December 1, 2022
5 Tips for Reducing Heating Costs During the Winter
When St. Louis, MO winter is at its coldest, you’ll likely be relying heavily on your furnace to keep your home comfortable. However, if you have the heater blowing all day, every day, your monthly energy bills can quickly get out of hand. Plus, it can put a lot of strain on your heating unit, which can decrease its efficiency and lead to mechanical failure. However, there are ways that you can stay warm without letting your heating costs skyrocket. By taking a few prudent measures, you can conserve heat and keep your furnace running at peak efficiency throughout the winter.
1. Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
At Scott-Lee Heating Company, one of our expert services is heating maintenance. We’d be happy to give your furnace a tune-up, which will allow it to be more effective and energy-efficient during the chilly St. Louis winter. During furnace maintenance, our skilled team will clean the accumulated dust, dirt, and debris from your heating system, allowing it to circulate air more efficiently and improving your indoor air quality. The tune-up will also include a thorough inspection of the appliance. We’ll examine the different components for any current issues or warning signs of future ones. Our team will search for anything that could be hampering the performance or efficiency of your furnace. If there’s anything concerning, we’ll take care of it, which will save you money and hassle down the road.
If you want to keep your home’s furnace reliable and efficient for the long run, it’s imperative to schedule professional maintenance at least once a year. The beginning of the winter is an excellent time to get it done, as it will help ensure that you remain comfortable and save energy during the coldest part of the year.
2. Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned
Whenever you have the heater cranked up this winter, the warm air will be traveling through your household’s air ducts. If those ducts are clean and clear, the air will have open pathways to distribute heat to the different parts of your home. As a result, your furnace won’t need to work too hard to do its job, and your monthly energy bills will reflect that. However, if you haven’t had your ductwork cleaned in several years, it’s unlikely that the pathways will be completely free. Instead, they’re likely to be obstructed by dust, dirt, mold, debris, and other contaminants.
When your air ducts are dirty, your HVAC system must increase its air pressure to effectively circulate air. That leads directly to more energy being used, and it also puts additional wear and tear on the equipment. Plus, the contaminants end up in the air that you and your family breathe. Before the winter kicks into full gear, you’d be wise to have our local professionals clean your ducts. They’ll remove the accumulated contaminants and inspect the ductwork for any leaks or other issues. This will allow your furnace to run more efficiently and reduce the likelihood of a malfunction or breakdown.
3. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
Your heating system’s air filter has a very important job. When the appliance is running, the filter catches various airborne pollutants before they can be cycled into the furnace and around your home. This helps keep your indoor air clean and healthy and allows your furnace to run smoothly and efficiently. Over time, though, your furnace filter will get dirty, and if you don’t replace it promptly, that will start to have negative effects. For one, there will be far more contaminants in your home’s air. Additionally, your heating system will have trouble consistently pulling air through the clogged filter, which will significantly worsen its efficiency and performance. It will also be detrimental to the health of the appliance.
The beginning of winter is a prudent time to switch your furnace’s air filter out for a new one. Then, throughout the winter, you should make a point to replace it every month or two. At the very least, you should periodically check the filter to determine whether or not it needs to be changed. This will ensure that your heater is able to continue keeping you warm and running efficiently throughout the cold season.
4. Clean Your Air Vents
You’ve probably noticed that there are multiple air vents located throughout your household. For your heating system to keep you warm, it needs to regularly move hot air through these vents and into your living space. However, it’s normal for things like dirt and dust to work their way into the air vents gradually over time. Eventually, the inside of the vents can become dirty enough to make things tougher on your heating system. It has to work harder to push air through the dirty vents, which requires more energy and costs you extra money.
It’s always a good idea to clean your air vents regularly, but it’s especially important when the weather is at its harshest. During winter, you should make a habit of cleaning them every month or so. You’ll need to remove the cover panels with a screwdriver, and a vacuum cleaner’s extension hose should work perfectly for cleaning out the interiors. If you do this regularly, you’ll not only save money on your heating bills, but you’ll also enjoy better indoor air quality in your home.
5. Seal Your Home’s Air Leaks
Although you may not know that they’re there, your household might contain quite a few small air leaks. Even if these openings are very tiny, they can allow lots of warmth to escape when your heating system is running. When that happens, your furnace has to run for longer and work harder to compensate for the escaped heat. Otherwise, your house won’t ever get warm, and you won’t be able to stay comfortable. If you want to keep your home warm and your energy bills manageable this winter, you should take the time to find and seal any air leaks around the household.
The best places to look for these air leaks are typically around the edges of your doors and windows. Some of them may be difficult to see, but if you feel around carefully with your hand, you may be able to feel the air moving through the openings. When you find a leak, you’ll want to ensure that it’s thoroughly sealed. Usually, an effective way to achieve this is by using caulking and weather stripping, both of which can be purchased from your local hardware store.
Since way back in 1978, our team at Scott-Lee Heating Company has been proudly assisting residents of the Greater St. Louis area. We also service several areas in Illinois. You can always count on our expert technicians for outstanding heating, cooling, indoor air quality, geothermal, and new construction services, including installation, maintenance, and repairs. In fact, we provide 24/7 emergency repairs for urgent situations. You’ll find we have flexible appointment scheduling and reasonable prices. We’ve even won the Dave Lennox Award more than 25 times over the last few decades. Give us a call at Scott-Lee Heating Company today if you’d like to learn more or schedule service!