On Saturday February 22nd, visitors at the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity ReStore had the chance to learn about furnace filters and thermostats from Green Iowa AmeriCorps members and COSC expert Silas Hoeppner. Over fifty people came out for the workshop and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
Furnace filters can be a surprisingly tricky purchase, as their marketing often focuses on how well they keep dust and particles out of the air without mentioning the effect these thicker and costlier filters can have on the health of an HVAC system. A common 1” pleated filter can drop the airflow of a standard heater by over 50% having a large effect on the furnace’s ability to push the air out to the home. Whereas, a fiberglass filter, while letting more particles through, will make far less impact on the furnace’s air flow.
It’s important to keep these things in mind when shopping for furnace filters, not to mention the importance of timely furnace filter replacement.
Here’s a clip of Silas discussing some common misconceptions about how furnace filters effect home heating systems efficiency.
Iowa utilities now support the HVAC SAVE program, which trains HVAC professionals on these issues, and provide testing for installed systems. The testing looks to how the stated furnace efficiency compares to the installed system’s real world efficiency, allowing HVAC professionals to tweak and repair systems in order to maximize their efficiency.
The benefits of a programmable thermostat are readily apparent, as they allow a homeowner to efficiently heat and cool their home without needing to constantly fiddle with a dial. Programmable thermostats are a great opportunity to really maximize the energy efficiency of your home heating without sacrificing comforts, as you can keep it cooler during the day but set to heat up before you arrive home.
An efficient setting for a thermostat on an average work day should look something like this: