Lowering The Energy Use Of Your Furnace Or Boiler

  • Available heating technologies include:

  • Boilers

  • Electric Resistance Heat

  • Forced-Air Gas Furnaces

  • Heat Pumps

  • Radiant Floor Heat

Heating is the transfer of energy to a space or to the air in a space by virtue of a difference in temperature between the source and the space or air. This process may take different forms such as direct radiation to the space, direct heating of the circulated air, or through heating of water that is circulated to the vicinity of the space and used to heat the circulated air.

Heating requirements can be reduced through passive solar design and attention to tightening the building envelope. Use the whole-building design approach to integrate the various building systems and components.

  • Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.

  • Keep the temperature fairly constant, as frequent changes will use more energy. Setting back the temperature at night, however, is recommended.

  • Clean or replace furnace filters once a month or as needed.

  • Oil-fired boilers should be professionally cleaned and tuned once a year. Gas-fired equipment needs to be checked every other year.

  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed. Make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.

  • Keep draperies and shades on south-facing windows open during the heating season to allow sunlight to enter your home; close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

  • Close the door to an unoccupied room or area that is isolated from the rest of the house and turn down the thermostat or turn off the heat for that room or area. However, do not turn the heating off if it adversely affects the rest of your system. For example, if you heat your house with a heat pump, do not close the vents-closing the vents could harm the heat pump.

  • Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans wisely. Turn these fans off as soon as they are no longer needed. In about 1 hour, these fans can pull out a house-full of warmed or cooled air.

  • Check your ducts for air leaks. First look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes. Consult with a professional about repairing duct leaks. Safe duct repairs require a licensed heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning contractor.

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