Winter Energy Bills

Does it feel like winter energy bills are draining your wallet? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating accounts for 45% of energy costs in the average home. So, if you want to reduce your energy bills, it makes sense that you would turn your attention to your home’s heating system. Start by correcting these common and costly heating mistakes.

Mistake #1: Closing vents in unused rooms.

You might assume that by closing the vents in unused rooms, you can seclude all of the heated air to one space and reduce your heating costs. However, furnaces are designed to operate under a certain amount of pressure, only. When you close several vents, you increase the pressure in the duct system, and your furnace has to work harder to push air through the open vents. This may actually cause your energy bills to rise, rather than fall, and it puts a lot of wear on the furnace. Keep all of your vents open for best results.

Mistake #2: Forgetting to change the air filter.

The winter season can get busy with holidays and snow shoveling. Before you know it, three months have passed since you last changed the air filter. This can have a huge impact on your heating bills since the furnace has to work extra hard to push air through a clogged filter. Set an alarm in your phone to ring once a month, and keep plenty of spare filters on hand so you can replace yours easily.

Mistake #3: Keeping the curtains closed all the time.

You might keep the curtains closed in an effort to insulate your windows, but you should actually open them when it is sunny outside. The sunshine brings natural warmth into your home, reducing the burden on your furnace. Just remember to close your drapes again when the sun goes down.

Mistake #4: Pushing furniture in front of vents.

In the winter, you might rearrange furniture to make room for holiday decor or to accommodate extra beds for overnight guests. If a bed or dresser ends up pushed against a heating vent in the process, it will block the flow of air. Not only will this increase pressure in the ducts, as discussed above, but it will also keep that room from getting warm — which may prompt you to turn up the thermostat. Always check that you’re not blocking vents as you move furniture.

Mistake #5: Keeping your thermostat at one constant temperature.

You might assume that as long as it’s set at 65 or 68, you’re doing a great job of saving energy. But you can save even more by programming your thermostat to turn down further when you’re not at home. Set it back to 59 or 60 when you’re away during the day.

If you can avoid these common heating mistakes, you’ll be well on your way towards lower energy bills. Hassle Free Home Services can help by maintaining your home and heating system.