As the sun begins to set earlier and temperatures gradually drop, homeowners will undoubtedly start prepping their homes for the winter weather. Unfortunately, when outside temps lower, home utility bills tend to rise. This is usually because, as homeowners start preparing their heating systems for winter, they make a few common mistakes that reduce their home’s energy efficiency. Luckily, these mistakes can be avoided.
The following are a few home heating tips from the experienced HVAC contractors at Gordon’s Heating & Air that can help you conserve energy and reduce utility costs this winter.
Lock Your Windows
Naturally, the frigid winter winds will inspire homeowners to keep their windows shut until things start to warm back up. However, homeowners sometimes forget to lock their windows when they shut them for the winter, and that simple oversight can let unwanted cold air inside, making it harder for your heater to warm the house. Locking your windows will help form a more airtight seal and aid in conserving household energy.
Open Your Vents
Many homeowners believe closing vents in rooms they rarely use will help increase energy efficiency by reducing the total area their heating systems have to heat. But, unfortunately, this is not the case. Closing vents will only restrict airflow throughout the home, causing a build-up of air pressure in your ductwork that may eventually lead to damage or leaks. Ultimately, closing vents will only prevent proper air circulation and reduce system efficiency.
Change The Air Filter Regularly
Ideally, air filters should be swapped out every couple of months or, at the very least, every 90 days. A dirty air filter means your heating system will have to work harder to distribute warm air throughout your residence, sapping more energy as it does so. Check your air filter at the start of the winter season, and if it’s dirty, change it out.
Reduce Leaks & Drafts
If a slight draft leaking in through an unlocked window can negatively impact a home’s energy efficiency, it stands to reason that doors which lack weatherstripping and cracks in a home’s exterior walls will have the same effect. Take some time to walk around your house and check for drafts. Use caulk to seal up any cracks allowing cold air to enter or warm air to escape and replace damaged insulation around doors.
Don’t Crank Up The Heat
Many people turn their thermostats up extra high in an effort to heat their homes faster. However, cranking the heat up high has no actual effect on how quickly your home will reach your preferred temperature. A heating system set to 75 will heat just as fast as one set to 80. The only real difference is how long the system runs before shutting off, meaning you’ll be paying extra to have your system heat to a point beyond your desired temperature if you crank it too high.
Turn Off Exhaust Fans
The exhaust fans in your home’s kitchen and bathrooms purge humid, odorous air by venting it outdoors. Unfortunately, these fans are a bit too good at their jobs and can make it harder for your home to adequately heat up by sucking warm air outside. Accordingly, be sure to let exhaust fans run only for as long as absolutely necessary and then turn them off the moment they’ve done their job.
Schedule Routine Heating Maintenance
Neglecting regular heating system maintenance will inevitably lead to a less energy-efficient system and a higher utility bill. Routine checkups from an HVAC professional will help you catch and remediate small issues before they become big, expensive problems. Make sure your heating system operates at maximum efficiency this winter. Contact us today to schedule routine heating maintenance.