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After four straight months of 90 to 100 plus degree weather in the Deep South, we experienced temperatures in the low 80s this past weekend. This morning, I was reminded the season is changing from summer to fall when my feet were actually cold when I walked outside to pick up the morning paper.
Yes, for a southerner, 50 degrees at 6:00am is downright chilly. Even though it won’t be needed for hopefully a month or two, my first thought was about the furnace in my home. Is it ready for the fall and winter? Can I be proactive, and start taking steps to make it more energy efficient?
For today’s Green Minute, while you start unpacking your sweaters, here are a few “tips” to prepare your furnace for the coming fall.
Now is a great time to add a programmable thermostat, so your home furnace doesn’t work as hard while the children are at school and everyone is at work or running errands. In most homes, you can reduce your heating bill by approximately 2% for each degree that you lower the thermostat for at least eight hours each day.
Do some basic maintenance. Clean or replace air filters regularly. Insulate your boiler with a jacket. Clean registers and make sure they’re not blocked by furniture. Tune up your burner every one to three years depending on the system. Seal furnace ducts to keep them from leaking hot air or circulating dust.
And be on the lookout for those little cracks and openings that occur in the summertime, around your doors and windows. From installing efficient windows to adding insulation, you can help your furnace run better.
So get ahead and start preparing for the coming fall and winter before it sneaks up on you. Just a few simple steps can save you money and help save the environment as well.
by Pat Byington, editor of The Green Register