Common heating mistakes that increase energy bills

Heating Trends on November 21, 2022

Although most of the heating mistakes are pretty obvious and easily avoided, we all repeat them from time to time and it's not a bad idea to go through the list every once in a while and remind ourselves.


Common heating mistakes that increase energy bills

Houses always loose heat through thermal radiation, conduction, convection, and air infiltration. Instead of trying to figure out a way to produce more heat for your home, try focusing on preserving the energy already produced by minimising heat losses.

Covering radiators with furniture or curtains

One of the most common mistakes is to cover the radiator with furniture or curtains. For example, this means that the heat cannot be released into the air of the room and energy is unnecessarily wasted. Furniture should always be at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) away from radiators.

This also applies to thermostatic valves: if they are covered, the readings won't be accurate. As a result, the room temperature cannot be maintained accurately.

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Leaving windows tilted for long periods of time

Those who are used to constantly opening the windows in the summer should avoid doing so in the winter.

In particular, the heating should remain switched off during prolonged ventilation to prevent excessive energy consumption. Regular ventilation to prevent mold growth is part of it, but it makes sense to regularly ventilate or cross-ventilate the room as otherwise the walls and ceilings around the windows can get cold. As a guideline, in winter, the room should not be ventilated for longer than five minutes.

Cranking up the thermostat to heat a home faster

A common misconception is that a home will heat up faster if you crank up the thermostat on a much higher temperature that needed. Turning it too high might have no effect on getting your home to heat up as quickly as possible, and might only end up consuming more energy and make your heating bills higher.

Closing Curtains On Sunny Days

You shouldn't undersetimate the power of the sun to assist in keeping your home warm. A nice and sunny winter day can provide some free heating if you open your blinds, drapes and curtains. This will especially work on larger windows in rooms facing south.

Window Curtains

Not closing curtains and blinds during night

Always close window curtains and blinds during the night. That way you keep the heat from coming out from the windows.

Ignoring door and window drafts

You might be thinking that a small draft coming from a door or a window isn't that big of a deal. As we've mentioned before, the most important thing you can do is to prevent heat losses instead of trying to make up for them by heating more and spending more on heating.

Never underestimate drafts, check all your windows and doors for possible cracks.

You can use a simple trick to check if there's a draft. Light up a candle and put it next to the edge of a window or a door. If there's a draft, you'll see the flame flickering which means you should caulk and seal all areas you notice the cold air coming from.

Window Sealing

There is no way to stop heat loss through doors completely, but there are ways for significant improvement.

You should inspect your attic too. Due to air stratification, the warm air goes up and is usually lost through the roof.

Leaving the door open

If you want to save energy, you should keep the door between heated and unheated rooms closed. According to experts, this saves up to 10%, because the heat is better preserved in a heated room with the door closed.

Not heating a room encourages mold growth

As gas and electricity prices continue to rise; some tenants and homeowners may choose not to heat. However, experts warn that this encourages mold growth.

If the walls cool down, there is a risk of increased humidity. Moisture and cold are the best conditions for mold. Even if you travel for example at Christmas time, it is preferable that the room temperature remains around 17 degrees.

Constantly turning the radiator on and off can be expensive: It's a mistake to turn off the heating completely when you leave your own four walls. According to experts, a constant room temperature during the day is a much better strategy.

Saving money and energy

Avoiding mistakes when heating matters. In addition, other measures can be taken to maintain a warm and cosy temperature in your home.

Digital thermostats are far more precise, and the exact room temperature can be determined and set.

The reflective panels made of aluminum foil have an advantage: they prevent heat from escaping through the wall. Foils should be glued to all external walls in the back of the radiator.

Regular radiator maintenance is also recommended, including cleaning. Because it's possible to save up to 15 percent of energy.

On furnaces, air conditioner and some other HVAC systems, it's important to regularly clean the filters. Heating system has to work harder with dirty and clogged filters. Clean and replace air filters on a regular schedule, your system will be far more economical and work more efficiently.