When winter comes around, people go to great lengths to keep their houses warm and cozy. Unfortunately, some of the things that people do to heat their homes can actually do more harm than good. Here are a few common mistakes and tips on what to do instead.
1. Cranking The ThermostatOne thing that many people do, which seems logical, is crank the thermostat way up in the hopes that this makes it work faster. If you come home on a frosty evening, it's certainly tempting to dial it up to 82 degrees, but this won't actually speed up the heating process. Heating systems are designed to pump out warm air at a steady, fixed rate until the room meets the desired temperature. You won't heat the house faster, but you may wake up in a sweat if you forget to dial it back down! Invest in a programmable thermostat that kicks on 30 minutes to an hour before you get home.
2. Thermostat Near Heat-Producing Appliances
Ever wonder why thermostats are most commonly found in hallways? That's because it's the best location to prevent another common mistake. You want to keep the thermostat away from appliances that put out heat because the device will register that as the ambient temperature of the whole house. For example, if an appliance raises the temperature two degrees, your thermostat will stop heating the house two degrees shy of your desired temperature. Keep the thermostat in a neutral area that will accurately reflect the temperature of the entire house.
3. Blocking or Covering Vents
When it seems that the warm air is not circulating properly, check the vents. Oftentimes, we unintentionally block or cover the vents with a rug, piece of furniture, plant, or any miscellaneous item, without noticing that with the vent blocked, the air cannot get out and circulate as it normally would. Blocking and covering vents is also hazardous, and it is in your family's best interest to keep all items at a safe distance from the vents for this reason.
4. Not Changing the Filter
Another very common mistake is allowing the task of changing the air filter to fall to the bottom of the priority list. The dirty air filter is actually polluting the very air that your family inhales throughout your home, and that can lead to health problems as well as increase your energy bill. Make changing the air filters regularly a priority, and you'll efficiently heat your home and keep your family healthy as a result.