Everyone wants to save money on heat, but you should never compromise your safety for the sake of savings.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid some heating mistakes This can help you reduce your risk of frozen pipes, as well as prevent heating fires.
In an effort to save money, some people have shut off their furnaces (or turned their thermostat way down) and used electric space heaters in their most common living areas and bedrooms. But doing this vastly increases the chance of frozen pipes. Overusing electric space heaters can also make your electric bill soar.
There is nothing wrong with using a space heater for some extra warmth. But if you do use a portable heater, always turn it off when you leave the room or go to sleep. Always keep pets and children away from space heaters. Be sure you keep your space heater away from anything flammable!
You should also never plug a portable space heater into an extension cord or power strip. Extension cords and power strips have not been designed to handle the high flow of electric current needed for a space heater. Doing so can cause the heater to overheat or even catch fire.
Another common mistake is closing the heating vents in seldom-used rooms. The belief is that this will conserve heat and save money but this is not recommended.
Closing some vents disrupts normal air flow, causing an imbalance that will just make your furnace work harder. Closing vents can also raise the risk of frozen pipes, especially in rooms that tend to be on the cold side anyway.
It’s always better to keep the temperature at a comfortable level throughout your home and program it to energy-saving settings when the house is empty or everyone is asleep.
Moving your thermostat setting too low is another way to raise your risk frozen pipes. To avoid problems, adhere to these general guidelines from the U.S. Department of Energy.
You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it about 8°F lower while you’re asleep or away from home.
According to Energy.gov the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature.
The same concept applies to raising your thermostat setting in the summer — a higher temperature inside your home will slow heat gain into your house, saving you money on air conditioning costs.
The Energy Department concludes that you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting.
An easy way to control your temperature settings is to install a smart programmable thermostat, which will help you keep temperatures low while you’re away (or sleeping) and higher while you’re home. Why waste time adjusting your thermostat every day? Plus, you can remotely monitor your home’s temperature anytime, and from anywhere, with your mobile phone.
If you’re worried that your heating system will not keep you warm enough this winter, please explore current equipment rebate opportunities and then reach out to your heating oil service provider for advice.