Getting the Most Out of Your Home's Furnace


The Winter season in Barrie has come with a few surprises this year. If, during those particularly cold days, you felt as though your furnace was on constantly while your home remained cool, consider these 4 Prudent winter heating tips:

In some cases heating your home in this part of the world can contribute to almost 50% of your winter utility bill (yes, this includes gas furnaces). Making sure that your furnace is running at its peak may take a slice out of your winter expenses. The cheapest and easiest step in this process is to replace those filters that are so easy to forget about. Not only will it improve the quality of the air you breathe, but will save you money too! Some filters can be washed and reused, but check your manufacture's recommendations to be sure. Another thing many of us overlook is which way the filter is inserted, there is usually a side that is meant to face the furnace, and a side meant to face your air ducts (this will be indicated on the filter itself normally). After you have completed this task consider moving on to some of the more advanced techniques.

You may want to install a programmable thermostat in your home, or take the time to properly set-up the one you already have. Programming the thermostat to automatically lower your home's temperature at certain times of day can result in less wasted heat. When there is no one in the home to enjoy the benefit and at nighttime are good times to consider a lower setting. Having your thermostat properly calibrated will prevent uneven heating resulting in heat loss between the different cycles you set.

Your furnace's maintenance is just as important for safety reasons as it is for cost savings. Gas burners in your house can produce carbon monoxide gas if leaks and cracks are not repaired. The flame in your furnace should burn steady and be blue in colour. If you notice anything that appears strange with your furnace, a professional should be contacted to inspect your equipment.

If your current heating system in your house is not functioning up-to-par, replacement is always an option, as well. There are various types of furnaces with different features that preform best to fill different needs. In Ontario, all new and replacement furnaces must now be high efficiency models. The cost of the new furnace versus expected energy savings in the long run (expected life of the new furnace) should always be considered before making such an investment in your home. Be sure to educate yourself so that the timing of your upgrade makes budget sense.