5 home heating faux pas that could be hurting your wallet


Related Articles

Reprinted from BrightNest.com

Life at home is full of little mistakes. Recipes are messed up, carpets get stained and sometimes a few pests sneak inside. It’s never the end of the world, but there are some mistakes that you might not notice at all, like a heating faux pas! Unfortunately, these mistakes can wind up costing you a bundle of cash, so they’re worth avoiding if you can.

Awareness is the first step. Here are five common (and costly) home heating mistakes:


1. Abusing your thermostat

During a winter chill, it’s tempting to turn the inside of your home into a tropical oasis as soon as you step inside, but cranking up your thermostat to warm up faster won’t do anything! Most furnaces pump out heat at a consistent rate, no matter how high the temperature is set.


2. Letting windows leak

If left alone, drafts can consume up to 30% of your home’s energy usage. Check your windows by running your hand along their perimeters. If you feel cold air seeping in, it means that heat is leaking out. If locking your windows doesn’t stop the draft (locking them will pull your windows snug into their frames), seal these leaks with a line of caulk along your window’s seal.


3. Closing heating vents in unused rooms

It may seem like the logical thing to do, but blocking heat access by closing vents is actually less efficient than heating unused rooms and won’t save you any money. Plus, doing this can imbalance your home’s entire heating system, which strains your furnace and creates the “cold room” effect. Generally, it’s better to leave vents and doors open and allow your home’s HVAC system to circulate evenly.  


4. Leaving your bathroom exhaust fan on

Leaving this ventilation fan on longer than usual will do exactly the opposite of what you want on a cold, snowy day: It will take all of the warm, toasty air from your home and pump it outside! Don’t avoid using exhaust fans completely, though. Running your bathroom exhaust fan after a steamy shower prevents mold and mildew growth.


5. Using a dirty air filter

Dirty air filters will reduce the airflow in your home, forcing your furnace to work harder. Plus, it creates more dust and increases indoor air pollution in your home. Check and replace your air filters regularly so your furnace can heat your home as efficiently as possible.


BrightNest is a free site that provides customized tips and tools to help homeowners save money, get organized and keep their homes in great shape.