Avoid These Common Winter Heating Errors
When their homes cool down in fall and winter, most Kansas residents instinctively turn on their heating systems without a second thought. After all, the only required steps to heat up your house are for you to walk up to the thermostat, crank up the dial (or click the arrows), and walk away — or so you thought.
Every time you use the heating unit, you could be making any number of common mistakes without realizing it. If so, you wouldn’t be the only one: a sizable percentage of furnace repairs, are caused by homeowners who unsuspectingly misuse their HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems.
If you’re not sure whether the heating technique you use is fair or foul, have no fear: Bryan’s Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. can give you tips for how to properly warm up your home, starting with avoiding the three most common heating mistakes.
1. Going Above & Beyond With Your Thermostat
Imagine you’ve just strolled through the door after a long day of work, school, or running errands. It’s the middle of winter, and because the heater was off all day, your house is now doing its best impersonation of a meat locker. If your first instinct is to adjust the thermostat because you think that a high setting will heat the house faster, you may want to think twice.
Whether it’s set to one degree or twenty degrees above room temperature, a heater pumps out air at one speed. Setting the thermostat to an astronomically high number doesn’t do anything besides put extra stress on your HVAC system. Over time, this causes wear and tear and leads to a gas furnace repair — which costs on average $300 but could be up to $800 or more. Furthermore, unless you remember to shut down the heater before the cycle completes, you’ll cost yourself more money in utility bills.
2. Micromanaging Your Home Heating System
Just as setting your thermostat too high is a bad idea, changing its settings frequently can spike your energy costs and put stress on the unit. Our HVAC repair company sympathizes with homeowners who attempt to find comfort by fidgeting with their thermostats — the outdoor conditions in the city can go from blizzardy to sunny and back in the blink of an eye. However, micromanaging a thermostat causes the HVAC system to shut on and off, which is inefficient and also hard on the system’s components.
The efficient approach to home heating is to use only two furnace settings: a lower not-at-home setting, and a higher at-home setting. When you’re out of the house, keep the heater running but at a low enough setting that your house stays minimally warm. While you’re in the home, set the thermostat to the higher, preferred setting. Since the house is already semi-warm, the furnace can more easily give you that desired result. As long as you get this balance correct, you’ll be more comfortable and save more money than if you were to adjust the system too frequently.
3. Allowing Conditioned Air To Leak Out
Plumbers and politicians know leaks are bad, and so do HVAC technicians. Considering all the money you spend on utilities and heating maintenance to keep your furnace at its best, it’d be a shame to let that warm air escape. In addition to HVAC maintenance, our heating and cooling system services also include advice for homeowners on methods to effectively prevent air leaks.
Conditioned air can leak both inside and outside of the home. Interior leaks are usually caused by loose or cracked ductwork, in which only a certain percentage of the conditioned air leaks out while in transit to different rooms. An professional technician can repair ductwork issues on-site. Exterior air leaks don’t usually concern the HVAC system itself, although a technician can point out them to you. Routine causes of leaks include loose-fitting windows, bathroom fans left running too long, wall insulation that shifts and needs replacing, as well as drafty doors. Bryan’s Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., your one-stop shop for all AC and heating services in the greater Wichita, KS, area, can help you spot air leaks and other issues. Contact us to schedule an appointment.