Heating an entire residence throughout the chilly fall and winter months can place quite a strain on your financial resources, particularly if you live in a colder part of the country. Depending on the size of your home and where you’re based, a sizable portion of your monthly income may be going towards heating costs. Furthermore, many homeowners make this burden even worse on themselves without even realizing it. So, in the interest of keeping heating costs manageable this winter, make an effort to avoid the following blunders.
Treating Furnace and HVAC Maintenance as an Afterthought
Given how expensive reliable furnaces and HVAC units can be, it stands to reason that maintaining these devices would be among the top priorities of every homeowner. Unfortunately, far too many of us regard this as an afterthought. It stands to decrease the lifespans of both devices and potentially compromise the safety of the people who make up your household. HVAC units and Furnaces – especially gas furnaces – should be thoroughly inspected and serviced at least once a year. Ideally, however, gas furnaces should be inspected in both the spring and fall.
Seasoned heating and cooling technicians will be able to diagnose and repair an extensive assortment of issues in a timely manner. Not only will this help your furnace or HVAC unit operate more efficiently, but it also stands to bring down your heating cost. The more effort these devices have to put forth, the larger your heating bills are liable to be. However, by nipping potentially large issues in the bud, you’ll effectively save yourself money on both repair costs and home heating. Sure, service calls and inspections cost money, but spending a little now stands to save you a lot down the line. Additionally, the next time you encounter a problem with your furnace or HVAC unit, don’t hesitate to call in knowledgeable professionals.
Failing to Perform Necessary Roof Maintenance
Harsh winter weather can do a real number on even the most resilient roofing. For example, the constant moisture and heavy mounds of snow can pave the way for holes, buckles, and various other forms of roof damage. Needless to say, when roof maintenance is overlooked, problems of this nature go unaddressed – until they become impossible to ignore, that is. Allowing roof maintenance to fall by the wayside can provide cold air with clear entrances and warm air with clear exits from your home. Furthermore, if certain problems are left alone long enough, they stand to compromise the structural integrity of your roof.
With all this in mind, make a point of having your roofing meticulously inspected twice a year. A certified roofing professional will be able to spot a bevy of emerging problems and repair them within a relatively short time frame. As is the case with furnace and HVAC inspections, this will cost you a little but ultimately save you a lot.
Never Using Your Fireplace
If your home has a useable fireplace, you can provide yourself with some cost-effective heat by enjoying the occasional fire. However, if you want to put your fireplace to good use, you’ll need to adhere to the rules of fireplace safety. You’ll need to have both the fireplace and chimney thoroughly cleaned and inspected at least once a year, for starters. Secondly, to help ensure the safe flow of gases, confirm that the top of your chimney is completely free of any potential obstructions and make sure every chimney flue is outfitted with a resilient cap. Additionally, you should never use liquid fire-starters for fireplace fires. Instead, stick to fire-starters designed exclusively for this type of fire – like high-quality firewood.
Wintertime heating costs are nothing to sneeze at, especially if you hail from a colder area. Even a small or mid-sized home can cost a small fortune to heat every month, which can prove particularly strenuous for homeowners with limited financial resources. Further complicating matters is the fact that many of us unknowingly engage in behaviors that make our heating costs even more exorbitant. Luckily, getting a handle on home heating bills may prove much easier than you anticipate. When working to reduce heating costs, avoiding the mistakes discussed above is a great place to start.
Featured Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay