6 Heating Mistakes Homeowners Make in the Winter

We’re in the midst of winter, and although our Houston days are often warm enough that heating isn’t an issue, the nights can get a bit chilly, which means many of us are running our household heating system when the sun goes down. When you hear the heater kick on, the cost of that heat likely isn’t at the forefront of your mind – you just want it to work.

When it comes to heating systems though, what you’re not thinking about could be costing you more than you realize. While you keep your home warm this winter, keep these common heating mistakes in mind so you can avoid any unnecessary costs while keeping your home’s heating both warm and efficient.

1. Cranking the Thermostat to Heat the Home Faster

When a heater has been off long enough for the home’s temperature to drop significantly, many people incorrectly assume that the best way to get the temperature back up is to overrun the system so it heats quicker. Putting excessive stress on your system is more likely to cause it to run inefficiently, leading to higher energy bills and extra stress placed on the unit itself. It’s best to gradually increase the temperature so your system can run at its optimal rate.

2. Keeping Curtains Closed

Though temperatures can dip into the low 40s in the winter, especially during January nights, the Houston area still enjoys plenty of sunlight during the day. Those rays may not be enough to heat your home entirely, but opening your curtains and blinds can do just enough to keep your heater from running too often throughout the day. Plus, keeping your home lightly heated will help your system avoid having to work as hard when you do try and run it later.

3. Using Space Heaters to Save Money

Since running a central heating system requires a lot of energy, many people in mild regions like Houston attempt to rely mostly on space heaters to cut costs. While this may prove effective in some cases, like if you’re trying to simply heat one small room, like a bedroom or kitchen, running several space heaters at once in an attempt to heat an entire house or floor doesn’t actually cut down on costs. You’ll just be running several high-energy appliances at once. Also, there are safety concerns associated with space heaters, as they are responsible for roughly 40 percent of all heating equipment-related house fires.1 It’s best to avoid relying on space heaters for long periods of time.

4. Closing Unused Vents

Closing the vents in little-used rooms in your house to strengthen the air flow to other rooms seems logical – it works like that in your car after all – but your home’s heating system doesn’t work the same way. Most systems and ducts are sized specifically to send even amounts of air to each part of the home. Disturbing this operational balance is likely to increase stress on your system, reducing efficiency and potentially your unit’s longevity. As tempting as it might be, leave all your home’s vents open year-round.

5. Expecting the Heater to do All the Work

A modern heating system is a powerful piece of equipment. However, it can’t do its job correctly if there are certain issues plaguing your home. For instance, if you have your heater set to 70, yet you notice it’s having problems heating your home beyond 68 degrees, it doesn’t always mean there’s something wrong with the system. It could be a structural problem with the home itself. It’s important to make sure your home isn’t dealing with a seal leak near the windows, doorways or in the ductwork.

6. Putting Off Regular Maintenance

Many people assume that if their system is running, then it’s working just fine. But just as there can be unseen issues underneath the hood of your car, your heater’s internal components might not be completely up to task even if your vents are expelling heated air. These issues will undoubtedly cause your system to run less efficiently and may lead to major repairs later.

Scheduling regular system maintenance, especially during heavy-use seasons like winter and summer, is a great way to save extra money on energy bills and help you avoid those stressful repair calls. AirCon Service Company has been fine-tuning central air and heating systems in the Houston area for decades. Whether you’re looking for maintenance, repairs or even replacement, AirCon will provide you with expert, honest service. Contact AirCon by calling (281) 823-8771.