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5 HVAC Mistakes that Drive Up Your Heating Bill

11/08/22

Image: an older couple sitting on the couch looks over their bills, cover for5 HVAC Mistakes that Drive Up Your Heating Bill.
With winter just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your turning on the heat. However, we all know how wintertime utility bills can go sky high, sticking to standard best practices for energy efficiency is essential. But there are plenty of mistakes homeowners make when it comes to their HVAC system.

Take some time and check out these five HVAC mistakes that drive up your heating bill and consider some simple tweaks to help lower your bills this season.

Not Changing Your Air Filter

You may not be aware of it, but your air filter plays a major role in keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient. It traps dirt, dust, pollen, and other pollutants before they can enter the HVAC system and get sucked into your home.

When an air filter becomes too clogged, it can cause the system to work harder than it should. This means the system will have to run longer than usual to reach the desired temperature. The excess time the unit spends running will increase your energy bill, which leaves you out of pocket.

Image: Air filter meme.
What’s more, if your air filter is clogged, you could breathe in pollutants leaking into your home.

The Thermostat is in the Wrong Place

Where you put your thermostat will affect how hard your heating system works. By placing it in the center of your home, you’re more likely to accurately represent the temperature throughout your home.

You should also avoid placing a thermostat near vents or ducts. Air ducts can give a false reading depending on how much air is coming out of them. So, if a vent blows onto your thermostat, the thermostat’s reading could be off by several degrees.

If possible, put your thermostat on a wall away from windows and doors. Don’t put it near a hot appliance such as an oven or fireplace either — those can also cause false temperature readings.

Image: a boy adjusting a thermostat.
Finally, don’t put your thermostat where it gets direct sunlight all day long; this has the potential to significantly increase its temperature readings.

Forgetting Tune-Ups

If your furnace is not operating properly, you could pay more for your energy than you need to.  A tune-up will help ensure that your furnace is running as efficiently as possible. Which in turn will help lower your heating bills and prolong the life of your system.

Image: a man checks his vents and wonders why there's not air coming out.
A routine HVAC tune-up should be performed every year by a professional technician who knows how to test all aspects of the system — from its thermostat to its burners, blower motor, to air filter and thermostat — so they’re in good working order before cold weather sets in again. This ensures your furnace runs smoothly through each season without needing repairs or replacements earlier than expected.

Image: tools used by HVAC technicians during a routine tune-up.
Even if you have just replaced your heating system with a new one, it’s still important to schedule maintenance checks throughout the year. Think of it as taking in your car for an oil change.

Closing Registers and Vents

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably close your home’s registers and vents in winter. You may even find yourself doing it without realizing it. But if you want to improve energy efficiency and reduce heating bills, you need to stop this behavior.

When you close registers and vents, warm air is trapped in the rooms with them open, and cool air is trapped in the rooms with them closed. This means the furnace needs to work much harder to heat up the rooms in your home at once. Closing registers and vents forces the furnace to run longer than necessary and wastes more energy than if they were left open.

Image: a person adjusting a vent in their home.
Another thing, it restricts airflow throughout the house. Airflow is essential to an efficient HVAC system because it allows indoor air to circulate freely throughout your home to be heated or cooled as needed. When registers are left open, there are no obstructions to airflow. But when registers are closed, there are multiple barriers for airflow, including walls, floors, and ceilings that prevent complete circulation of indoor air from one room to another.

Adjusting the Thermostat Too Much

You might think that keeping your home warmer in winter would make it more comfortable to live in, but the opposite is true.

If you’re trying to save money on heating bills, resist the temptation to crank the thermostat up. It won’t heat your home up any quicker. But it will make your furnace work harder, using more energy.

Turning it down, and keeping it down, means less energy use. A furnace doesn’t need to work as hard when it’s colder outside and will use less electricity or gas. It’s also easier on your heating system, which means less wear and tear over time and fewer repairs needed during cold weather months.

Image: meme about adjusting the thermostat.
Want to save money on your heating bills this winter? Book a HVAC tune-up with the HELP professionals.

Posted in: Heating

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