Winter is here to stay for the next few months, and our thermostats in Pittsburgh will working overtime. That means high heating costs for a lot of us, but there are ways to make sure those bills stay as low as possible this winter.
Here are six mistakes homeowners commonly make when heating their homes, and how you can avoid these pitfalls in the coming months!
1. The “Quick Heat Fix”
When coming home to a cold house, it might be tempting to turn the heater up into the 80s to try to heat it faster. But thermostats don’t work like an accelerator on a car, as the Telegraph reports, and turning the heat up to blistering levels won’t warm your home faster. So just be patient and it will save you money.
2. Turning the Thermostat Way Down at Night
It’s best to avoid extremes with your thermostat. If you let the temperature in your house fall dramatically overnight, it’s going to require a lot of work from your heating system to warm the home in the morning. That could really cost you when the heating bill arrives.
3. Overworking a Thermostat That Has Its Limits
If you want the house to be 70 degrees and your thermostat is only reaching 66 degrees, turning the thermostat up to 74 degrees in an attempt to make up the difference could be a huge mistake. The furnace could be forced to work beyond its capability. Instead, find out what’s causing the problem and fix it. Heat could be escaping somewhere in your home, or you may need to replace a faulty furnace.
4. Heating an Empty House
In this day and age of controlling everything from a phone app, one of the easiest ways to save money is to install a system that can be adjusted remotely. Heating an empty home is one of the easiest ways to waste money, so a programmable thermostat can save hundreds of dollars every year. Giving your thermostat a break every day can also be beneficial to a longer life for your heating system. Just don’t don’t overdo it. (Reference example #2 above!)
5. Leaving Curtains Closed on Sunny Days
While your home is vacant, open the curtains to allow as much heating sunlight into your dwelling as possible. According to Gaiam Life, it’s most important that all south-facing windows are left uncovered. Solar warmth can go a long way not only in heating a house, but also in helping to give the furnace a break during the warmest hours of the day.
BONUS TIP: Keep all windows clean. Dusty, dirty windows won’t allow as much sunlight into your home, which could cost you valuable heating power.
6. Not Locking Your Windows
In the summer, it’s common for homeowners to have a constant tango between opening the windows and keeping them closed to let the air conditioner do the hard work of keeping a home cool. It’s understandable if you forgot to lock those windows up before the cold weather arrives, but take the time now to ensure all windows are locked and sealed to keep warm air from escaping.