It looks like this year is going to be a traditional upstate NY winter – November-April, cold and snow. You can help offset high heating costs and make sure those bills stay as low as possible this winter. There are some simple things you can avoid while heating your house this winter. Don't make these six mistakes that homeowners commonly make.
1. Don't Turn Up The Thermostat Too High When You Come Home To A Cold Home
Your thermostat isn't a gas pedal. Pushing it up higher isn't going to make your house warm up faster. Patience is key here. Set your temperature to your usual comfort level and bundle up and wait for it to come to temperature. If you set it higher, you risk overheating your home which will cost you money.
2. Don't Turn Down The Thermostat Too Low At Night
If you think turning your thermostat way down at night is going to save you a ton of money, you may be mistaken. Letting the temperature in your house fall dramatically overnight causes your heating system to work double-time come morning. That could cost you big when your heating bill arrives.
3. When Your Thermostat Hits A Limit, Don't Overwork It
If your thermostat can never muster up the oomph to get over a certain temperature when you have it set higher, that's the sign of a larger problem. For example, if you want it to be 72 degrees in your home, but the thermostat seems to get "stuck" at 68 degrees, heat in your home could be escaping somewhere. It's also possible that you are working your furnace beyond it's capabilities and may have a problem that needs fixing. You also may need to replace and upgrade your furnace with a new installation.
4. Don't Waste Heat On An Empty House
If you aren't going to be around, it's silly to keep your home at a comfortable living temperature. However, it is important that you avoid extreme temperature changes (see #2). Plus, you'll want to be sure you run no risks of pipes freezing and bursting when it really gets chilly outside. So don't go crazy with your learning thermostat or that app that lets your control the temperature remotely.
5. Don't Close Curtains On Sunny Days
Don't underestimate the value of solar heat. Keep your blinds, curtains and drapes open, especially on South facing windows, to let the sunlight stream in during the day. Not only does the sunshine help keep your house warm, but it also gives your furnace a break which can help extend its life.
6. Don't Leave Windows Unlocked, Cracked Or Unsealed
Keeping windows locked and shut tight ensures that you won't be losing heat. With wind and bitter cold constantly beating against them, do everything you can to keep warm air from escaping. Have storm windows? Use them!