You rely on your heating system very heavily in the winter months. However, properly using an efficient heating system involves more than just turning it on when the house gets cold. Your heating system is arguably one of the most important features of your home. Therefore, it’s worth spending some time ensuring you use it to its full potential. This will also help you avoid any trouble down the line, plus save your hard-earned cash.
The first rule is always to read your owner’s manual. This will detail everything you need to know about your specific heater, including how it should be used and how it should be maintained. For example, inspect your filters periodically. These could be either washable or disposable, depending on what kind of ventilation system you have. Dust accumulates over time and can severely impact your system’s performance. If this happens, immediately get replacement filters to prevent a furnace fire. Furnace fires are one of the most common causes of house fires in America annually!
Whether it is an older home or a newer one, your heating system is one of the most important investments. It keeps you warm and your family comfortable so you can enjoy your home in any season. However, if you don’t use it properly, you could be putting yourself at risk for expensive repairs or even a fire.
To help keep your heating system running smoothly and safely, we’ve compiled some dos and don’ts for using your heating system:
- Do make sure that your ducts are not blocked with debris before turning on your heater.
- Don’t block vents with furniture or rugs. This will ensure your heating system works efficiently.
- Don’t use extension cords to power up your heater. This can cause fires or electrical shorts in the heating unit itself
- Do check the filter on your furnace at least once every six months to see if it needs changing. This will ensure the indoor air quality coming into your home is clean and safe to breathe
- Do clean your filters regularly. This will help keep your system running smoothly and extend its life. You can do this by vacuuming or sweeping it off once a month. If you live in an area with a lot of dust or pollen, consider changing the filter more often than once a month.
- Don’t run your furnace without a filter on it. Just because you’re not home doesn’t mean something isn’t making its way into your ductwork and collecting on your filter (dust bunnies!).
- Don’t let pets sleep near heat vents. The system can start overheating quickly if they get too close
- Do ensure that all parts of the system are working well together. This includes having an annual checkup done by a professional who can ensure everything is in good working order
- Don’t let children play with any part of the heating system or use it as a toy. This could cause injury or damage to the equipment, leading to serious problems later down the road
- Do keep the thermostat set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re out of town for a few days, set it at 3 degrees cooler before you leave.
- Do check for any leaks around the unit
Do Use a Programmable Thermostat
You can save money on your heating costs by using a programmable thermostat.
- These devices are designed to adjust the room temperature in your home automatically.
- The adjustments are based on the time of day and outside weather conditions.
- A programmable thermostat allows you to save money on your heat energy bills by avoiding unnecessary heating.
Using a programmable thermostat is one of the best ways to ensure your home is at the right temperature when you need it to be.
For example, a programmable thermostat allows you to set different temperatures for each day of the week and even during different times of the day. That way, your house will be nice and cool when you wake up on Saturday morning. When you get home from work on Tuesday night, your house will still be warm enough for you to relax.
Program your thermostat, so it turns itself on early in the morning and off late at night. That way, you don’t have to waste energy heating up or cooling down your home while nobody’s there.
You do want to use a programmable thermostat with your heating system. These can be easily installed by a professional. Programmable thermostats can reduce your system’s wear and make your house more comfortable.
Do Not Run the Heater for Only Brief Periods
You never want to run your heating system for only brief periods. This can wear down the parts and cause problems with moisture. If you turn the heating system on, allow it to run for three hours before turning it off again.
If you’re going to be away from home for a day or more (where winter doesn’t have freezing temperatures), turn off your home’s heating system. This will help save energy and reduce wear and tear on your unit. However, if you live in an area where it can freeze, do not do this, as your home’s pipes can freeze.
Another exception is if you leave your pet alone in the house. In that case, keep the heat low, so they don’t get too cold while you’re gone!
You may think you are being energy efficient by only running the heater for a few minutes, but this is actually not a good way to control your heating costs. Instead, leave it on for more extended periods and set your thermostat to a slightly lower setting. You will save money on heating costs in the long run and keep your home comfortable.
Do Keep Vents and Registers Clean
Your forced air system will push air from one room of your house to another. You need to keep the vents and registers clean to prevent allergens, dust, and other particles from being distributed throughout the home. Additionally, dirty vents and registers can inhibit air flow, so your heating system works less efficiently. Keeping your vents and registers clean is one of the best ways to improve your heating system. If you have vents that are clogged with dust or pet hair, or if they’re blocked by furniture or other items, this can cause your heating system to work harder than it should. As a result, this can lead to higher energy bills and more wear and tear on your equipment.
To keep your vents clean, vacuum them regularly with a brush attachment. You may also want to use a damp rag to wipe away any dust or debris that accumulates on the surface of the vent itself.
Keeping your vents and registers clean is the first step to ensuring your heating system works at its best.
The vents and registers are where the hot air from your heating system comes out, and they can get clogged with dust and dirt that causes the system to work harder than it needs to.
For best results, you should vacuum them every six months or so. Of course, if you have pets or kids, you should consider doing this more often. Even weekly if necessary!
Do Not Turn the Thermostat Up Suddenly To Warm the House
You do not want to turn the thermostat all the way up in an attempt to warm the house quickly. This will force your heating system to work harder than it should. To be the most efficient with your heating system, it’s important to keep your home’s temperature steady. You can do this by setting your thermostat at a comfortable level before heading out and then not adjusting it until you get home.
If you turn your thermostat up suddenly when you’re cold or down suddenly when you’re hot, it will take a long time for the system to adjust to the new level. This means it will either be too hot or too cold for longer than necessary, wasting energy in the process.
There’s nothing worse than shivering because your central heating system isn’t keeping up. However, if you turn the thermostat up too quickly, you might pay more on your energy bill than necessary.
Do Not Block the Airflow
You do not want to block the airflow through your house. Air should be able to flow freely from heating vents to thermostats. There should be clear areas in front of all vents and registers. Keep doors to commonly used rooms open to spread the heat. This keeps your home warm and your heating bills low.
One of the most important things you can do to keep your home safe and comfortable is to ensure that your heating system is not blocked by furniture. If your home has an air return, it must be unobstructed. The air return is where all the warm air from your heating system enters the room. If it’s blocked by furniture or other items, there won’t be enough warm air coming into the room to keep you warm. This means your furnace will have to work harder to heat the entire area. Oftentimes this leads to higher utility bills and wasted energy.
To avoid this problem, try putting rugs under furniture instead of pushing them against walls or blocking them with bookcases or other large pieces of furniture. This will allow air to flow freely into the room. Now your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard, and all areas are evenly heated! When it comes to your heating system, there are many things you should and shouldn’t do.
You can help reduce energy costs by keeping things consistent throughout the entire house. Make sure never to block the heater’s intake or exhaust ports either. Blocking these ports will prevent the heater from working properly and may even result in a fire.
Do Remember your HVAC System While on Vacation
Don’t forget about your HVAC system when you’re on vacation! It’s easy to forget about something as important as heating when you’re relaxing on a beach somewhere.
However, if you don’t remember to turn off the thermostat before leaving town, you could end up paying for unnecessary fuel or electricity while away from home.
Do Schedule Annual Professional Maintenance
You want to schedule HVAC maintenance on your entire heating system every year. The best time is just before winter starts.
Schedule your annual maintenance with the professionals at The Cooling Company. We will inspect your system, ensure it’s working properly, and clean it to keep it functioning well. If we find anything that needs repairing, we will share this information with you so we can possibly fix it right then and there. Getting annual maintenance done is one of the best things you can do to protect your investment in your home’s heating system.
Don’t skimp on maintenance because it seems expensive. It’s actually worth every penny! Skipping regular maintenance could mean replacing parts much sooner than necessary because they weren’t cleaned properly or maintained regularly. It also means missing out on chances to reduce energy costs. Ensuring the heat is being efficiently distributed throughout the home means less money spent overall.
Schedule annual professional maintenance if you want your heating system to work well and last as long as possible.
The Cooling Company offers a full range of services to get the most out of your heating system. We’ll address any problems and ensure everything is running smoothly, so you don’t have to worry about it.
We offer a wide range of services, including:
- Safety checks and inspections
- Tune-ups and repairs
- Preventative maintenance plans
As a homeowner, ensuring your HVAC system is in good shape before the winter starts is a good idea. The best way is to call The Cooling Company today to schedule an inspection and maintenance check.