A heater seems like a relatively easy piece of equipment to deal with. Yes, it has confusing moving parts and usually a gas ignition system, but these are all things your installer hooked up at installation, and that you generally don’t have to worry about. All you do is turn up the thermostat and wait for the magic to happen.
However simple it may seem, we do see homeowners make a lot of mistakes when it comes to their heating. Some of these are dangerous, and some just cost you money. Try to avoid these common heating blunders.
1. Covering or blocking vents
Sometimes, heating vents are located down low, which creates a pretty big risk for items in your home—and for your heating system. You should be very careful not to place things on or near a floor vent or a low wall vent, as it can both damage the item and create problems for your heater.
When a vent is blocked, the lack of heating into that room is not the only consequence. Your heater was designed to heat up a certain amount of space, and when vents are blocked off, your heater is suddenly limited in its capacity. This can cause short cycling: starting and stopping frequently, something that can wear down the motor.
That’s why you also don’t want to shut vents around the home using the toggle on the wall. This only creates problems for your heater, and doesn’t save energy the way you might think.
2. Changing the temperature too often (or not enough)
Getting chilly in the house? Good thing there’s a thermostat right there on the wall. Feeling a bit too warm? Turn the temperature back down. It’s easy to keep on changing the settings on your thermostat, but it’s not usually the best thing for it.
Constantly changing around the numbers on the thermostat means it has to start and stop too frequently, outside of its normal cycles. And this can be bad for the motor and the monthly bills.
This doesn’t mean you should always keep the temperature at one setting, of course. If you struggle to find a happy medium, we recommend a smart thermostat that allows you total control over the temperature in the home from your phone, but sets to your schedule so that you rarely have to make a change.
3. Ignoring problems that come up
Certainly, you plan to get around to fixing your broken heater…eventually. But right now, you only hear an odd noise or notice that temperatures aren’t quite where you want them. Is this really such a big deal?
It may not seem this way now, but that “minor” problem can turn into something much worse if you give it time. Heating issues force your system to work harder, which means higher bills and a higher likelihood additional parts will fail. There can even be a safety issue. Calling for technicians at the first sign of trouble is always your best bet.