I wish I could say that Spring has sprung in Upstate NY but we had some snow this morning. After a week of above freezing, it was a bummer to see all that white. A woman at Aldi’s told me that this is a “Sap Snow,” meaning that the maple sap is running and they are getting ready to boil it down. That makes it sound a little nicer than “snow covering up the mud that I’m getting kinda tired of.” What do you think?
Anyway, I digress… Hopefully, the warm weather is coming and we’ll be packing away the firewood and woolly sweaters soon. And that means that this a really good time to get your furnace serviced. Why? Because a heating system is the largest consumer of energy in your home and if it’s not operating efficiently it can be wasting up to 50% of the energy it uses. That’s bad for your wallet and for our environment!
So what can you do? You can schedule a tune up for your furnace and you can check to make sure that the joints in your hot-air ducts are both sealed and well insulated (for example, if the heating ducts pass through an uninsulated crawl space, you could be losing a lot of heat). By identifying and resolving these problems you could improve the efficiency of your system by 30%!
According to David Gershon, the author of the Low Carbon Diet (a 30 Day Program to Lose 5,000 pounds), oil furnaces need a yearly tune-up, while gas furnaces can go every other year. The average cost is $75 although if there is a problem, it could be a little higher. You can contact your furnace servicing company (or plumber) and scheduled an appointment to have your furnace cleaned and “adjusted based on a combustion effeciency test.”
Of course if your furnace is at the end of it’s life span, it is definitely worthwhile to invest in a new energy-efficient model. Any extra costs will be quickly returned to you through energy savings.
Finally, my local fuel company is offering a 20% discount if you schedule your cleaning appointment before the end of April. Cha-Ching! I just saved $15! Calls yours to see if they’ll offer a similar incentive.
Any other ideas on improving your heating efficiencies? Leave a comment so that we can all benefit from them.