Aside from having regular maintenance performed on your heating system you can save by avoiding these common mistakes during the cold weather months. There are a lot of ways to improve your homes energy efficiency, as well as a lot of ways you can cause damage. By not making these mistakes, you’ll save money on heating costs and repair bills!
Don’t Heat an Empty Home
If you are wondering if the pricier thermostat with programmable times is worth it – it is. There is no reason to heat an entire home when no one is in it. With a programmable thermostat you can turn the heat down during the hours no one is home and set it to heat back up to your preferred temperature a little before you normally return home.
Lock the Windows
Aside from being a good safety practice, engaging the lock on your windows seals them tighter than if they are simply shut. Not only are you letting cold air into your home, you are letting warm air out – causing higher usage of your home heating system.
Change the Air Filter
Don’t make your furnace work harder than it needs to. This not only costs you more money on your monthly heating bill due to inefficiency, but also causes the need for more maintenance or costly repairs. Depending on your environment, you may need to change your filters more often. For example, if you have pets – you’ll need to change the filter more often than people without pets.
Simple Repairs for Big Savings
Sealing leaks and drafts will save you more money than you realize. Check all doors, windows and exterior walls for drafts from the outside. Seal them properly with caulk to prevent air coming in and escaping your home. Attics and basements are the worst offenders to find costly air leaks.
The Vent Myth
Regardless of what you may think about heating a room that you do not use, it does not save you money by closing the vent. When heating systems and duct work is installed, it is designed to provide even heating throughout the home. If the system cannot do this due to closed vents, it operates less efficiently costing you more.
Too Low, Too High
Cranking the heat up will not make your house heat faster – it will heat at the same rate no matter what the temperature is set to. Although you don’t want to heat an empty home as mentioned before, also do not turn the thermostat too low in order to bring the temperature up again. Only set your thermostat to 10-15 degrees lower during times you are generally not at home.
As soon as you are done using a bathroom exhaust or kitchen exhaust fan, turn it off. Exhaust fans force air out so minimizing the use of these will keep more of the air you’ve already warmed in the house.
Although fireplaces are nice to have, they do not improve your heating costs. You will heat the room the fireplace is in; however, you’ll also be letting the heated air directly out the chimney. If you do use your fireplace, ensure that you shut the chimney flu as soon as you can.