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Fall Furnace Settings for Fresher, Safer, More Affordable Indoor Air
Owning a furnace is a big responsibility, yet learning how to efficiently operate and maintain your furnace is just one of many responsibilities that comes with being a homeowner.
If you are an experienced homeowner (someone who has owned a home for many years), stop for a moment and think back to when you bought your first home.
Wasn't it overwhelming? Didn't the learning curve often feel vertical?
For those of you reading this post who are learning to care for a home for the first time, you don't need any reflection to relate to this truth.
You are on your newbie homeowner vertical learning curve right now and you are learning the ropes in the year of COVID-19 no less!
Our qualified team of furnace experts at Shipton’s Heating & Cooling think these professional tips will help. In this post, learn about fall furnace settings that can help you economize, freshen and improve your indoor air this year.
The Missing Link Between Furnace Operation and Clean Indoor Air
Over the last month or so, we have been blogging quite a bit about the link between your furnace and the quality of your indoor air.
In this post, we are going to talk specifically about furnace settings that can achieve three key goals that are especially important this year:
1. Ensure the air inside your space is continually refreshed and replenished.
2. Create cleaner air for you and your family or your workers to breathe.
3. Achieve maximum efficiency to lower your winter heating bills.
So, let's take a look at each one of these essential high-value furnace settings now.
Furnace Setting for Fresher Indoor Air
Modern furnaces have at least two settings for the operation of the internal fan. They are "on" and "auto."
If economical operation is all you are after, the "auto" setting is your go-to setting but economy doesn't mean much if you are breathing stale and potentially toxic or infected air.
That is why we are reversing our typical advice for our customers who may be more concerned about COVID-19 due to an immune-compromised or otherwise vulnerable family member.
In these special cases - and for anyone who has decided that fresher air is a priority over bottom-line price this year - the "on" setting is optimal.
When you set your furnace fan operation to "on," this means the furnace fan is always circulating fresh air into your space.
Alternatives to setting your furnace fan to "on"
If cost or wear and tear is a big concern (especially viable if you have an older model furnace), you may not want to risk having your furnace fan operating continuously.
Never fear! You have other options. Here is what our Shipton’s furnace experts recommend:
1. Consider installing a heat recovery ventilator (HRV).
A heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, is essentially a set of mechanical "lungs" for your HVAC system. The HRV is always "breathing in" new fresh outdoor air and "breathing out" stale and toxic indoor air. The two airways are quarantined from one another so that they never mix.
2. Open windows and doors and use a ceiling or floor fan.
By far the most economical method to achieve improved ventilation is simply to let some outside air in! This is easy to do by opening a window or door to the outside when you are home. You can use a ceiling or floor fan to aid in circulating that fresh air to interior spaces of your home as well.
Furnace Setting for Cleaner Indoor Air
If your furnace filter is filthy, the only safe setting to achieve cleaner indoor air is "off."
"Off?" you might be thinking - "but I'll freeze!"
Precisely. We don't want you and your family to shiver your way through the winter, but we don't want you to get sick either.
This is why you should always ask yourself one key question before you adjust the furnace thermostat. That question is: "how dirty is my furnace filter?" or “how often should I change my furnace filter?”.
Reigning wisdom states that you should change out your furnace filter every 30 days during the high-use winter months, but this year, given the double-whammy threat of cold and flu season and COVID-19, we recommend something different based on the setting you choose for your furnace fan.
If you are running your furnace fan on "auto," change out your furnace filter every three weeks. If you are running your furnace fan on "on," change out your furnace filter every two weeks.
TIP: Our Shipton’s Heating experts wrote a whole blog post tutorial about how to safely handle and change your furnace filter during COVID-19.
Furnace Setting for More Economical Heat
This year's economic shutdown has caused many of us to tighten our belts and our wallets. So we realize it can be a challenge to contemplate adding new indoor air equipment or spending more on furnace filters right now.
You can balance out these types of extra expenses with the following furnace settings that can reduce your energy bills this winter.
1. Calibrate your furnace thermostat (our HVAC technicians at Shipton’s will do this when you schedule your fall furnace tune-up and safety inspection).
2. Program your thermostat for a daytime heat of 21C (70F) or lower.
3. Program your thermostat for a nighttime heat of 16C (62F) or lower.
TIP: You can expect to shave off about $10 for every one degree you lower your furnace thermostat.
Get in Touch With Shipton’s HVAC Specialists in Hamilton, Ontario
Shipton’s Heating and Cooling in Hamilton, Ontario, is open and ready to serve you with safe, contactless service, invoicing and payment options.
Are you ready to breathe easy this winter knowing your heat is coming from a safe, reliable, economical HVAC system? Give our friendly, knowledgeable HVAC technicians at Shipton’s Heating & Cooling a call at 1-905-549-4616 or visit us online to schedule service.