Many new gas furnaces utilize the latest technologies to exceed 90 AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). If you’re ready to upgrade your furnace, ask your HVAC professional for a cost analysis of new models. However, if your gas furnace still has some life in it and you want to make the most of it, use these tips to improve furnace efficiency and the environment in which it operates.
Lower Heating Load
Your furnace must replace the heat your home loses from air leaks, inadequate insulation, inefficient windows and more. Tightening your home’s envelope can reduce the heating load on your furnace and provide greater home comfort and efficiency.
- Use rubber and foam weatherstripping to seal leaky doors and the attic hatch.
- Use caulk to seal thin cracks around your windows, and plastic tension strips to seal leaky windows.
- Make sure you have at least one foot of insulation (for fiberglass or cellulose) in your attic.
- Consider new window treatments, such as storm shutters, which are practical at reducing heat loss through older, single-pane windows.
Free airflow is an important ingredient for reaching peak furnace efficiency. Check your air filter monthly during the heating season, and change or clean as needed. Then, vacuum the registers and return grills to remove debris. Next, feel the air pressure at each register. If airflow is uneven, there may be an obstruction or leak in your air ducts.
Inspect your ducts for leaks by using an incense stick. If the smoke wavers, you’ve found an air leak. You should seal leaks, loose and disconnected air ducts with foil-backed tape and mastic paste.
Gas furnaces contain many sophisticated parts that must work together for efficient operation. These parts need regular service to ensure functionality, safe operation and to prevent more expensive repairs. Make sure to schedule preventive maintenance with your HVAC technician to keep your furnace in top condition.
For more tips how to improve the efficiency of the gas furnace in your Northwest Arkansas home, please contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about gas furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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