How to Get the Most Out of Your Lennox Elite Series Furnace
In many ways, your furnace is the workhorse of your home — especially during the winter. It keeps you comfortable when the weather is cold, heating the air and circulating it throughout your house. That's a full-time job for about half the year here in Wisconsin! While the Lennox Elite Series gas furnace is one of the most durable and energy efficient HVAC products available, it won't last forever. With routine maintenance, you can cut down on energy costs and extend the life of your furnace.
Furnace Energy Costs Add Up
It might surprise you to learn that your furnace represents the largest energy expense in your home — about 45% of your total annual energy bill. In colder climates like Wisconsin, your furnace runs nearly constantly for a good portion of the year. Many of us take our furnaces for granted, enjoying the warmth they provide without ever thinking about how often they are on. This can cause your utility bills to spike, leading to an unpleasant surprise and putting a serious dent in your finances. And if your furnace decides to quit in the midst of a cold snap (this always seems to be the case!), you might be piling on layers of clothing to keep warm while waiting for a replacement.
Winter isn't the only time to be concerned about the efficiency of your heating system. The Lennox Elite Series furnace features a variable speed motor that can increase the efficiency of your outdoor cooling system even during the scorching heat of summer.
5 Tips to Improve Furnace Efficiency
To help keep your Lennox Elite Series furnace running smoothly and efficiently all year long, the experts at R&W Heating & Cooling recommend the following tips.
- Change the air filter. The easiest way to ensure your furnace is functioning at maximum capacity is to change the air filter regularly. The filter traps dust, dirt, pollen, and pet dander and can quickly get dirty; this impedes air flow, forcing your furnace to work harder. A dirty filter can cause the blower motor to overheat or lead to cracks in the heat exchanger, which might allow carbon monoxide to seep into your home, a potentially lethal development. Replacing your Lennox Elite Series furnace filter at least every three months — more often if you have pets or family members who smoke — will help keep your furnace chugging along.
- Keep vents clean and clear. Much like a dirty air filter, clogged vents will make your furnace work harder to deliver the same amount of heat. Remove vent covers or floor registers and clear them of debris with a vacuum cleaner on a regular basis. If you live in an area with high pollen counts, have done recent renovations, own pets, or haven't cleaned your vents in a few years, consider professional ductwork cleaning. It's important to make sure your vents aren't obstructed by furniture or other objects; a three- to five-foot buffer zone ensures proper airflow.
- Program thermostat for winter. Here's a simple math equation: the lower your thermostat temperature, the less energy your furnace needs to heat your home (and the longer it will last). Everyone's personal comfort level differs, but generally speaking, experts recommend setting the thermostat to 68°F during the day, and lowering it by 7 to 10°F at night. Keep the temperature lower when nobody is home, as well; there's no sense in heating an empty house! Just be sure to keep the thermostat set to 55°F or higher to prevent your home's pipes from freezing. The best way to control your energy costs is by investing in a programmable, Wi-Fi, or “smart” thermostat.
- Check for drafts and leaks. Heat is remarkably adept at escaping your home through even the tiniest of openings. Inspect your house for drafty areas, paying special attention to windows and doors. Seal them as best you can to prevent heat from pulling a magic disappearing act. If they are older or broken, replacing them is a good long-term solution.
- Schedule regular furnace maintenance. There are many tasks you can (and should) do yourself to keep your furnace running regularly, such as checking the blower motor, heat exchanger, and Lennox furnace flame sensor. However, an annual furnace inspection and tune-up is your best insurance. A qualified and experienced professional can spot small problems the average homeowner would likely miss and recommend repairs before they turn into monster expenses. An HVAC technician relies on diagnostic equipment to adjust your Lennox Elite Series furnace settings to maximize efficiency, comfort, and safety. This provides peace of mind, and the nominal cost involved is a lot less than having to replace a furnace unexpectedly.
Whether you've got a Lennox Elite Series gas furnace or Lennox Elite Series electric furnace, these simple suggestions can reduce your annual energy costs and years of life to your heating system!