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Boost Your Heating System's Efficiency

Boost Your Heating System's Efficiency By Sarah Clark
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

Natural gas prices are expected to increase by as much as 71 percent this fall because of oil rigs and refineries damaged by Hurricane Katrina. To prepare for these price increases, you'll want to make sure your gas heating system is running as efficiently as possible.

The U.S. Department of Energy provides the following tips to reducing costs associated with all types of natural gas and propane heating systems:.
  • Regular maintenance will ensure that your existing gas heating system is running efficiently. Helpful upgrades may include installing new controls, pumps, or distribution systems.
  • Make sure your vent connection pipe and chimney are in good condition.
  • Check your heat exchanger for leaks; both boiler and furnace heat exchangers can cause problems if they are in poor condition.
  • Set the controls on the boiler or furnace to a level that promotes efficiency while maintaining comfort.

If you have an old natural gas heating system that you feel is outmoded, talk to a specialist about the options for retrofitting the old system. Compare those costs with the costs of a new system. According to the Department of Energy, many existing systems can be efficient, provided they are well maintained. The DOE recommends retrofitting options such as installing programmable thermostats, vent dampers, additional ductwork, and converting steam systems into hot water systems.

Hot-Water Gas Heating Systems

To make your hot-water system more efficient, you'll want to test the pressure relief valve, test high-limit control, make sure the pressure tank is filled with air, and clean the heat exchanger.

With natural gas prices on the rise, it's a good time to begin exploring options that can maximize the efficiency of your heating system.


About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer based in Arlington, Virginia.

*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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