If you are chilled to the bone, or someone in your family is always complaining about how cold it is, then it’s time to find a way to remedy that! No one should be cold in their own home – not when it’s your main refuge for warmth and comfort during a Minnesota winter. Here are 10 quick home heating tips from the Stay Comfy specialists to bring you some relief!
Don’t Fall For Myths
There are a lot of home heating myths out there, but you don’t have to fall for them. One of the bigger myths is that you can turn your thermostat higher to heat your home up faster. Unfortunately, that’s not true says our expert, Keith Hill, technical support manager at Minnesota Air.
“Turning the heat up higher on the thermostat will not heat up your home faster. Set the thermostat where you want the temperature, and let it do its job,” he says.
Know Your Thermostat
It’s the little device that’s partly responsible for your comfort so get to know it! Newer digital models can be programmed for different temperatures at different times of day, and some even send you reminders.
“Many homeowners are not aware of the features that are included,” says Keith. “Many have filter and humidifier reminders. Some will tell you what the humidity level is in the home and may be able to control a humidifier or a dehumidifier.”
Never Put A Heat Source Near Your Thermostat
Your thermostat has sensors that let your furnace know when your homes needs more heat or can take a break from pushing out warm air. That’s why it’s important to not confuse those sensors into thinking your home is warmer than it is.
“Don’t put lamps or other heat sources near the thermostat. The heat from the lamp will ‘fool’ the thermostat and your comfort level will suffer,” says Keith.
Keep Track Of Maintenance Checks
A furnace tune up is important … and so is getting it done regularly. Mark your calendar or find another way to set a reminder so you don’t miss it.
“Many of us rely on memory for furnace tune-ups – but if you’re like me, every other year becomes every 4 or 5 years. There is a reason that auto mechanics put stickers on the windshield to remind us when to change oil, our memories aren’t always the most reliable – especially for something as exciting as oil changes and HVAC system tune-ups,” he laughs. “Personally, I use a refrigerator magnet and a small note pad stuck to my ductwork right at eye level as a visual reminder for filter changes and tune-ups.”
Clear Vents And Grilles
For your heating system to work, you need to keep air flowing. Don’t close or cover up vents and grilles. Your furnace needs air to reject the heat, says Keith, and if you block that airflow, you may do harm to the furnace.
Keep The Area Around The Furnace Clean
Keith says homeowners should read the furnace manual regarding clearance to combustibles. It could pose a danger.
“Laundry is considered combustible,” he says.
Your momma gave you this advice a long time ago, but if you’re feeling cold – put on a sweater. You can never underestimate the heating power of dressing appropriately for the weather. Socks, a sweater, pants, slippers, and a blanket go a long way to keeping you warmer.
Never Go Below 60
If you leave for a winter vacation, says Keith, make sure you do not set the thermostat below 60 degrees.
“Most furnaces will not operate properly with return air temperatures below 60° F. It will cause internal corrosion, and in subzero weather, the chimney vent may freeze up,” he says. “Also, have a neighbor check on your home daily to make sure the heat is working or install a Carrier Côr™ Thermostat that you can check using the app.”
Seal Your Home/ Get An Energy Audit
Make sure your home is sealed from the elements. If you haven’t already covered up cracks, gaps, and crevices, then it may be time to get a home energy audit to see where your home is losing heat.
Use A Space Heater – But Only When You Have To
Our experts suggest only using a space heater if you need a little extra warmth in a small area. They are inexpensive to buy, but can be costly to use if constantly running. They should not be used as a whole-house warming device. If you’re planning to use one, we wrote an entire article about what you need to know about space heaters.
In conclusion: bundle up, seal it up, and know your HVAC, to keep yourself warmer this winter.