Avoid These Home Heating Mistakes

Written on: November 29, 2021

Be Smart—and Safe—As You Try to Save Money

home heating tips new yorkFrom skiing to ice skating to snowboarding, there’s a lot to like about winter—except when it gets too cold!

When we come home, we expect to warm up quickly, especially for anyone who uses heating oil to heat their home. And why not? The flame in a heating oil system burns hundreds of degrees hotter than in other energy systems.

But when temperatures dive into the single digits and the wind chill is below zero, people get worried about burning too much fuel. That’s when some will try hard to save a little money on heat.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save money on heating your home, but please do it in a smart way and never take chances with your safety.

With that in mind, here are a few tips.

Use Space Heaters Carefully

  • Always turn space heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Keep your space heater away from anything flammable
  • 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 on fire.
  • Don’t Close Your Heating Vents

    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.

    Don’t Go too Low with Thermostat Settings

    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. But you should not set your thermostat below 60°.

    Moving your thermostat setting too low is another way to raise your risk of frozen pipes. Water pipes near outside walls or in unheated spaces are especially prone to freeze-ups. The risk increases if cracks in your foundation allow cold air to enter.

    Why You Save with Energy-Efficient Temperature Settings

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 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 U.S. Energy Department concludes that you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply adjusting your thermostat 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting.

    If your heating system has not been keeping you warm enough, please explore current heating oil equipment rebate opportunities and then reach out to your heating oil service provider for advice.