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Keep Your Home Comfortable This Winter: Avoid 3 Common Mistakes

You rely on your furnace to keep your home warm and welcoming. Unfortunately, simple mistakes could harm your home’s HVAC system, leaving you struggling without a properly heated home. Read about three common mistakes you should avoid this winter to keep your home comfortable. 

1. Fidgeting With Thermostat Settings Frequently

To save money on heating, you might be tempted to set your thermostat at a low temperature during the winter and boost the temperature whenever you happen to be home. Although proper thermostat programming can help you to save money, fidgeting with your thermostat frequently could also cause your heater to cycle on and off more frequently than it should, which can cause system wear and tear.

Furnaces and air conditioners work best when they are allowed to work like they are designed to run. In most forced air systems, the thermostat is set to turn the furnace on once the temperature drops below a set limit.

Although most people assume that turning up the thermostat a few degrees quickly will cause a home to heat up faster, cranking the thermostat just extends the length of time the furnace will run, which doesn’t necessarily save you any money.

On the other hand, setting your thermostat at a lower, yet comfortable, temperature makes it easier for your system to keep up with the ambient temperature demands, which puts less strain on the moving components of your furnace. Additionally, leaving the system alone helps your family to acclimate to the set temperatures, so that people feel more comfortable in general.

2. Unintentionally Blocking Cold-Air Returns

Forced air systems work by pushing heated and cooled air through vents into the rooms of your home. However, to keep the pressure at a proper equilibrium, your home’s HVAC system is designed with cold-air returns.

These returns are open chambers that route cold air pushed out of a room back to your furnace, where it can be heated. Although cold-air returns serve the important purpose of allowing cold air to be removed, many people assume that they aren’t functional components of HVAC systems since they don’t dispense climate-controlled air.

In fact, people often block cold-air returns unintentionally with furniture, coat racks, and even area rugs. Unfortunately, blocked cold-air returns cause the pressure inside a heated room to actually increase, while simultaneously keeping cold air from being removed properly, impacting the ambient temperature inside of your space.

To keep your home comfortable and your heater in good condition, focus on never blocking vents, even if they don’t seem to serve a purpose. Better yet, find the cold-air returns in your home, and make sure that they have an ample amount of space around them.

3. Ignoring New Symptoms

Every home has quirks, whether your front door tends to squeak or your hot water doesn’t warm up immediately. However, when it comes to your home’s furnace, you need to pay attention to its quirks and resolve them in a timely manner.

Oftentimes, furnaces that have started to reach the end of their usable life start to display strange symptoms, such as noises or bad odors. Sounds like clanking and grinding could be signs of moving components that have become knocked loose, and bad odors like burning plastic or electrical smells could signal overheated components, stuck foreign objects, or damaged circuit boards.

Pay attention to your furnace, and notify an HVAC technician at the first sign of trouble. By staying on top of repairs, you may be able to extend the life of your system.

If you start to experience issues with your furnace, don’t hesitate to reach out to our professionally trained team. Here at JR Putman Plumbing, Heating and Air, we are committed to resolving a range of HVAC and plumbing issues to keep your home safe, comfortable, and affordable. Call us today to learn more.

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