Home Swimming Pools: A Care and Maintenance Guide

Home Swimming Pools: A Care and Maintenance Guide

Hot Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Furnace

Ruben Franklin

Banging sounds, funny smells and lack of heat are all signs that it is time to consider replacing your old furnace. You may not think that choosing a furnace is an important decision, but it turns out that your furnace can have a big impact on your energy bills. The United States Department of Energy reports that the energy required for heating and cooling a home is more than half the total energy used in an average US home. The more efficient your furnace, the more your energy costs are decreased. 

Turn Up the Heat on the Rest of the House

Before you even go shopping for furnaces, take stock of your home's heating efficiency. 

  • Most utility companies will come to your home and find where where you are losing energy. They will check the seals on windows and doors and give you a list of what you can fix to make your home more energy efficient. 
  • Install a thermostat that can be programmed. This will keep your house cool or warm only when you need it to be. 
  • Check your insulation to be sure that it is in good shape and that all outside walls are insulated if possible. Have a professional install insulation where you need it. 

Compare the Climate Control Options

Don't make the mistake of assuming that all furnaces are the same. You will get the most from your furnace if you choose the one that best meets your needs. Here are some questions to ask yourself. 

  • How big should my furnace be? A heating unit that is too small or too large will waste energy and cost you money. Don't assume that you should replace your old furnace with one of the same size. Have a professional come out and do an assessment to determine how much furnace power you really need. 
  • What is my furnace's efficiency rating? Consumer Reports states that furnaces are given an annual fuel-utilization-efficiency rating that measures the energy efficiency of the furnace. They report that the lowest AFUE rating allowed for new furnaces is 78%, but some reach as high as 97% efficiency.
  • How much money can I spend? Furnaces with high efficiency can cost significantly more than other models. However, you might be able to make this original investment up in money saved on energy bills.

Determine Your Energy Style

You will want to compare furnace styles before you buy. Your choice will be partially based on the average temperatures where you live. 

  • An electric furnace does not have the disadvantage of having heat leak out from the chimney. However, the cost of electricity may negate energy savings.
  • Boilers are not really furnaces, but they provide heat to a home using water and radiators. Some boilers are made to heat water and the air in a home. 
  • Heat pumps push air up from the ground where the temperature is relatively stable, especially in areas where the weather stays warm. This saves a lot of energy. 
  • Condensing furnaces can be expensive to install but will save a lot in energy use. These furnaces recycle the heat by turning water into steam. 
  • Solar powered furnaces are being developed and should be available to consumers in coming years. 

Replacing a furnace is a costly task that most homeowners face at some point. You will save money and energy as well as shrink your negative impact on the environment by carefully choosing a heating system that is right for your house and will meet your needs without being too powerful. You will find that the initial costs associated with a high efficiency furnace are often absorbed by the savings on your energy bill. With the right furnace you can heat your home and save money at the same time. 

For more information, contact a company like HomeSmart From Xcel Energy.


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About Me
Home Swimming Pools: A Care and Maintenance Guide

As a teenager, I joined my local swim team and soon became a champion swimmer. I have been swimming my entire life, and my love for water pushed me to purchase a home with a large in-ground pool. Strangely enough, after years of swimming I had no idea how to take care of the pool. I knew that I needed to add chemicals to get rid of potentially dangerous bacteria, and I also knew that chemicals kept algae at bay. I didn't know how to choose from hydrogen peroxide, salt, or chlorine additives. I definitely had no idea about shock, and I didn't know how many chemicals to add. After some trial and error, a very green pool, and a necessary draining, I figured it out. I have compiled for you a number of blogs and resources so you do not have to make costly mistakes like me.