When it's cold outside, we want nothing more than to keep our house warm. You'd think that the simplest way would be to dial up the thermostat a few notches. However, you may be finding that even though your bill is certainly a reflection of the temperature adjustment, that your house isn't quite as warm as you'd expect.
It's quite possible that you're going about heating your home all the wrong way, which is causing your thermostat to work overtime, your heating bill to increase, and your HVAC system to be running less efficiently. As such, today we'll discuss 5 common heating mistakes that homeowners make while trying to heat their home this winter, and how you can avoid them.
Common Heating Mistake #1: Turning up the Thermostat Too High Trying to Heat Your Home Quickly
We often like to think of our HVAC like a fan or space heater that we can turn up when we need it and turn off when we don't. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. No matter how high or low the temperature is set on your thermostat, it takes roughly the same amount of time to achieve that temperature. Therefore, don't try to drastically increase the temperature when you come in from the cold.
When it comes to adjusting your thermostat, it's best to avoid extremes as to note overwork your system, and dramatically increase your heating bill. All your thermostat to take its time and allow your house to reach the desired temperature on its own without forcing it.
Common Heating Mistake #2: Keeping Your Curtains Closed All Day
During the summer months, you may find yourself keeping the curtains closed to keep your home as cool as possible. On the other hand, the sun can be used as a natural source of heat during the winter, so it's best to keep your curtains (or blinds) open. Rather than making your furnace work all day to heat your home, let the sun lift a hand and save a little money on your heating bill.
Common Heating Mistake #3: Using Space Heaters in lieu of a Centralized Heating System to Save Money
We can totally appreciate the desire to save money on your heating bill. Unfortunately, turning off your HVAC unit and using space heaters to heat your home instead of using your furnace only increases your electric bill, so you don't really save any money. Don't believe us, do the math. By the time winter is over, we promise that a centralized heating system will cost much less than multiple space heaters around your home.
That said, space heaters do have a time and a place, so don't toss them out. Just don't count on them to fully heat your home for the remainder of winter.
Common Heating Mistake #4: Leaving Windows Open
When the temperatures are in the 70s in January, it's understandable to open up a window or two to let in some fresh air. However, be sure to close those windows when you're done so that your heating system doesn't need to work overtime to compensate for the draft.
Speaking of which, if you do have a noticeable draft, be sure to have it repaired as soon as possible. You wouldn't intentionally leave water running in your house if you could turn it off, would you? The same can be said for allowing cold air to enter your home during the winter months. If you find one, you may have others so be sure to walk around your home, identify all leaks and have them sealed. Left untreated, your bills will increase without you even realizing it.
If this continues to be a problem, you may want to look into double-paned glass windows.
Common Heating Mistake #5: Skipping Regular Maintenance on Your HVAC System
The final common mistake we see people making as it relates to heating their home in the winter is skipping regular maintenance on their HVAC System. While there are plenty of ways to save money on your home, we do not recommend "saving money" by waiting until your central heating unit breaks down. This mistake could end up costing you way more than you ever imagined, and depending on the damage level, could force you to completely replace your system altogether. Regular maintenance can give you peace of mind each year that your system is working properly.
Call CHOICE Heating & Air Conditioning today to check that your furnace, heat pump or boiler are all working effectively. HVAC systems that are regularly maintained will last longer. Why? Tune-ups are designed to ensure optimum performance and to spot potential failures. When a part fails, the system is under undue strain. The strain causes other parts to work harder and, in turn, damages them as well. Don't wait for the system to fail.
If you do need to replace your furnace, we can also help with that. Systems typically last between 10 and 15 years. Either way, be sure to call and have one of our HVAC experts check out your system. Don't forget to ask about our current offers.