How to Boost Your Furnace Efficiency This Winter

San Rafael

(415) 942-6565

Santa Rosa

(707) 452-3464

Winter is here. As temperatures plummet, you will need your furnace to keep your home cozy and warm, and you would want to ensure that it is as efficient as possible. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve heating efficiency.

Follow these tips to boost furnace efficiency.

Replace Your Air Filters

Air filters are designed to trap contaminants such as pollen, dander, dirt, and dust. They play an important role in maintaining good indoor air quality. Over time, filters can become clogged with contaminants.

Unclean filters will not just fail to trap dander and other contaminants, they can also affect furnace efficiency (resulting in high power bills) and are the number one cause of airflow problems.

When filters become clogged, your system could overheat and eventually shut down. It will be forced to work harder and longer than usual and can develop an irreversible problem and you may end up shelling out hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars for furnace repair near you in Santa Rosa.

Furnace filters are one of the most important, and also one of the most ignored furnace components. To get the most out of your furnace, replace air filters every 90 days (more frequently – every 60 or 30 days – if you have pets or kids at home or someone in your household has a seasonal allergy).

Let the Sun In

The warmer your home, the less harder your furnace will have to work. The sun is a perennial source of energy. Solar energy is a clean alternative to fossil fuels and is available at no cost, so why not use it to warm your home?

To bring more natural light to your home, open your south-facing windows during the hottest times of the day. To prevent warm air from escaping your home, close windows at night. Adding mirrors and shiny objects to living spaces is a cost-effective way to increase natural light in them.

Unsightly streaks, and blemishes on your windows can quickly become an eyesore and affect their ability to allow heat to pass through them. Be sure to periodically clean your windows with a soft, damp cloth and a mild cleaning solution.

In the average home, a substantial amount of heat is lost through gaps in the windows. To prevent heat loss, caulk your windows. If required, add insulation to your walls.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are as useful in winter as in summer. You can use your fans to take some pressure off your furnace. Run your fans in reverse. When operated in reverse, a ceiling fan circulates warm air throughout the home, so the furnace doesn’t have to work hard.

Make Sure Your Ducts Are Sealed

In the average home, up to 20 percent of warm air can escape through faulty ducts, forcing the furnace to work harder than usual. An overworked furnace will not just consume more electricity and won’t heat properly, it can also break down prematurely.

Make sure your ducts are sealed. Instead of taking the DIY route, reach out to a professional for help. Over time, ducts can accumulate dirt and dust. They can also harbor microbes, insect droppings, pollen, and bacteria. Unclean ducts will negatively affect furnace efficiency and impact indoor air quality.

Poor indoor air quality can worsen pre-existing conditions and put you at risk of developing respiratory infections. Unclean ducts can attract rodents and other pests and spread foul odors.

Unclean ducts can cause your home to get dirty frequently and you may end up spending more time cleaning your spaces and less time enjoying the warm air from your furnace.

To prevent performance issues, periodically clean your ducts. Follow these steps to clean your ducts:

  • Remove vent covers and clean them
  • Cover vent openings with paper towels
  • To loosen dust, tap around the sides of your ductwork with the handle of your vacuum cleaner
  • Vacuum your air ducts and replace vent covers

Have a Professional Maintain Your Furnace 

Before plummeting temperatures hit you hard, schedule professional maintenance. Yearly, pre-season maintenance is important even when you actively take steps to anticipate and resolve furnace issues.

Some furnace problems are not easily noticeable. You might miss these issues, your contractor won’t. The objective of professional maintenance is to boost furnace efficiency, address current issues, and prevent potential problems from occurring.

Maintenance improves equipment reliability. A well-maintained furnace is less likely to break down suddenly, leaving you high and dry. Regular maintenance ensures furnace safety, can add years to your furnace’s service life, and can help keep furnace warranty intact.

During a maintenance session, your contractor will:

  • Clean or replace air filters
  • Check the heat exchanger for cracks
  • Inspect the vent system and air intake grilles and remove any blockages
  • Check the blower motor and flame sensor to see if they’re functioning properly
  • Lubricate motor bearings and other moving components to reduce wear and tear on them
  • Tighten all electrical connections
  • Check and adjust fan belt tension if required

Invest in a Smart Thermostat

If you are still using a manual thermostat, now is the right time to upgrade to a programmable model. A smart thermostat can help you save on energy costs. Programmable thermostats are equipped with the latest technology that allows them to determine when to turn the system on and off.

A programmable thermostat allows you to set different preferred temperatures for specific periods of the day. You can create precise heating schedules that correspond with your needs. This helps improve furnace efficiency.

To cut your heating costs, lower your thermostat by 10-15 degrees at night or when no one is home.

John Owens Services is a full-service HVAC contractor. Whether you want to install a new furnace, or your existing furnace needs to be repaired or maintained, we can help. To make an appointment, call 707-452-3464.

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Serving Marin & Sonoma Counties

Good plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems are vital in every North California home. John Owens Services, Inc. is proud to be the expert plumbing company you can count on

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Our philosophy is simple, we always want to maintain equipment to give it the longest life possible. Next, we want to focus on repairing when something goes wrong. Then only as the last choice, we replace equipment when needed. That’s the John Owens Way.

San Rafael
(415) 942-6565
Santa Rosa
(707) 452-3464



Regular maintenance keeps your home’s systems running well all year long. We’ll help you gain efficiency and save money.



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San Rafael
(415) 942-6565
Santa Rosa
(707) 452-3464