cause internal components to wear much quicker and will use larger amounts of energy.
Low Levels of Insulation
The ducts that are used to distribute the warm air produced by your furnace must be properly insulated otherwise heat energy will inevitably be lost, which can increase energy consumption by as much as 35%.
When conducting an assessment of your existing furnace, we don’t just check the furnace itself; we check the ductwork too to see if it is adequately insulated and whether there are any punctures.
Simply by improving this insulation you can boost the efficiency of any furnace or air conditioner installation almost immediately.
The layout of Heating Ducts
The efficiency of your new furnace can also be impacted upon by the layout of both the heating ducts in your property and the layout of your rooms. If the network of ducts contains a lot of sharp bends it could potentially hinder the distribution of warm air and therefore the energy efficiency of the furnace.
Placing furniture in front of heating ducts could have a similar effect.
Don’t Arrange Annual Maintenance
We urge you not to see an annual “check-up” with an HVAC professional as just another expense that you would rather not pay. As well as ensuring your furnace functions as efficiently as it possibly can, an annual check-up will also help to ensure that your furnace continues to operate at a high level for as long as it possibly can.
Whenever I complete a furnace installation, I always try to educate the client about the importance of this service call, and the immense benefits that it can have for a relatively minimal fee.
Whether you have an older furnace or a newer high-efficiency furnace model, regular furnace maintenance will help prolong the life of your unit and ensure maintain its performance.