Heating your home in Eureka, MO, seems like it should be an easy thing to do. However, you may end up costing yourself a lot in heating and repairs bills by making simple blunders in operating your system. Here are seven HVAC mistakes you want to make sure you avoid this winter:
Neglecting Your Air Filter
Your air filter is one of the most critical things to keeping your HVAC system running effectively. Neglecting it restricts airflow into the system, causing it to retain heat rather than sending it out into your home. This retained heat causes parts in your system to overheat, leading to preventable heating repairs.
The common 1- and 2-inch filter needs replacing about every 90 days. Plan to check your filter monthly, and gently vacuum the loose dirt off to improve airflow between changes.
Your system depends on air coming from your vents to create air circulation around your home. This circulation helps heat your home evenly, reducing the length and frequency of heating cycles.
When you close vents in some rooms, you interrupt the airflow circulation. This inevitably causes longer heating cycles, using more energy and putting more strain on your system. Keep your vents open, with at least a 2-inch clearance above and around each to encourage good circulation.
Not Using Your Thermostat Correctly
Getting the right setting on your thermostat is important for conserving energy, reducing strain on your system and staying warm. Setting your thermostat too high or too low causes strain on your system and your home.
The EPA suggests a setting of 68 degrees as the ideal average temperature. However, using your thermostat’s program feature saves money and prevents wear on your system while you’re not home. You can even set your temperature a few degrees higher when you’ll enjoy it and still experience some savings.
Using Your Fireplace Instead of Your HVAC System
Some people think it makes sense to use their fireplace to heat their home and set their thermostat lower. However, this isn’t necessarily a good idea.
Most homes now aren’t designed to radiate the heat from a fireplace. This means the fireplace is often on an exterior wall, where much of the heat leaks out. While it may make a single room warm, it leaves the rest of the house cold.
There are two dangers you face, aside from most of the house being cold. First, you may not run enough heat along all of your pipes to keep them from freezing. Second, your fireplace adds many contaminants to the air, putting more strain on your furnace and immune system.
Leaving Ventilation Fans on Too Long
Ventilation fans play an important role in your home, removing excessive humidity while you bathe and cook. However, leaving the fans running for too long risks venting the heat you’ve just paid to generate. In most cases, you want to leave the ventilation fan running for about 20 minutes after you get done bathing.
Keeping Windows Unlocked
Window locks are more than just a security measure. Rather, they help keep the windows properly sealed, keeping your hot air from leaking. Double check all of your windows to ensure they’re down and that you have properly latched all the locks.
Ignoring HVAC Maintenance
Your furnace needs routine maintenance to continue running effectively. While circulating air, small airborne contaminants collect in your HVAC system, slowly reducing airflow. The furnace also vibrates, slowly loosening electrical connections and mounting hardware.
The result is higher utility bills and more frequent heating repairs. To prevent this, our service technicians will gently clean the areas that create airflow restrictions. They’ll also tighten the mounting hardware and electrical connections to make sure there’s no unusual strain as the system runs.
Don’t spend your life savings heating your home this winter. Call our expert service technicians at Fresh Air Heating & Cooling to schedule your HVAC maintenance today.
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