Heating and cooling a home takes up nearly half of most homeowner’s energy bills. However, there are a variety of ways homeowners can improve energy efficiency and cut down on heating costs this winter. At Barber Heating & Air, we strive to make home comfort easy and affordable for our community. In this blog, we listed common heating mistakes homeowners make that contribute to high heating costs in Burlington, NC and surrounding areas.
How Can I Improve My Heating Unit’s Efficiency?
Your heating unit works hard to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If there is an underlying issue or obstruction, it causes the unit to work harder and use more energy. Below are seven common home heating mistakes some homeowners are unaware are costing them more.
- Not scheduling heating maintenance
- Closing unused air vents
- Keeping a high thermostat setting
- Heating an empty house
- Forgetting to change air filters
- Letting exhaust fans run
- Not sealing and insulating
Not scheduling heating maintenance
Heating maintenance is the best way to ensure your heating unit is working properly for the season ahead. A Barber technician can thoroughly inspect your system for any malfunctions and repair components as needed. Additionally, your expert technician can prevent future problems from arising to minimize needed repairs this winter season. Heating breakdowns are unpredictable and uncomfortable, especially during a holiday gathering or cold spell. While we recommend heating maintenance in the fall before winter is in full swing, it is never too late to start saving energy! Give us a call to schedule a heating maintenance appointment in Burlington, NC or surrounding areas.
Closing unused air vents
We understand the logic behind closing air vents in unused rooms, however, we strongly encourage homeowners to leave vents open all year long. Closing air vents does not direct the air to a different vent or send the air back into the system. The ductwork in your home and your heating unit work together to distribute an even amount of air into every vent. If you close an air vent, it disrupts the balance and puts strain on your heating system. The excess air in your air ducts creates pressure and can lead to air leaks or damaged ductwork.
Keeping a high thermostat setting
Homeowners often make the mistake of setting their thermostat on a high setting in hopes to heat their home faster. Contrary to popular belief, your heating system will heat your home at the same speed regardless of the thermostat setting. Turning up the thermostat will only result in the unit working for a longer period of time, which will use more energy and raise monthly bills.
Heating an empty house
If you are leaving the house for work or for a few hours, we recommend turning down the thermostat a few degrees. Your heating unit will work while you are gone to maintain the heating setting of an empty home. Lowering your thermostat a few degrees will help cut down on energy usage and save on monthly heating costs. Programmable or smart thermostats are a useful home device for monitoring home temperatures. These thermostats operate on a schedule and can lower your home’s thermostat setting while you are away or asleep, and raise the temperature before you arrive or wake up. Additionally, programmable or smart thermostats can be controlled on a mobile device. The lower the thermostat setting in the winter, the less energy used and the more you will save.
Forgetting to change air filters
Homeowners in Burlington, NC should change each air filter in their home at least every 90 days to ensure heating efficiency. A clogged or dirty air filter puts strain on your heating system, because it struggles to push air through the filter pores. Many homeowners forget to maintain clean air filters every three months and end up paying for it on the energy bill. If you are unsure of what filter or the size your home needs, give one of our technicians a call! We are happy to help keep your home comfortable and your heating unit running efficiently.
Letting exhaust fans run
We encourage the use of exhaust fans when they are needed to remove excess moisture, fumes, or odors. However, be sure to turn the exhaust fan off when it is no longer needed. Many homeowners forget the exhaust fan is running and leave it on longer than it should be. This process can remove heat from the area and cause unnecessary heat loss. Your heating unit will kick on and use more energy to meet the thermostat setting if heat is exiting through the exhaust fan.
Not sealing and insulating
Sealing air leaks and insulating your home is important to avoid high energy bills and heat loss. Air can easily escape through cracks in your windows, doors, and other areas and allow heat to exit your home. Due to warm air rising, heat travels to the top of your house and can escape through the roof if not insulated. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs by sealing and insulating their homes. We recommend adding insulation to attics, crawlspaces, basements, and other unheated areas.
Home comfort should be in everyone’s budget! We encourage you to avoid these common home heating mistakes in the future to maintain a comfortable home and affordable heating costs. To schedule heating maintenance in Burlington, North Carolina and surrounding areas, give our trained technicians a call!