Have you seen a spike in your heating bill this winter? In our climate, heating season requires more energy usage than cooling season. Other than cold temperatures and the usual higher electric and gas bills, there could be other reasons your heating bills are higher than they should be.
Inefficient Heating – Whether you have a gas furnace or an electric heat pump, all heating systems require power from burning fuel or electricity. When heating systems are older and running inefficiently, they require much more fuel or electricity. Old, leaky duct work can also lead to an inefficient heating system. As your system works harder to produce the expected amount of heat, your bill will quickly shoot up. Have your system regularly serviced to make sure everything is running properly. Short Pump Heating & Air can also provide a free estimate on a new HVAC system if you have an old and inefficient system.
Poor Insulation – If you have an older home or haven’t regularly checked your home’s insulation, your system and energy bill will suffer. Your energy envelope, which includes exterior walls, ceilings, entry doors, and windows, needs to be properly insulated to allow minimal heat transfer. This maintains consistent indoor temperatures and prevents your system from having to overwork to heat your home. Be sure to seal windows and apply a foam weatherstripping around the inside of your doors, insulate your attic, and consider changing out the screen in your storm doors to a solid glass pane.
Upgrade to a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat – Not using your thermostat properly can lead to higher electric bills. If you have a heat pump, turning up the temperature too much at once (more than 2-3 degrees) will cause the electric strip heat to turn on. This uses much more electricity than normal operation. It can help to have a programmable thermostat. There are other systems and thermostats that can lock out the electric heaters. A Wi-Fi thermostat can be nice if you forget to adjust your thermostat and are out of town. You can log in remotely and make any temperature adjustments. All of the technicians at Short Pump Heating and Air can help educate you on the best thermostat for your home and usage.
Skipping maintenance – One big reason for higher than normal heating bills is skipping routine maintenance on your heating system. Like most big appliances and machines, heating systems need to be maintained and serviced to ensure they are running efficiently and effectively, as well as to catch and repair issues before it’s too late. Regular inspections, HVAC system cleanings, and changing out air filters when needed helps reduce the stress on your heating system, and ultimately allow it run more efficiently year-round.
If you had a high heating bill last month or are worried about your system, call Short Pump Heating & Air at 804-364-9040 to discuss your options for repairs and maintenance. We can also provide a free estimate on a new, more efficient heating or air conditioning system.