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Common & Costly Home Heating Mistakes

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), heating your home uses more energy and costs more than any other home system. Want to minimize your utility bills this winter? Avoid these common and costly home heating mistakes to get the most out of your system.

Neglecting Maintenance

Just because the system is running doesn’t mean all is well. Don’t wait until it’s too late: Failure to maintain your HVAC system can lead to higher bills and preventable repairs:

  • Ignoring Preventative Maintenance: Schedule a professional maintenance check before each season to ensure optimal efficiency and prevent costly repairs.
  • Not Changing the Air Filter: A dirty air filter makes the furnace work harder. Replace filters every one to three months if disposable, or clean them monthly if re-usable.

Simple Mistakes Around the Home

There’s more to efficiently heating your home than a perfectly running system. Here are a few common missteps that could take a toll on your winter utility bill:

  • Closing Unused Vents: A properly sized system features ductwork specifically designed for even heat distribution throughout the entire home. Closing vents in unused rooms to focus heat in common areas disturbs that balance, decreasing efficiency and making the system work harder.
  • Ignoring Leaks/drafts: Small cracks and gaps become big culprits for heat loss. Check all doors, windows, and exterior walls, and seal or caulk any spots that could let cold air in and warm air out.
  • Not Locking Windows: Shut windows are still susceptible to small leaks. Lock them to ensure they’re tightly sealed.

Thermostat Management

Regulating the thermostat not only affects comfort but also your energy use and costs. It’s important to know when and by how much to adjust the temperature.

  • Heating an Empty House: If no one is home, don’t use the extra energy to keep it comfy. Turn the thermostat down when you’re at work or out of town. But beware of extreme weather – you don’t want your pipes to freeze while you’re gone!
  • Turning Thermostat Too Low: On the flip side, turning the thermostat too low while you’re away forces the system to work harder when it’s time to heat the home again. According to the DOE, you can drop the temp 7 – 10 degrees when you’re away at work and set it to 50 – 55 degrees when you’re away for three or more days.
  • Cranking Up the Thermostat: Turning the temp way up, even temporarily, won’t heat the home any faster. The added stress on the furnace makes it work harder, ultimately decreasing efficiency and increasing your bills. Increase the temperature gradually so the system can run at its optimal rate.

The Advantage of a Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat manages home temperature for you. It learns your preferences and schedule after a few days, turning down when you leave and back up when you get home, always optimizing your system’s efficiency to save energy and money. Talk to your local HVAC professional and see if a Nest thermostat is right for you!

We all want lower bills no matter what time of year. During the frigid Minnesota winters, that means being mindful and avoiding costly home heating mistakes. Schedule an appointment with a Stafford Home Service Inc. specialist to make sure your home is ready for the season.

Contact us for all your heating needs.

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