4 Ways People Make Their Heaters Work Harder Than Necessary

hvac air filters

When your heating system works harder than it needs to, you’re paying more than you should have to for a comfortable home. Fortunately, solving this problem is simple. You only need to identify what is causing your heater to work less efficiently and put a stop to it.

Below are some of the most common ways that people reduce their heating systems’ efficiency, along with some tips for what to do instead.

Mistake #1: Keeping the Same Air Filter In Too Long

If you leave the same air filter in too long, it’s going to get so blanketed with dust that it will start to block airflow into your system. This hinders your heater’s performance and can also cause the equipment to overheat and break down.

Most disposable filters last up to 90 days, but it’s always a good idea to check on the filter at the 45- and 60-day mark, especially if you own pets or if you’ve been using your system frequently.

Mistake #2: Closing Air Vents

Some people try to redirect air from an unoccupied room by closing the vents in that room. This creates more problems than it solves. While it’s true that you won’t feel air coming out of those vents anymore, it’s not because the air is going to other rooms: that air is now trapped and building up pressure in the duct. Unless you have a zone control system or dampers within the ductwork, your HVAC system won’t redirect air to other rooms just because you close a vent at the wall.

As the pressure builds up in the duct, it can create air leaks or make existing leaks worse. Also, because your system is now taking in more air than it’s sending out, it’s imbalanced, which will negatively affect its efficiency. Before running your system again, take a quick trip around your home to make sure all the vents are open and that none are being blocked by furniture, rugs, or anything else.

Mistake #3: Keeping Window Coverings Open at Night

During a winter day, it’s smart to keep your sun-facing windows open because part of the sunlight that falls through your windows will become heat inside your home. After sundown, however, your home can lose a lot of warmth through its windows and cause you to rely more heavily on your heater.

Curtains, blinds, and shades act as a barrier that can help keep warmth inside your home. The best window treatments for this purpose are thermal curtains, cellular blinds, and Roman shades, which act like a layer of insulation.

Mistake #4: Neglecting Preventative Maintenance

Despite having an air filter, your heater is going to accumulate a lot of dust over time. Dust buildup can cause mechanical problems as well as ignition issues, both of which decrease your heater’s efficiency. Aside from issues with dust, parts can loosen, the motor can lose lubrication, and components can fall out of alignment, causing them to wear out faster. Annual maintenance helps keep your heater operating efficiently and prevents a lot of problems that can lead to costly repairs if missed or ignored.

Albright's Mechanical Services offers quality heating maintenance, repairs, and replacements for homes throughout Baltimore and neighboring communities. Give us a call today at (410) 834-0148 or book an appointment with us online.

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