The cold of winter is no joke, and it requires a lot of infrastructure to keep yourself warm and toasty when it’s frigid outside. (Aren’t you glad we no longer live in the era of open fireplaces as the only source of heat in a home? We are, too.) Your furnace, central heating, baseboard heating, or other heating system depends on getting good maintenance and on circulating the air correctly through your home for the best results. In our last blog post, we covered the first five heating mistakes that some homeowners make in the winter, and today, we’ll cover the remaining five points. Make sure that your home is protected from the cold with these tips.
6. Don’t forget to change your filter
A filter that’s clogged with dust, pet hair, and other debris will not be as effective at keeping your home free of all the toxic substances that float through the air of your home. You’ll be more prone to getting sick if you’re breathing bad air, and your furnace’s health will be affected, too. The furnace has to work harder to pull in air through the clogged filter, meaning that you may be shortening its life. Buy a 3-pack (or go ahead and buy 12 filters so that you have them on hand) and set a reminder or calendar alert on your phone to change the filter on the first day of every month.
7. Don’t leave an exhaust fan running.
If you have an exhaust fan in one or more bathrooms or in the kitchen hood above your stove, use them only when necessary and then turn them off. The function of an exhaust fan is to take air from the inside of your home and force it outside. This is great when you have a shower full of steam or a stovetop smoking from your delicious Cajun blackened fish recipe. However, it’s not so great when the vent’s task is complete but it’s still running. All you’re doing is taking warm air from inside your house and blowing it outside, forcing your furnace to create more warm air to keep up.
What you can leave running is your ceiling fan. A ceiling fan on a low setting helps to keep air circulating through your home, helping to even out the temperature and eliminate any cool spots. Just be sure to flip the small switch on the fan to pull air up rather than pushing air down. How do you tell the difference? It’s super simple. On almost all fans, if the switch is in the up position, the fan will pull air up, while if the switch is in the down position, the fan will push air down. (Double check: If you feel a strong breeze when the fan is running, it is pushing air down. Turn it off and switch it to the other setting.)
8. Don’t wait too long to fix heating problems.
We get it – life happens, and it’s not always possible to take action immediately on the things that go wrong with your home appliances. You might not even know that there is something wrong at first, and then when you do figure it out, you don’t always have the money and time to deal with the situation. However, to the best of your ability, act promptly to fix any heating problems that arise with your furnace. Doing so may make the difference between being able to do a simple repair and having to replace the complete furnace.
9. Don’t heat an empty house.
Picture this: It’s 1998, and you’re 200 miles away from the house. You’ll be gone for a week. All of a sudden, you slap your hand to your head and say to yourself, “OH NO! We forgot to turn down the heat.” Your spouse pats your arm and tries to comfort you with the fact that you can probably afford the wasted money that you’ll lose in heating bills.
Now fast forward to the 21st century. It’s 2018, and you’re 200 miles away from the house. You perform the identical facepalm when you realized you forgot to turn down the heat. Your spouse pats your arm and says, “That’s ok, honey, let me go ahead and do that from my phone.” And with a couple of taps, voila! Your heat is set to the right setting for your vacation.
The only question is, which scenario would YOU experience? If you haven’t yet connected your HVAC system to be managed by your phone, we can help you with that.
Either way, don’t make the mistake of leaving your heat on full blast if you’ll be away from home for a while during the winter.
10. Don’t just heat a couple of rooms with space heaters
If you’re trying to economize and reduce your bills to the bare minimum, you might think of turning off your furnace and inhabiting a few rooms that you heat with space heaters. This is a bad idea for a couple of reasons.
- The only time that a space heater is more cost effective than using central heat is if you truly are heating only one or two rooms and NOT using any other heat source. Any other method will increase your heating bills, not decrease them. For instance, if you need to keep your furnace on to keep your pipes from freezing, a better solution would be to make sure your home is weatherized and insulated and then use your central heating system.
- Space heaters increase your danger of fire. No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen to the best of us. The National Fire Protection Association states that space heaters are involved in 79 percent of fatal home fires. A house fire will be a lot more expensive than the savings you were trying to get by using a space heater.
Contact our heating company in Kankakee today
Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating is here to help you to solve your heating problems. Whether you want help reducing your heating bills, or you need repair, maintenance, a tune-up, or a replacement furnace, we have you covered. Our HVAC company has been a trusted source of residential heating, cooling, and ventilation since 1945. Contact us today to get a quote.