Tips for Getting Your Furnace Ready for Winter

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(NewsUSA) - Frigid days are fast approaching. And as snow falls and temperatures plummet, it is important to make sure your furnace is in proper working condition. Follow these tips to make sure you don't get left in the cold this winter.

1. Have your heating equipment properly maintained and cleaned by a licensed heating and cooling contractor.

2. Have the duct work checked for air leaks. Research shows that faulty ductwork accounts for more than 25 percent of the heating loss in an average home.

3. Replace air filters. A dirty filter restricts air flow and causes the unit to lose efficiency.

4. Use a programmable thermostat. By setting your thermostat from 72 degrees to 65 degrees for eight hours a day (for instance, while no one is home or while everyone is sleeping) you can cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent according to the Department of Energy.

5. Keep air supply and return registers free from obstructions (for example, furniture, rugs, and clothes baskets).

6. Use a whole-home humidifier. Heated indoor air is very dry and needs to be humidified. Actually, one of the driest places on earth could be your home. Don't believe it? The relative humidity of the Sahara Desert is 25 percent; Death Valley's 23 percent. In the winter months, the average heated home can have a relative humidity as low as 13 to 16 percent. The benefits of using an Aprilaire automatic whole-home humidifier include:

* Comfort -- helps eliminate dry nose and throat and itchy skin, while also reducing static electricity.

* Well being -- optimum humidity levels can help reduce the chance of upper-respiratory problems caused by dry air. Ask your doctor.

* Preservation -- proper humidification levels will protect against shrinkage and cracking in furniture, moldings and hardwood floors.

* Energy savings -- adding moisture to the air means you'll feel warmer with lower, energy-saving indoor temperatures. A home heated to 69 degree with 35 percent humidity feels just as warm as a 72 degree home at 19 percent humidity.

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Tips for Getting Your Furnace Ready for Winter
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Tips for Getting Your Furnace Ready for Winter

This winter, have a professional make sure your furnace is in proper working order.

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Word Count: 336
Article Date: December 1, 2009

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