How you use and take care of your HVAC system in your Arlington, VA home will significantly impact your energy bills this winter. There are many ways that you can ensure your furnace is ready for winter to keep you and your loved ones safe and comfortable, and so that you can use energy wisely as well.
Set Your Thermostat
Observing recommended programming guidelines at all times will enable you to use your system more efficiently so that you can see more savings. The exact settings might not work exactly for everyone, but are very useful guidelines. Finding preferred temperatures within a reasonable range, and setting the temperature based on whether you are home, away, asleep, or for wake time, will make a difference on your energy bill. Set the thermostat at the lowest point you can tolerate without compromising health and comfort. This will also reduce the number of times your furnace will need to cycle on, allowing you to save more energy. While you want to save energy, it is most important that you also observe temperatures that work best based on the needs of your household. You can incorporate other methods of keeping warm, such as wearing appropriate clothing, and using blankets to keep you warm when sleeping.
Get Furnace Maintenance
Anything from age to worn out parts can make your furnace run less efficiency. Have your furnace and your vents checked before winter arrives. Maintenance is generally recommended during fall to ensure your system is sufficiently prepared for the winter season. It is best to have your system tuned in advance so that you are not faced with surprises when you need it most. Your furnace has not been used for the better part of the year, so you want to be sure it can deliver sufficient heating during our cold winters. Additionally, sometimes as a system sits unused it can develop problems. Your HVAC technician will also check for any damage or leaks. A carbon monoxide leak is a serious matter that can prove deadly for you and your family.
Your HVAC technician will check the system through and through to ensure everything is working properly, and that it is clean. Your maintenance agreement includes services such as:
- Checking the refrigerant charge
- Checking the air filters
- Ensuring all electrical wiring or connections are secure
- Lubricating motors and other parts that should move freely
- Making sure there are no problems with the ductwork that would affect airflow
Maintenance checks are very important. A professional can accurately assess your furnace and will be able to detect if there is anything that could possibly lead to a malfunction. Scheduling preventive maintenance is essentially taking necessary precaution to prevent your system from failing prematurely. This visit from your technician will preserve the life of your system, and help you to avoid costly repairs in the future.
Replace the Furnace Filter
Although your HVAC technician will check your filter, it is a good idea for you to learn to replace or clean your filter. A clean filter allows air to pass through the system freely so that your furnace can operate efficiently. If your filter is clogged, it means the system has to work harder to push air through. More energy will be required from your furnace, resulting in a higher heating bill.
In addition, a dirty air filter means your filter cannot effectively remove pollutants from your indoor air. In fact, it may actually cause contaminants it previously captured such as dust, pollen, and pet dander to reenter the indoor air. Indoor air quality is a major issue today, as indoor air has been found to be as much as 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. This is a very serious matter, particularly if there are persons in your home who have respiratory or other illnesses.
Place a priority on changing your air filter regularly. How often you clean or replace your filter will depend on the type, the conditions of your environment, and how heavily you rely on the furnace. Change or clean the filter as directed by the manufacturer, and make sure you are buying the right kind of filter for your furnace.
Don’t hesitate to schedule furnace maintenance before the winter chill hits Virginia. Call Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning today at 703-783-0145. Our team of NATE-certified and EPA-licensed technicians have the skills and training to effectively service your system. We have been servicing the area since 1979 and know what it takes to tackle winter in Northern Virginia.
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