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Your state of the art heating system should be able to keep your home toasty warm all winter long. But you don’t want to have to pay a ton in heating costs either. In order to still enjoy that cozy environment without racking up the heating charges, here are a few things you can do to help boost the efficiency of your heating system.
Humidity Affects Home Heating
One often overlooked element that can impact the overall comfort inside your home in the winter is the amount of humidity in the air. We tend to think of humidity as something to be avoided, particularly on those sweltering summer days. But it is possible to have too little humidity in your indoor air as well, and that can cause all sorts of problems for you and for your heating system.
Overly dry air will make you uncomfortable in a number of ways. It can dry out your skin, exacerbate cold and allergy symptoms, and it can actually make your indoor air quality system, if you have one, less effective at removing airborne contaminants. Dry air will also damage wood furniture, fixtures and even support structures in your home by sapping the moisture right out of them.
Of course, these items may have more to do with your overall comfort level than with your heating system directly, but maintaining the right level of humidity can help you save on your heating costs as well. That’s because moist air holds more heat than dry air, so if you have a good indoor humidity level, you’ll actually be able to turn your thermostat down a few degrees and still enjoy the same level of comfort. You likely won’t even notice the difference, but it will have a huge impact on your heating bills.
Seal Up Your Home for Energy Efficiency
Another important thing to remember when you’re getting your home ready for winter is to seal up any place where warm air may be able to escape and that cold outdoor air may be able to come in. This includes windows and doors as well. Make sure all of these have proper seals on them and check to see that you have proper insulation everywhere it needs to be as well. You may even want to put up sheets of plastic over windows and doors that you don’t use in the winter in order to make a more complete seal.
Regular Heating System Maintenance
Keeping up with your annual heating system maintenance will also help to keep your heating bills down and improve the overall performance of your system. With these annual visits, professional heating technicians will be able to tune up your system to keep it running at peak efficiency. They can also make sure that the system is still heating your house evenly so that you enjoy the same level of comfort no matter where you are.
When you’re trying to get the most out of your heating system without spending too much money, programmable thermostats are a great investment. With a programmable thermostat, you can set your heating system to automatically adjust to different temperatures for different times of day.
For instance, you probably don’t want to be paying to heat your house when you’re at work all day, but it is nice to come home to a warm and cozy home at night. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the daytime temperature low and then have the heat automatically come on a half an hour or so before you get home. The same thing holds true at night. You can set your programmable thermostat to turn off the heat while you’re under your covers sleeping, but have it set to crank back up again just before you get up in the morning.