4 Heating Mistakes To Avoid This Winter
Xcel Energy wants to help your clients manage their energy dollars and increase their home’s comfort this winter with four easy ways to help avoid common home-heating mistakes. Share these tips with your current sellers and buyers to make sure their home is ready for the cold weather season ahead of time.
- Cranking up the thermostat to quickly heat a chilly home. If you come home to a cold house, your first instinct might be to change the thermostat from 67 degrees to 78 degrees or even higher; however, thermostats don’t actually work faster the higher they are set. They run at a consistent speed, no matter what. Turning your thermostat up to a very high temperature forces the heater to run for an hour or more without a break in between. Your home will still heat slowly, and you’ll waste money while you wait for it to do so.
Instead, use a programmable thermostat to turn the heat down to a cooler temperature while you are away. Set the time and temperature to begin heating the home prior to your return.
- Turning the thermostat down too low. Keeping your home too cold can cause similar, costly problems. During a cold day, temperatures in un-heated homes can reach freezing degrees. When your pipes freeze, the water expands and can cause the pipes to burst. To avoid this problem, keep your heater on when you leave for vacation, but turn it down to 60 degrees. Ensure your fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are in working condition, for safety while you’re away.
Also, add insulation to colder rooms in your house or rooms with exposed pipes, especially in the basement and attic. Exposed pipes are at a much higher risk to burst, and you can minimize your chances of disaster (and decrease the amount of heat you lose through thin walls).
- Ignoring your ceiling fans. Some homeowners think their ceiling fans are only good for the summer—but they can actually be beneficial in the winter, too. Remember learning that heat rises? If you reverse the way the fans spin (changing them from counterclockwise to clockwise), the fans create an upward draft that pulls cool air up, pushing warm air back down throughout the room.
- Waiting too long to fix heating problems. The longer you wait to schedule maintenance for an appliance, the more likely your appliance may break down or wear out completely, and you could waste more money on energy bills. Instead, call a HomeSmart professional to assess the inefficiencies in your appliance before it’s too late. A tune-up can help your system run more efficiency, helping you control costs.
When you avoid these four home-heating mistakes, you can look forward to enjoying your cozy home all winter long, without the hassles of high utility bills, burst pipes, or terribly chilly rooms.
Remember, the HomeSmart from Xcel Energy Welcome Home Coverage plan offers peace of mind to both REALTORS® and their new home-selling and home-buying clients that can help protect customers during the long, cold winter months ahead. Call us at 866.837.9762 or visit xcelenergy.com/WelcomeHomeCoverage to enroll today!