If you're heard the phrase “heating load” but you're not sure what it means, it's simply the amount of energy consumed by your heat pump or furnace to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. If you'd like to save energy and reduce your utility bills, you can use these tips to better manage your home heating load:
Seal Air Leakage Sources
Heated air losses make your heating system work harder and waste energy. To curb these losses, use weatherstripping, expandable foam and caulk to seal gaps and leaks around your exterior doors, windows, and where wiring, pipes and vents penetrate the exterior shell. Seal spots where air leakage occurs between the attic and your finished living areas and the access hatch too, and have your accessible HVAC ducting runs sealed and insulated as well.
Maintain Your Heating Equipment
Well-maintained equipment consumes less energy, so get yours professionally serviced every year. To keep your equipment running efficiently throughout the heating season, check the system's air filter once a month, and put in a fresh one when you see any dirt accumulation.
Install Sufficient Attic Insulation
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), you should have a total of R-30 to R-49 installed between your attic floor joists to limit energy losses that add to your heating load. When you're insulating the attic, don't forget to do the access hatch too.
Keep Heating Vents Open and Unobstructed
When some vents are closed or blocked, it puts extra strain on your heating equipment and increases its energy consumption. You can avoid this by keeping your vent louvers open and checking periodically that they're unobstructed by household items like furniture, rugs or long window treatments.
Switch to a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have an older manual or digital thermostat, install a programmable model that allows you to automate energy-saving temperature setbacks. Ideally, these should be daily eight-hour periods, such as when everyone's away all day, or at night when your family is sleeping.
For personalized advice about managing your home heating load, contact the Broken Arrow HVAC pros at Air Assurance.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating loads and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”