3 Ways To Boost Furnace Effectiveness
When the warm air inside your house leaks out quickly, your furnace will have to work harder than normal to keep your home warm. Having walls, ceilings, and floors that are properly insulated will go a long way to keeping the hot air in, but they are not enough. Windows are one area where air tends to leak out the most, and if you ignore them, your furnace won't be operating at optimal efficiency.
If your home is older and still has the original windows, chances are that they have only one glass pane in them. Newer windows have been constructed with two glass panes that traps a gas between them. This gas helps improve the insulation of the windows compared to its single pane counterpart.
The resulting R-value of adding a window with a second pane will jump from .85 to as high as 2, which is still relatively low, even though it's an improvement. Thankfully, there are other things you should do to improve the insulation.
Low-E film will not trap the heat inside your home like insulation, but will create a surface that reflects heat, preventing heat from potentially leaking through the windows. Studies have shown that this low-e film can reduce the heat use in your house by 25%. It's an effective way to improve existing windows in your home, but when combined with double pane glass, it will improve the R-value up to 3.
A final step that you can take to improve furnace effectiveness is installing thermal curtains. These special curtains contain a foil layer that will reflect the heat back into your house. Thermal curtains can contain an insulation layer as well. If you do not want curtains to block the view from the windows, it will help to pull them closed at night, which protects your house when the temperatures are at their coldest. Most thermal curtains have an R-value between 3–5, which depend on how thick the material is and the material they are constructed with.
Improving your furnace's efficiency starts with recognizing where your home's weak parts are located, and then improving them. Upgrading your windows will not only reduce heating costs, but will improve your cooling costs as well when the summer comes. You should see some cost savings over the years, and help increase the lifespan of your furnace by not making it work harder than it has to or need frequent heating and air conditioning repairs.