Save Money By Avoiding 5 Home Heating Mistakes

For most homes, heating costs make up at least half of the total monthly utility bill. Because of this, many homeowners look for every means possible to save energy on home heating. Reducing your home heating costs can be as simple as changing a few bad habits. Here are five common home heating mistakes to avoid.

Turning The Thermostat Up Too High

Very few people are comfortable in a home where the temperature is 80 degrees or more. However, many people are tempted to turn their thermostat to the 80 degree range when the house is very cold. Doing this does not actually cause your furnace to heat up faster, and is actually wasting energy. You should always set the thermostat to the desired temperature so that it will heat your home comfortably and then turn off, instead of continuing to run and waste energy until it gets too hot.

Not Taking Advantage Of Sunlight

It is easy to rely on your furnace only and forget to take advantage of the natural heat source outside. Opening your curtains during the day can work in combination with your furnace to keep your house warm, and sometimes allow you to turn off the furnace for a few hours. Close the curtains and start using the furnace again 30 minutes before the sun goes down, and it will not have to work as hard to warm you home back up. During the winter, you should leave the south-facing windows uncovered to gather as much solar energy as possible.

Closing Registers In Unoccupied Rooms

It may seem that closing furnace registers in unoccupied rooms and only heating the ones you are using would save energy, but furnaces are not designed to work this way. Your ductwork is built to provide a continuous loop of warm air throughout the home, and your furnace will actually have to work harder to heat your home. Similar to a pinched-off garden hose, the furnace will continue to pump the same amount of air, but will now have to compensate for blockages in certain rooms.

Forgetting To Change Furnace Filter Regularly

The easiest thing that you can do to keep your furnace running efficiently is to clean or replace the furnace filter regularly. The more clogged your furnace filter is, the harder it has to work to push air through it to your ductwork. Additionally, leaving a dirty furnace filter in your furnace increases indoor air pollution, as the filter is less capable of removing pollutants from the air.

There are a few different types of furnace filters, so the type that you have will dictate how often you need to clean or replace it. The most common types are fiberglass or pleated paper, both of which are disposable and will need to be replaced once a month. There are also permanent electrostatic filters, which have removable sheets of cotton fiber that you should wash once per month.

Losing Heat Through Fireplace Or Exhaust Fans

Even if your windows and doors are well-insulated, there are two other places in the home where heat is commonly lost: fireplaces and exhaust fans. Your fireplace should always be closed when it is not in use to prevent heat from escaping up the chimney. Likewise, use exhaust fans only when it is necessary to clear smoke out of the kitchen or steam out of the shower. This will keep as much warm air inside as possible and allow you to run your furnace less often.

Keeping your energy costs down is not difficult with a bit of planning. Use these tips so you can keep your heating bill low this winter. For more information, contact a heating contractor or visit their website, such as