We are all familiar with the cozy indoor setting that winter brings. All you want to do is bunker down with your favorite blanket and warm beverage after turning up the heat to get a break from the frigid temperatures outside. But it can get chilly very quickly if you hear rattling or squeaking coming from the heating system, or even worse, the warm air you were just enjoying turns into a breeze.
Furnaces tend to be fairly neglected until they quit working properly. Many homeowners don’t think about breaking out their coats and extra blankets, let alone the concern of the pipes freezing overnight. However, this nightmare can be avoided by educating yourself about your heating unit and gaining some knowledge about the best way to maintain it.
There are several reports out there about the cost of repairing a furnace. According to most reports about furnace repair costs in the United States, a basic repair can cost as much as $455 but the service can rocket up to $900. If parts need replacing, it becomes even more costly with some parts’ prices (like the heat exchanger, the part that heats the air before it is pushed through the house) can be up to $1,200! They report that a full system replacement will likely range from $2,500 to $5,900 depending on the brand and expectations.
The fact is most people don’t think about their home heating system. They don’t even know what kind of heater is installed in their home or the name of the manufacturer or what the efficiency rating is for the unit.
Whether you have an old-school radiator, a forced air system which blows heat through ducts from your furnace, or even radiant heat under wood flooring, you probably aren’t too thrilled when your utility bill skyrockets when they season changes. If you add a broken or malfunctioning heating system during winter, you can be spending thousands more to stay warm.
To prevent this, there are a few ways you may be making the unit work too hard. Knowing what you may be doing wrong is important so you can correct those habits and help your system work more efficiently. Here are seven things you may be doing that is likely costing you money.
Not turning your thermostat down when you leave.
A big money saver in these chilly months is turning down your thermostat when you are out of the house or sleeping. This way, it is only working hard when you really need it. Some thermostats are programmable, which makes it easy to set certain hours when the temperature can be turned down. For example, you may set your thermostat to the mid-60 range, and schedule for it to turn up to your desired temperature just before you return home.
Letting cold air in the house.
The heating system is likely over working if you have a drafty house as it is fighting the outside temperatures to keep the house warm. Insulating the walls will keep warm air trapped inside. It is also wise to consider closing gaps that may have developed in your windows and doors with weather stripping.
Tags: furnace maintenance