For many homeowners, the cold winter temperatures mean the financial burden of keeping their family and home warm. Running an ineffective heating system can be costly, but fortunately, you can take steps to boost the energy efficiency and reduce your heating bills.

Maintain a Steady, Even Temperature:

When there is a particularly harsh cold snap, it is very easy to reach for the thermostat and crank up the heat. While this may seem like the logical thing to do, it will not heat up your home any faster. Regardless of the temperature set on your thermostat, the heating will continue at the same rate. All you are doing is triggering the system to run for longer, putting it at risk of being overworked. In some cases, you may find that if you forget about the thermostat, you will end up feeling uncomfortably warm. A more energy efficient approach is to find a lower temperature that is cozy for everyone and maintain this steady rate. You can also save a great deal of energy, just by taking the thermostat settings down a degree or two and putting on an extra layer of clothing.sweater-1421762

Regularly Replace the Air Filters:

If your heating is a forced air system such as a heat pump or furnace, there are air filters throughout the system that need to be replaced every month during heavy use. Air filters appear to be such a minor component, they are often overlooked, but allowing the filters to become clogged with debris can cause serious efficiency issues. A clogged filter reduces airflow throughout the system, forcing it to work harder to maintain the temperature. Additionally, some systems have a safety cutout if airflow is significantly compromised. This can prevent the heating from turning on until the issue is resolved.

Address Repair Issues Immediately:

No one likes an unexpected bill, so when a “small” repair issue develops, it can be tempting to put it on the back burner. Unfortunately, small problems rarely resolve themselves, and even a minor issue can be forcing your heating system to work harder, compromising efficiency. This additional strain can also cause cascade failures, as damage is spread to other parts and components. If you suspect there is a malfunction in your heating system, it is best to deal with the repair issue as soon as possible.

Schedule a Service:

When you are looking to save money, spending more can seem counterintuitive. In the case of heating servicing, it is money well spent. During a service, the technician will check that the system is performing at optimum efficiency and it also provides the opportunity for preventative maintenance. This will not only boost energy efficiency, but will reduce the risk of a breakdown. Most manufacturers recommend servicing at least once a year, and it is a good idea to schedule your service for fall before the colder winter weather arrives.

Keeping your home warm during winter need not cost a fortune. With proper care and maintenance, you can boost the energy efficiency of your heating system to save money on your utility bills.