Did you know that heating your home while you are at work wastes money and energy? This and other common mistakes can negatively impact your heating system, comfort, and wallet. With winter quickly approaching, take a close look at your heating habits to determine if you are making costly mistakes when heating your home. Here are some of the most common heating mistakes homeowners make and how to avoid these pitfalls:
1. Neglecting Your Heating System When Not In Use
It is easy to forget about your heating system when temperatures heat up and you no longer rely on your furnace for warmth. However, neglecting your heating system during the warmer months of the year is not recommended. Like a car that sits for an extended period of time, a neglected heating system can degrade if it sits for months untouched.
Routine maintenance conducted approximately every six months is ideal to prevent the need for heating repair. As dirt and dust can accumulate, you want to hire a professional to clean and inspect your heating system as a preventative measure. The best times to undergo heating system maintenance are in the spring and fall.
2. Ignoring Drafts in the Home
In addition to neglecting the heating system, many homeowners tend to ignore drafts in the home. Drafts can often be found near windows, doors, and in unused areas like attics, basements, and crawl spaces. If you are not sure where a draft is coming from, a lit candle can pinpoint the source. A lit candle will usually flicker in a drafty area.
Drafts allow cold air to enter your home and warm air to escape. This can result in higher energy bills and a noticeable reduction in comfort. You may also notice cold spots in your home caused by the drafts. By eliminating these drafts, you can create a more comfortable environment while significantly reducing your energy bills.
3. Turning Your Heating System Off at Night
It can be tempting to turn off your heating system at night to save money on your heating bills or the need for a heating repair. Most homeowners will wear heavy pajamas and pile on the blankets to stay warm. Reducing the temperature in your home slightly at night can save energy, but turning it down too low or completely off can have the opposite effect.
You want to avoid drastically changing the temperature in your home on a day to day basis. When you turn your heating system back on after a night of being off, you are putting a lot of stress on your furnace. Doing this on a regular basis can drastically reduce the lifespan of your heater while also creating an uptick in your energy bills.
4. Overworking a Faulty Heating System
Is your heating system not performing at peak capacity? If you start to notice that your furnace is not reaching the desired temperature set on the thermostat, you do not want to turn it up higher to make up for the difference. Turning up the thermostat higher when it is not working properly will only put more stress on the heating system.
Instead, seek prompt heating repair. If your furnace is not heating your home properly, there is likely a reason behind. There may be a draft causing the heat to escape your home. The furnace or thermostat may also be faulty. Contact a heating repair technician to inspect your heating system to determine the problem.
5. Keeping the Curtains Closed During the Day
With summer over, you may find it pointless to open up your windows during those cold winter days. However, opening the curtains during the daytime hours allows heat from the sun to flood your home. Natural sunlight can help warm up your home and put less stress on your heating system.
While you want to open your curtains during the day, you also want to close them at night. Curtains act as an extra layer of insulation over windows, helping to keep heat in while preventing cold air from coming through. This simple tip is a cost-effective way to heat up your home while saving energy.
6. Leaving Your Windows Cracked
Many homeowners experience the occasional need to crack open a window when the house gets too warm. While cracking a window for a few minutes usually will not do any harm, forgetting to close it can. Even a small crack can allow cold air to flow in and warm air to escape. This common mistake can cause a major increase in energy use.
In addition to leaving windows cracked, homeowners also make the mistake of not locking their windows. After a long summer of opening your windows, you may have forgotten to lock the windows shut before winter. Locking your windows is essential to create a tight fit that deters air leaks.
7. Using the Wrong Type of Space Heater
Many homeowners use space heaters to supplement their home’s heating system. Unfortunately, many choose the wrong type of space heater. The two main types of space heaters used in homes include radiant heaters and convection heaters. While convection heaters take longer to heat up, they tend to hold the heat more efficiently.
For long-term use, convection space heaters are the optimal option. However, radiant heaters are better suited for homeowners who want to heat a small space quickly. While both types of heaters can be used effectively, using the wrong type of space heater in each area of your home can have costly repercussions.
In the average American home, heating and cooling account for an estimated 48 percent of energy use. When you make the common mistakes like those mentioned above, this percentage can dramatically increase. If you are experiencing heating difficulties or are in need of professional heating repair, you need the professionals at RBrooks. For more information about our heating services or to schedule an appointment, fill in our contact form or call our office for friendly and prompt service.