EGEE 102
Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection

Environmental Protection


Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency of Heating Systems

Instructions: Move your cursor over the numbers below to find out how you can improve the energy efficiency of a heating system.

Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency of Heating Systems

Click here to open a text description of the Ways to Improve Heat System Efficiency activity.

Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency of Heating Systems

Listed below are different ways to improve the efficiency of a heating system.

  1. Warm air, being less dense, rises through the chimney even if the fireplace is not on. Therefore, the dampers in the chimney must be tightly closed when the fireplace is not in use.
  2. Open fireplaces generally draw more warm air from the main room to support the burning of the fuel and can become a drain on energy. Installation of glass doors reduces those convective losses. It also reduces the cold air infiltration.
  3. Combustion of fuel needs an adequate supply of air. This air normally comes from inside the house. Even with glass doors we need to provide vents for controlled amounts of air for combustion. It is more energy-efficient if the air for combustion is drawn from outside and the inside vents are removed.
  4. Set your thermostat at the lowest possible comfortable temperature for you and your family. You can generate as much as 12 percent savings by maintaining a 10-degree temperature setback.
  5. Use programmable thermostats, and program your clock thermostat to turn down the heat when no one is going to be home for four or more hours during the day.
  6. Replace your furnace filter at the beginning of winter, and clean or replace it monthly during the heating season.
  7. If you have a hot water heating system, periodically bleed air trapped in your radiators to increase heat flow. Also, place a reflective material such as aluminum foil behind radiators located near walls, so heat will be reflected back into your home.
  8. If you have a forced-air heating system, seal the seams and joints in the ductwork with duct tape, and insulate them with vinyl-backed fiberglass insulation.
  9. If you have a gas-fired heating system, maximize its efficiency by getting it tuned up every year. Make sure the fan motor, burners, and circulator pump are properly maintained.
  10. If you have a heat pump, keep the outdoor unit clear of grass, leaves, and debris around the outdoor coil.
  11. Use a humidifier to make the air feel warmer so you can lower your heating thermostat.
  12. Close off rooms that aren't in use.
  13. Keep windows and doors near your thermostat tightly closed.
  14. Move furniture, draperies, and carpeting away from electric baseboards and registers.
  15. Close drapes or cover windows at night and on cold, cloudy days. Keep draperies and shades open on sunny days.
  16. Proper insulation in walls, ceilings, and floors will significantly reduce heat loss in your home.
  17. Caulk and weather-strip cracks in walls, floors, and windows to save energy and money.
  18. Keep your fireplace damper closed tightly when not in use.
  19. Close outside doors as quickly as possible. Just a few seconds with the door open lets in a lot of cold air.