Why should you give your home heating systems so much attention? The cost of heating and cooling your home makes up about 54% of your utility bill, and it is typically higher than the cost of running any other system in your home.
According to a recent article in USA Today, the average American heating their home with natural gas can expect to pay $881 this winter for home heating costs. The figure is up 5% from last year for those who use natural gas, which is the majority of Texans. Other sources say you could see as much as a 13% increase in heating costs on average for homes heated with natural gas. Electricity users can expect a 7% rise in heating costs.
What can you do as a homeowner to ensure you are paying the lowest possible utility cost ? Try treating your heating equipment with respect! If you want it to serve you well, you should do 5 things:
1. Set your thermostat to the lowest possible temperature while still allowing for comfort.
2. Regularly inspect and clean your furnace or heat pump filters and replace them monthly. Dirt can cause problems to efficiency and waste fuel.
3. Allow for adequate space around your equipment (don’t block returns with furniture or clothing) and make sure your home is properly insulated to avoid overworking your system.
4. Check your equipment for signs of cracks or leaks, and contact a HVAC professional to check for adequate lubrication and adjusts belts as necessary. Natural gas leaks are emergency situations. Do not attempt to shut off the gas. Open the door and leave your home immediately. Call the fire department or the gas company and report the leak right away.
5. Schedule yearly or seasonal service and maintenance to get a professional assessment, so that areas of concern can be addressed before large repairs or replacement is required.
Not sure where to start? Give us a call today and our licensed professionals can help you give your equipment the respect it deserves.