It’s that time of year when you’ll be thinking about turning on your heating system. But before you do, you need to double-check that the system is working, and everything is in tip-top condition.

Unfortunately, when maintaining a home and keeping it warm and cozy, people make a few common mistakes, meaning they spend more on energy bills. Be savvier this winter by checking out these five mistakes and making simple tweaks to lower your heating bill.

Forgetting to Change Your Air Filter

An air filter is one of the most important parts of your central heating and cooling system because it protects the HVAC unit from dust and dirt. When these particles enter the system, they can damage the fan blades, motor bearings, and other parts that help keep the unit running smoothly.

Regularly changing the filters is one way to keep dust and dirt out of your system and prevent damage. The cleaner your heating system is, the more efficiently it will run, meaning you save money on your energy bills.
Air filters should be changed every month or two, depending on how often you use your heating/cooling system. What’s more, according to Energy.Gov, you could save up between 5%- 15% on your energy bills.

A professional HVAC technician will change filters during a tune-up if you’re unsure how to change them yourself.

The Thermostat is in the Wrong Place

The thermostat is the hub of your heating system. The best place to put your thermostat in your home is in the center of the house. It’ll help keep all rooms at a comfortable temperature.

The worst place to put your thermostat is near an open window or door. These areas are constantly heated and cooled by outside air, making them more difficult for a programmable thermostat to control properly.

Generally, it’s best not to put your thermostat near major appliances like ovens or dishwashers. This is because they give off heat that affects how the heating and cooling system performs. And don’t put it above or below an air vent. Air vents can create drafts making it harder for your thermostat to read temperatures correctly.

Forgetting Tune-Ups

If your furnace needs a tune-up, you may be tempted to ignore the problem. But if you don’t take care of your furnace, it could cost you more money over time.

Furnaces need regular maintenance to keep them working properly and efficiently. Therefore, a tune-up is usually recommended yearly. It’s also essential to have your furnace inspected before purchasing a new home or apartment.

Here are some reasons why a HVAC tune-up helps you save on heating bills –
  • A clean furnace filter can improve efficiency.
  • An inefficient or dirty blower motor can cause excess wear on other system parts that require replacement sooner than necessary.
  • A dirty evaporator coil will reduce airflow through it, causing higher energy use and increased wear on other parts of the system.

If your furnace is more than 10 years old, you should consider replacing it with a new, more efficient model.

Closing Registers and Vents

Closing off parts of your HVAC system may seem like a good way to keep cold air locked inside and warm air out, but it does the opposite. Closing vents and registers also allow more moisture into your home, which can cause mold growth.

Closing vents causes temperatures throughout your home to be uneven. This means that some areas will be colder than others, which makes it harder for the furnace to heat them. The furnace has to work harder when temperatures are unequal because it has to run longer to maintain even temperatures. When this happens, it can reduce your furnace’s life expectancy and decrease its efficiency.

Adjusting the Thermostat Too Much

You may be paying more than you need to on energy bills during the winter months because of a common misconception about how to save money on heating.

The idea is that turning up your thermostat will make your house warmer faster, so you don’t have to keep your furnace working for as long. But raising the temperature by just one degree can increase your energy costs — and those tiny increases add up over time.
What’s more, cranking up the thermostat won’t heat your home any faster. The only thing it does is increase wear and tear on your heating system.

A better way to save money is to turn your thermostat down by a couple of degrees. Your home will still stay warm, and you’ll spend less. If you feel the chill, throw on a couple of warm sweaters. Layering clothing is a great way to keep cozy while saving money.
Prevent an HVAC breakdown this winter. Book an HVAC tune-up with the experts at JW Plumbing, Heating and Air.

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