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Home Heating Mistakes You Didn’t Know Were Costing You

This article comes from Angi.

Home Heating Mistakes You Didn’t Know Were Costing You

Let’s look at common home heating mistakes and how you can avoid them in the future.

1. Cranking Up the Thermostat

When you feel a bit of a chill in your home, what’s one of the first things you do? Turning up the thermostat to its highest temperature may seem like the smartest move to make (the higher the temperature, the faster the interior will warm up, right?), but unfortunately, this common habit is a big no-no. The thermostat’s setting has no reflection on how quickly your home’s temperature will change. It actually increases your system’s wear and tear because it’s working much harder to meet your demands.

To lower your heating costs, keep your thermostat at a reasonable level, depending on your home’s needs. If not, you could damage your system and pay around $5,500, the average cost to install a new furnace.

2. Closing Vents in Empty or Unused Rooms

Another habit some homeowners are guilty of is fully closing vents. Common sense would have you closing anything that would let heat escape, but this is counterproductive.

When your heating system is running, it pulls the air from your home, heats it, and circulates it. However, closing your furnace vents leaves room for potential heating system issues such as:

  • Damaged ductwork
  • Increased system wear and tear
  • Reduced energy efficiency
  • Carbon monoxide leak

Remember, air can go through any permeable substance, meaning that even if your vents are closed, air will pass through. Air that doesn’t circulate properly leads to pressure build-up and could cause any one of the issues listed above.

3. Leaving the Heater on When No One Is Home

You don’t need to blast the heater when you’re at work, on vacation, or spending the day out and about. Instead, drop the temperature on your thermostat to 65 degrees to conserve energy in your home before leaving.

Remembering to dial the heat down might not be at the top of your to-do list, so if you have a manual thermostat, consider upgrading your thermostat to a programmable or smart thermostat. You can schedule a programmable thermostat to lower the temperature at specific times of the day.

4. Not Locking Your Windows

Though it might seem like a closed window is a sealed window, windows that aren’t locked could have small cracks that allow heat to slip through. Ensure all of your windows are locked once the weather gets cold to ensure that your heater’s hard work isn’t going out the window.

5. Ignoring Leaky Doors & Windows

Locking your windows alone might not be enough for old, leaky windows and doors. If you notice drafts in the house, it’s a good idea to inspect all windows and doors to determine if they need caulking, weatherstripping, window film, or door sweeps.

You may need to replace older windows entirely, especially if they’re single-pane windows. If you see rot, cracks, or damage around the jamb and casing, you’ll also need to replace the window frames.

6. Neglecting Regular Maintenance

Like most systems with working parts, maintenance is an essential factor that will impact how much you pay in the long run. Scheduling system maintenance probably doesn’t cross your mind as much because of other tasks on your plate—work, bills, chasing kids and dogs around the home.

But you should make it a priority to avoid any long-term damage to your system. Try implementing a plan to have a local HVAC contractor check your heating system yearly.

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