Winter is stressful enough on its own between the cold weather, poor driving conditions, shortened days, and the non-stop repetitive christmas music in December. Why add to that stress when it can be prevented?
A sharp spike in your heating bill certainly qualifies as stressful, especially when it happens just before Christmas. If you’re looking at a higher-than-expected bill, you’re probably wondering why. Well, we’ve put together a list of the four most likely reasons.
WHY ARE MY BILLS SO EXPENSIVE?
We understand that it is tempting to crank the heat when it’s below freezing outside. However, having the thermostat set at its highest temperature is not always the reason why your bills spiked.
Below we’ve listed four common reasons that might be the source of your high heating bills.
CRANK THE HEAT!
Although we said it is not always the reason your bills are high, it is usually a contributing factor. Turning the thermostat up is a quick and easy way to make sure you’re spending more money than you need to.
The rule of thumb in winter is the lower, the better. Keep your thermostat around 20 degrees celsius. This temperature may sound low, but trust us: after coming inside from -10 degree temperatures it’ll feel like heaven to you.
GRAB ANOTHER BLANKET
A great way to reduce your heating bill is to set your thermostat to lower the temperature during the evening. If you’ve got a smart thermostat, set it to turn the heat off 30 minutes after you go to sleep and to turn on about 30 minutes prior to when you wake up. This way you’ll fall asleep and wake up in heated comfort, and your furnace can take a nice 6-8 hour break!
Don’t worry, you will not wake up to an ice palace. Program the thermostat appropriately to shut off the heat at times everyone within the house will be asleep. To prevent waking up cold, sleep with an extra blanket or in a comfortable sweater.
CHECK YOUR DUCTS
Leaks within your central heating system can double your heating costs. Leaks within the supply-air ducts can push warm air into places of your home where it isn’t needed (such as the attic).
Likewise, leaks within your return ducts can bring in cold air from the attic and disperse it throughout your home. When either occurs, your thermostat recognizes it as a drop in temperature and works harder to maintain your programmed settings.
YUP, YOU GUESSED IT… AIR FILTERS
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: check the air filters on your furnace. Clogged air filters result in a restriction of airflow that reduces efficiency. Decreased efficiency results in higher operating costs, and that means bigger numbers on your heating bill.
On top of higher operating costs, clogged air filters can cause other serious equipment problems (like making the furnace blower motor work overtime, increasing the odds that you’ll need a surprise furnace repair). When that happens a higher-than-usual heating bill will be the least of your worries.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS
If you’ve gone through this list and completed each step but are still receiving higher-than-normal heating bills it’s time to call an expert. The problem may be related to the appliance itself. Call your local experts at CampbellCare for a furnace tune-up.