Keeping your furnace in good working order and conserving energy often go hand-in-hand. In order to keep your furnace working efficiently, you need to take good care of it, and by making an effort to save energy, you're making your furnace's workload smaller, thereby extending its lifespan. It's easy to stick to energy-saving routines when life is calm and you're home alone, but when the holidays bring stress and a host of extended family members into your home, your efforts may become compromised. Here are a few tips to help you keep up your energy-saving and furnace-care routine this holiday season.
Remember to re-adjust your programmable thermostat on vacation days.
If you're taking time off during the holidays and will be home while you're normally at work, remember to adjust your thermostat for this change, rather than just manually overriding the programming every time it starts to get chilly during the day. Most thermostats stick to a certain temperature continually after you turn them up manually, and with all of the rushing around you're going to be doing, you'll likely forget to turn it back down again.
If you're really serious about saving energy, you may want to challenge yourself to live with the chilly daytime temperature in your home. Resist the urge to touch your thermostat, and put on more layers or head out to run errands when the temperature drops during your normal work hours.
Make sure guests don't park suitcases in front of heating vents.
If you block a heat vent, you'll be preventing valuable heat from entering your home. After your guests have a chance to settle in, take a quick peek at their suitcases to make sure they're not in front of heating vents. If they are, politely point out that they're blocking the heating vent and ask them to move them. Chances are, your guests don't want to black the vent and feel chilly, either, and placing the suitcase there was just an oversight.
Set a reminder on your phone to change your furnace air filters.
Chancing your furnace filters is essential for keeping your furnace running efficiently, but with all of the obligations on your plate this time of year, it's easy to overlook. Experts recommend changing your furnace filter every one to two months. Stock up on filters now so you're not stuck without them, and set a reminder on your phone so you don't forget to change it.
Keep the door closed while awaiting guests.
When you're hosting a dinner party of holiday gathering, it's tempting to prop the inside door open while waiting for guests to arrive. Sure, it's nice to see them pull down the driveway so you can have a hot mug of cocoa ready to hand them the second they come in the door, but think of the energy you're wasting by leaving the door open and letting cold air seep in. Keep the door shut, and peer out a window instead. Close the door behind them promptly once they do arrive.
Have sweatshirts and fuzzy socks on hand for chilly guests.
Even if you find 63 or 65 degrees F comfortable, your guests may be used to warmer indoor temperatures. Instead of bumping up the thermostat every time someone comes over, keep a few extra sweatshirts, cardigans and fuzzy socks on hand. If someone says they are chilly, offer them some warm clothing rather than touching that button. Offering a warm drink is always helpful, too. Don't be shy about mentioning that you keep you keep your thermostat turned down to conserve energy. Perhaps you'll inspire them to do the same.
Saving energy and maintaining your heating system during the holidays requires a little attention to detail, but it's not impossible. With these tricks up your sleeve, and help from an HVAC professional you'll be an energy-saving machine this year.