Do This When Your Heating Bill Is High
Imagine how difficult winters were in Oxford, MI and Waterford, MI in the days before central heating? Chopping wood and/or shoveling coal was hard work. Keeping your home comfortable is much easier these days but the comfort comes with a tradeoff: Monthly heating bills must be factored into the household budget and out of control heating bills can bust the budget. As a result, you need to keep your heating bills under control. Let’s take a closer look at how to go about heater maintenance.
Common Causes of High Heating Bills
Diagnosing any problem starts with asking questions. Some sleuthing around your house could reveal why your bill is suddenly busting your budget. Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing wants you to answer these questions:
• Has the weather stripping around your doors or the caulk around your windows gotten old and broken off?
• Did you forget to change the furnace filter?
• Is someone in your house turning up the thermostat higher than usual?
• Can you find any leaks in your ducts?
• Did you move furniture and block air vents (air or return vents)?
• Is the weather colder than normal?
• Do you need more insulation?
• Has your furnace been making strange noises?
• Has your furnace been turning off and on with short cycles?
• Did you forget to have a professional furnace tune-up or heater maintenance?
Any yes answers can be a cause for higher monthly utility bills. The more yes answers you come up with increases the likelihood you are wasting money every month.
Start By Playing Detective
- DOORS & WINDOWS: When looking for drafts and air leaks slowly move a lit candle around the edges. Big flickers indicate strong air movement. Additionally, If you can feel the cold air coming in through doors and windows you know it’s a significant leak. Many weather stripping repairs, and caulking can be handled by the homeowner.
- DUCTWORK: If the HVAC ducts are accessible, check for leaks while the furnace is running. Check for warm air that is escaping paying special attention to any seams or joints in the ductwork. In some cases, you might be able to fix the problem yourself with good quality duct sealing tape. Damaged air ducts will require professional service.
Easy Fixes & Steps You Can Take
While some problems will require the services of a Kotz technician, there are many simple steps you can take to bring those utility bills down. When you add all the little things together, they add up to significant savings. Start with these steps for your heater maintenance:
• Turn the thermostat down. The Department of Energy says you can save one percent for each degree. Don’t worry, you look good in sweaters and sweatshirts and putting an extra blanket on the bed is a small sacrifice.
• If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, get on one now. Then learn how to use it correctly. Adjusting the home’s temperature based on your work & school schedule can save big bucks.
• Changing the furnace filter often. Dirty filters are the single biggest reason for poor airflow and inefficient heating.
• Improve your home’s insulation. Go in the attic and inspect the insulation. If it doesn’t cover the wooden joists, chances are you are wasting money. Paying for an energy audit may be the best way to determine your insulation needs.
Maintenance Investment = Monthly Savings
Any heating system requires regular seasonal heater maintenance to maintain peak efficiency. Generations of homeowners in Oxford, MI, and Waterford, MI, have entrusted their indoor comfort to Kotz Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. Our technicians can’t stop the aging process, but we can slow it down. Along the way the improved efficiency will help make sure those monthly utility bills aren’t busting the household budget. Get in touch with Kotz Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing today to schedule your heater maintenance or repair service today.