In southeast South Dakota, we know cold. Both to reduce the costs of heating your home and keep your family safe as temperatures drop, you need to make sure your heating system is ready.
When the cold sets in, don’t let it catch you by surprise. Instead of waking up chilly in the morning, avoid these common home heating mistakes to keep your house or apartment cozy through winter.
1. Pushing Your Thermostat to the Max
When it starts to get cold out — or inside — our first thought is to pump the heat. It’s a great thought, but asking the thermostat to blast heat too quickly is an expensive way to address the cold.
It’s similar to pushing the gas pedal to the floor. The car will accelerate, but that extra strain could overwhelm the mechanisms in play. It’s less efficient and risks damage to your heating system.
To the same effect, you probably don’t want to shut the heat off just because the temperatures pick up for a day. Ideally, you should ease the system on by degrees instead of asking it to go from 50° to 70° in a matter of minutes.
2. Heating an Empty House
Keeping the heat going when you aren’t there is a great way to throw money out the window. Plus all that heat is just going to waste until you get back.
Yes, we just said you shouldn’t be turning the heat off or shifting too many degrees at a time. But there’s a healthy middle ground. Cheat the heat down when you’re out – especially if you’ll be out of town for a while.
If you have a programmable thermostat, don’t let the settings baffle you. Learn to use it and set up a schedule that gradually lowers temperatures while everyone is away, and eases them back up when you return.
If you can’t program the thermostat, do a bit of research on your unit to learn what kind of adjustments it can safely handle.
3. Forgetting About Pipes
Water expands as it freezes, which hopefully isn’t news to you. If it is, make sure you know which pipes might break when the cold hits.
We’ve written a lot more about frozen pipes on the blog before. But if your pipes do break, get in touch with the Intek water restoration team.
4. Keeping the Blinds Shut
Yes, the sun can make all that snow really bright in the midst of winter, but you’ll save money by throwing back the curtains when it’s shining.
You can leave the glass shut tight, of course. In fact, take the time to walk throughout your home to inspect that all the screens and window panes are shut tight to keep the chill out.
But when the sunlight is available, take advantage of the extra free heat to give your furnace a break.
Speaking of which…
5. Neglecting Your Furnace
It can be easy to forget about the big metal box looming in the basement until you need it, but when properly cared for it can keep you toasty for 15 to 30 years.
That means giving it enough attention so it isn’t quitting early. Educate yourself on where the unit’s filters are located, and be sure to clean or replace them every 2 to 3 months. That’ll help the furnace to keep regular airflow and optimal efficiency.
You should also get your furnace serviced to catch small problems before they get out of hand. Having dirty ducts or an unmaintained furnace is a recipe for brisk months.
Furnace & Duct Cleaning Sioux Falls, Brookings, & Yankton Homes
The good news about these home energy saving tips is that you can do most of them yourself. There’s just one that you can’t, and that’s furnace and duct cleaning.
Most of these mistakes can be avoided with a bit of work on your end, but if your furnace or ducts have been neglected, or they’re just do for a checkup, we’re here to help. Duct cleaning Sioux Falls, Brookings, and Yankton homes will ensure your heating system is running the best it can.
Don’t know if your home needs furnace maintenance? Find out by asking for a free inspection from INTEK. Our video equipment can show you exactly what your ductwork looks like before you have to pick out a package.