HEATER TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS
DEC 16, 2016
Baby, it’s cold outside. You don’t want your house to feel the same, but then again, you don’t want your electric bill to be exorbitantly high either. These are some easy heater troubleshooting tips you can do this winter to get the most out of your heating unit and still be able to afford some Christmas presents.
HEATER TROUBLESHOOTING TIP #1. AVOID TURNING UP A THERMOSTAT TOO HIGH TO HEAT A COLD HOUSE QUICKLY
When you walk into a chilly house, it’s tempting to run to the thermostat and crank it up. But, that won’t cause the HVAC to pump out hotter air. It’s not like turning the water faucet further toward hot. No, turning the thermostat doesn’t work like pressing your foot on the accelerator of your car. Instead, it just causes the HVAC unit to pump warm air for a longer period of time. That means your heater is sucking more electricity or gas to heat your home. Can you say Ho, Ho, Higher Bill?! When it comes to heating your home, set the thermostat and be patient; throw on a jacket while you wait. Doing so will save you money.
2. AVOID TURNING THE THERMOSTAT WAY DOWN AT NIGHT (SET IT AND FORGET IT).
Do you turn your heater way down at night and throw the kids a few extra blankets? That might not have the cost-savings effect that you’re hoping for. It’s best to avoid extremes with your thermostat, especially if you have an older heat pump or furnace. If you let the temperature in your house fall dramatically overnight, it’s going to require a lot of work from your heating system to warm the home in the morning. Think about riding a bike up a hill; if you stop, it takes a whole lot more effort to get started again. This isn’t unlike your heat pump or furnace. Keep things at a steady temperature and allow your unit to cruise through the night. Avoiding this tip could really cost you when the heating bill arrives.
3. REALIZE THAT THE THERMOSTAT HAS ITS LIMITS
This tip is for the older homes that have furnaces or radiators. Yes, there are a few homes left in Arizona that operate this way. If you want the house to be 72 degrees and your thermostat is only reaching 68 degrees, cranking the thermostat up to 74 degrees in hopes of make up the difference might cause more damage than you think. If you have an old furnace (likely in AZ), you’re asking the furnace to work beyond its capability. You could end up breaking the furnace altogether (then how cold would you be – YIKES!). As an alternative, find out what’s causing the problem and call a licensed contractor to make repairs. The cost of repair could save you money on your heating bill (a faulty furnace could be wasting energy), or save you the cost of a new unit. The technician can also check for leaks around the furnace to ensure that you’re not losing all of your heat to the neighbor or the outdoors.
4. AVOID HEATING AN EMPTY HOUSE
Hello, smart-phone apps. What a great invention, especially for the you, the homeowner, and by that we mean the thermostat in your home! One of the easiest ways to save money this season is to install a programmable thermostat that can be controlled from your smartphone so that the temp in your home can be adjusted remotely. Kids are at school, you’re at work, school programs, Christmas parties, and Christmas shopping can keep you away from home longer than you planned. Don’t waste money by heating the home while no one is there. Give your thermostat and wallet a break and adjust the temperature while you’re gone. However, keep tip #2 in mind and don’t adjust the temperature too drastically.
5. OPEN CURTAINS ON A SUNNY DAYS
Even in the Winter Arizona has beautiful sunny days. Take advantage of Mother Nature’s warmth and pull back the curtains. You may think that keeping them closed will trap the heat inside, but if you think about it, those curtains are providing shade to your home. Let the sun in and you’ll be surprised at how fast the air warms in that area. Solar warmth can go a long way not only in heating a house but also in helping to give the HVAC a break during the warmest hours of the day.
6. BE SURE TO LOCK YOUR WINDOWS
Just before Winter hits, we have one of the nicest Falls in the country. Sure we don’t get the full effect of changing leaves, but the weather is unbeatable. Many of us throw our windows open during these months and reluctantly shut them when the cold front hits. But did you lock all of those windows? Unlocked windows are not sealed tightly and so can allow warm air to escape quite rapidly. Be sure to check all of your windows to make sure they are securely closed.
If you’re still not getting the warmth you want after employing these six tips, you may want to consider a heat pump or furnace tune-up. Our technicians will evaluate, adjust, and clean your heating unit to make sure that it is in top working condition. A quick tune up can not only add years to your heating unit, but help your unit work more efficiently this winter. Call today for a quote.