Why is my Heating Bill so High?

June 9, 2023

Have you been shocked by the amount of money that it has taken to pay off your monthly bill for heat each month? You’re not the only one. While the winter can seem very cozy as you remain snuggled up in your home, it doesn’t take long for people to become annoyed at what it costs to heat their home. Those cozy temperatures might become a bit chilly as you choose to turn down your thermostat to prevent high heat bills. Aside from simply turning down your indoor temperature, there might be some other causes for your high electricity prices or gas prices.

Senior woman shocked at her high heating bill

Changing Your Furnace Air Filters

Your HVAC system uses a lot more energy when you have a dirty filter in your furnace. This is because it takes more effort in order for air to be pushed through that filter and into your ductwork. You can increase the efficiency of your HVAC system by five to fifteen percent by replacing your filter once every 30 to 90 days (depending on the type of filter that you’re using).

Side by side of a clean air filter next to a dirty air filter

Replacing the Weather Stripping around Your Doors and Windows

Some homes are drafty, regardless of how new they are. If you can feel cold air coming in from around your windows and doors, you may want to replace or upgrade your weather stripping. Weather stripping is used to seal any cracks or gaps that are allowing air to pass through. It’s also beneficial for keeping pests out of your home as well. This is a really affordable home improvement that can make a substantial impact on your high heating costs.

Updating Your Thermostat

There are different thermostats available for your home that can help you save money on utility costs. A smart thermostat allows you to program a set schedule into your device so that you can better control when your furnace is running. If you’re going to be away from home for a number of hours during the day, your home’s indoor temperature can drop down to save some money. The temperature will automatically adjust to warm your home back up before you come back. There are even devices that allow you to control and monitor your thermostat remotely, using your smartphone or tablet.

Servicing Your Ductwork

Hopefully you understand the importance of having your HVAC system inspected and serviced routinely, but your ductwork is also something that should be addressed during these appointments. You may have leaks in your ducts, resulting in heat loss that’s being wasted. Other issues include restricted flue pipes or restricted chimneys. A few adjustments can make a profound impact on the comfort of your home as well as your heating costs.
App on smartphone for a smart home, allows the user to control things like the thermostat from anywhere in the world

Upgrading Your Furnace

A typical furnace is designed to last for approximately 15 to 20 years, depending on how well it is taken care of. If you have a unit that is reaching the end of its life, then it probably isn’t very efficient. Upgrading to a new unit can be an initial investment, but this has the potential to save you a lot of money on your heat bills later on.

The goal is to invest in a furnace that is sized properly for your home. Something that’s too big will require too much power and end up being inefficient for your home’s heating system. If you have something that’s too small for your home’s square footage or heat load, this results in your furnace running too frequently. This can lead to high energy bills as well as more repairs and maintenance needed over time.

Your Thermostat Setting

Take a look at what you have your thermostat set to. You want to keep your house set to a comfortable temperature, but trying to achieve summer-like temperatures inside might not be practical for your bank account. The ideal temperature during the winter months is 68 degrees. You can go a little higher or lower depending on what keeps you comfortable, but it’s not going to be affordable or practical to set your thermostat in the 80s. Your energy bill will increase approximately three percent for every degree you set your thermostat over 70 degrees.
Updated, digital thermostat with the heat set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit

Whether you are someone that uses heating oil to heat their home, or you are sticking to a more traditional furnace system, there are always ways that you can be more efficient. These tips will save you money while still allowing you to maintain a comfortable home. If you live in an older, uninsulated home – especially one built before 1980 – consider an energy audit from a qualified home energy expert as a part of your energy saving strategy. If you would like more information on ways that you can reduce your energy costs or schedule a routine HVAC inspection reach out to the team here at KELLEHER HVAC. We have a reputation in the Richmond area for installing and maintaining high-quality home comfort systems. Let our family help your family with your home comfort needs.