Fall is an exciting season, with cozily warm days and cool evenings. It’s also a reminder that wintertime is just around the corner. As the cold, frosty months of winter approach, heating systems such as central furnaces and heat pumps become some of the most essential devices in residential homes.
Heating your living space during the winter months can be costly. It’s high time you check up on your system that’s tucked in a closet or in your basement to make sure it’s still in good condition and can readily take care of your indoor comfort needs. Sadly, it’s not enough to feel the warm air kick on. You need to consider critical factors that can impact high energy usage as well.
Make sure to invest in smart technology and avoid common heating mistakes so you don’t end up with a faulty system and an uncomfortably chilly home that may break the bank in the near future.
Programmable vs. Smart Thermostats
A programmable thermostat allows you to create a heating and cooling schedule based on the needs of the residents of your home. However, the installation of smart thermostats has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you’re ready to take the plunge, here are the advantages of a smart thermostat you can look forward to:
- It adapts and creates temperature settings automatically based on daily schedules and weather conditions.
- It’s easier to read and can respond to motion, offering enhanced device interaction.
- You can connect it to your smartphone so that you can access the unit from anywhere.
- It collects and presents data about your heating and air conditioning costs, helping you thoroughly analyze your energy consumption.
Common Heating Mistakes
Installing a smart thermostat can improve the energy efficiency of your living space. By avoiding these heating mistakes, you’ll also significantly reduce your energy consumption and expenses.
Cranking up the heat. Keep in mind that furnaces operate at a single speed. Running your system at full blast to heat up your space at a faster rate is a common myth that actually does more harm than good. This practice just forces your furnace or heat pump to work longer and harder to produce the same amount of heat. To help save extra cash on heating bills, set the unit to the desired temperature and simply wait patiently for the air to warm up.
Neglecting the air filter. An essential part of residential and commercial HVAC equipment is the air filter. A dirty air filter can hamper proper airflow and slow down the heating process, making it extremely difficult for your system to heat up your living space. This can result in poor indoor air quality, reduced comfort, increased energy consumption and higher utility costs.
HVAC technicians recommend changing your furnace filter at least once every three months in order to improve the efficiency and extend the lifespan of your furnace. This also helps keep your home and ductwork clean and safe for those in your home with allergies and asthma.
Closing unused vents. Some homeowners believe that closing the vents in unused rooms can provide sufficient heating in other areas of the house. However, this isn’t a good idea at all. Along with the ductwork, your heating system is appropriately sized to distribute equal heat in all areas of your home. If the heat distribution isn’t balanced, your heating unit will experience additional stress, causing its efficiency level to decrease. It’s important to keep all your vents open so warm air can circulate throughout your home, which helps maintain a consistent temperature.
Ignoring drafts. Locking your windows during the winter season creates a tight seal that effectively keeps cold air and snow out. It will require a bit more work to make your home weathertight if you have extremely drafty windows, according to heating systems experts.
Drafts around your exterior windows and doors ultimately lead to leaks. It’s only a matter of time before the cold outdoor air will start seeping through small cracks, making your home less comfortable and increasing your energy bills without your knowledge. Make sure to walk around your house and seal up any leaks to keep the heated air in before cold winter weather arrives.
Forgetting to turn off exhaust fans. Don’t forget to turn off the exhaust fan in the bathroom or kitchen after using it. Running it longer than necessary draws warm air out. This isn’t good because it’s crucial to keep heated air in during the cold winter months.
Blocking the sunlight. Bright, sunny days can be scarce once the winter season sets in and precipitation and colder temperatures mean more clouds in the sky. However, when a pleasant, sun-filled day arrives and sunlight is beaming down on your house, make sure that your blinds or curtains are open, especially on south-facing windows.
Avoiding regular furnace maintenance. Heating and air conditioning systems are composed of complex parts that need repair and maintenance after running for a period of time. Your furnace can’t perform in an efficient manner when its components are failing. Make sure to schedule annual inspections to effectively keep such problems at bay. One of the mistakes homeowners make is to request an HVAC service in the winter when the technicians are busy and temperatures are at their lowest. Finding the right time to schedule your system tune-up is essential and is best done in the fall.
During a tune-up, a technician will clean and adjust the parts and mechanisms inside your furnace to keep it running efficiently throughout the season. They’ll also perform a comprehensive inspection to identify minor issues before they escalate into bigger and more costly problems. A furnace tune-up commonly includes:
- Lubricating motor bearings and other moving parts.
- Checking and adjusting fan belt tension.
- Checking voltage and current levels.
- Making sure all electrical connections are tight.
- Inspecting the heat exchanger and test exhaust system.
- Verifying gas pressure and making adjustments if necessary.
- Checking connections to gas or oil lines.
- Testing and verifying system controls.
- Inspecting the condenser drain and clearing it up as needed.
- Inspecting and calibrating the thermostat.
Contact Us for Heating System Repair & Maintenance Today
Breathe new life into your home with a quality heating system upgrade. Acker Heating and Cooling is a premier source of residential and commercial HVAC solutions in the greater Athens, GA, area. Our team of highly-rated technicians aims to provide you with exceptional service from start to finish, whether you need a routine tune-up, repair or installation. Call us at (706) 715-2607 or fill out our contact form to set up an appointment. We look forward to working with you!