When the kids head back to school after a hopefully long, hot summer, it’s generally the time to start thinking about preparing your heating system for the upcoming fall and winter. The nights can cool down pretty quickly once September gives way to October and you’ll need your furnace to be in peak working condition. There’s no getting through a Toronto area winter without using a heating system, but there are ways you can help keep the costs down. A furnace needs regular checkups on an annual basis and should also be tuned up if needed. If you neglect to do this, you could be paying unnecessarily-high heating bills. Below are a few simple tips which should help cut down on your heating costs.
An annual HVAC tune-up can help save energy costs as well as repair bills. Air conditioning and heating systems are worth thousands of dollars and should be taken care of properly to keep them in tip-top shape. Energy bills in the Greater Toronto Area are already high enough as it is so you don’t want to be paying above and beyond what is necessary. If your system is operating efficiently it will help keep the costs down. A professional HVAC contractor such as Lloyd HVAC can provide an annual checkup and cleaning each fall to make sure your system is working as well as it’s designed to. This will help keep your warranty validated as well as extending the life of the unit and cutting down on energy costs.
Keep the filter clean
One of the simplest, but most important preventative maintenance tasks you can perform is to clean or change the air filter when needed. A dirty air filter means it’s congested and this will result in the furnace working harder and costing more to run. In addition, a dirty filter could also shorten the lifespan of the furnace. Studies have shown that a clean air filter can save approximately five to 15 percent on the monthly cost of operating the furnace. As well as cutting down on costs, a clean air filter is also healthier for you and your family. A dirty filter can aggravate conditions such as asthma and allergies since it will worsen the air quality. A clean filter will be able to trap and remove small pollen and dust particles from the air and help create a healthier atmosphere.
Use a programmable thermostat
It’s recommended that you use a programmable thermostat so you can lower the temperature setting when you’re not at home and when you’re sleeping. To make up for the difference in temperature at bedtime, you can typically use an extra blanket on your bed. Lower temperature settings means the furnace isn’t working as often and the energy costs will be slashed. If you already have a programmable thermostat it’s a good idea to have it checked during the annual tune-up to make sure it’s properly calibrated and is operating efficiently. If the thermostat isn’t running like it should, you could be paying higher energy bills than necessary. The thermostat should be installed in a location a good distance away from sources of heat or cold such as an interior wall away from sunlight and drafts.
Be wary of carbon monoxide leaks
Your contractor will also check for carbon monoxide leaks when tuning up your furnace. This dangerous and potentially lethal gas is both odourless and colourless and it may not be detected until it’s already done its damage. Several hundred North Americans die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning due to leaks in their furnace system.
Seal household air leaks
If your windows and doors aren’t properly sealed it’s possible that cold air can creep through them and cause your furnace to work overtime. It’s a good idea to feel for drafts along the edges and bases of windows and doors . If you can feel air coming through them you can help seal the cold-air leaks with rubber weather stripping or caulking. These solutions are generally the most effective, easiest to use and also the least expensive. Sealing any drafts will help conserve HVAC energy costs in both the winter and summer.
Lloyd HVAC is an HVAC company servicing Toronto and the surrounding GTA. We offer both residential and commercial HVAC services and we are top rated on Homestars. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.