Save Money by Reducing Your Furnace's Load

February 4, 2016

You don't need to use a complicated mathematical formula to calculate the load on your furnace. "Load" simply refers to the amount of energy used by your heating system to satisfy the temperature setting on the thermostat. Reducing the load isn't difficult either, and it can save you money on heating costs and bring you a number of other key benefits as well:
  • Better energy efficiency - Many of the steps you can take to reduce the furnace's load boost your home's overall efficiency, so they can help curb your HVAC system's energy consumption all year long.
  • Fewer repairs and replacements - Decreasing your HVAC equipment's workload also reduces wear and tear on the components, so they're less likely to break down or fail prematurely.
  • Potential equipment cost savings - When the required capacity for new equipment is calculated, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that a smaller, less expensive unit can handle your home's reduced load.
  • Enhanced comfort - Increasing efficiency in the home can make it easier to heat or cool and maintain your desired comfort level.
Tips to Reduce Your Furnace's Workload Here are some effective ways to reduce the workload on your heating system:
  • Add more attic insulation - The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that homes in Iowa have between R-49 and R-60 installed in between the attic floor joists.
  • Seal attic air leaks - Air leakage between the attic and the living space below often occurs around electrical wiring, light fixtures, plumbing pipes and the chimney. Make sure the access hatch is tightly sealed as well.
  • Correct ductwork deficiencies - Have any crushed or disconnected sections fixed, the joins and seams sealed with mastic sealant or metal-backed tape, and an R-8 insulation wrap installed.
  • Weatherize around the exterior - Plug up sources of air leakage using caulk, expandable foam insulation and weatherstripping. Common trouble spots are found where different types building materials meet, around doors, windows and any penetrations through the exterior envelope such as electrical wiring, plumbing pipes and exhaust vents.
For more advice about decreasing the load on your Des Moines home's furnace, contact us at Lozier Heating & Cooling. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "Modella/Shutterstock"