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How to Increase Your Heater's Efficiency This Winter

Summer may only just be ending, but it's actually the perfect time to start prepping your log home for the cooler temperatures of fall and winter. This is especially true when it comes to your home's heater. Many homeowners wait until the last minute before addressing this, which is risky given that heating your home accounts for nearly half of the energy your property uses each day. While there's no changing the weather, you can take steps to improve your heater's efficiency, keeping your home warmer and energy bills lower.

Insulate

Insulation isn't just for the walls of your home. In fact, it's one of the simplest, and therefore most affordable, ways to improve your heater's ability to run efficiently, which has the added bonus of extending its lifespan. This is especially for older heaters that lack the built-in insulation of contemporary systems. Insulating your water heater will reduce the amount of standby heat lost by anywhere from 25 to 45 percent, saving you an average of 7 to 16 percent on hot water costs. Likewise, adding insulation to hot water pipes will further prevent heat loss, putting less demand on your heater during the colder months.

Check Filters

First time homeowners may not even realize that their home heater has a filter. The filter is a vital defense mechanism that prevents dust, dirt, and other particles from entering and clogging up the rest of the heater. However, these particles build up in the filter over time, which if left unchecked can lead to serious maintenance issues along with efficiency problems, which in turn are more expensive to repair. It's therefore cheaper in the long run to check and replace filters regularly for signs of excessive buildup. Checks should be carried out every month, with filter changes performed at a minimum of every three months.

Routine Maintenance

Heaters are a lot like cars, in that while small maintenance projects are perfectly fine, long-term care requires the intervention of an expert. There's little risk in changing your heater's filter on your own just as it's prudent to change your car's spark plugs, but make sure to contact an HVAC company like Doctor Fix-It to perform regular maintenance, especially before the more demanding fall and winter months.

Always do so early, as companies are significantly busier once temperatures really start to drop. It's worth mentioning that professional maintenance is vital regardless of the age of your heater. Newer heaters are more complicated and therefore need expert servicing, while older heaters are more prone to issues and thus benefit greatly from regular attention to keep them running efficiently.

Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats give you significantly more control over your home's temperature and through that improve your heater's efficiency. They take out the guesswork and limit energy waste, allowing you to set your home's heating and cooling automatically to match your comings and goings. Because they enable you to keep your home at a consistent temperature, programmable thermostats protect you heater from sudden stress during rapid changes in temperature. When paired with a modern HVAC system, a programmable thermostat gives you an unprecedented level of control and customization, enabling you to optimize your home's climate room by room, which is inherently more efficient that broad temperature control.

Long Term Savings

The key to increasing your heater's efficiency is to treat it as a year-round project. Regular HVAC maintenance, filter checks, and incremental upgrades prevent small problems from escalating into system failure when you need your heat most. Take advantage of the warmer months to address your heating system before customer demand increases as this ensures your home will be prepared in time for the colder seasons.

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