Are Your Home Heating Bills Sky-Rocketing? Possible Causes To Explore

The costs of keeping a home at a comfortable temperature is a significant expense for the average American household today. In fact, according to information provided by the United States Department of Energy, 48 percent of the total energy used in an average home is associated with heating and cooling costs. While the actual per unit price of the energy source used to power the home's heating and cooling system is usually influenced by factors beyond the control of the individual homeowner, it is possible for them to exert some control on the actual amount used in their home. If you are a homeowner concerned about sharply rising home heating bills, the first defense is to look for these potential problems with your heating system. 

Inefficient usage practices by occupants of the home

When winter temperatures fluctuate rapidly, as they do in many areas of the country, furnaces and heating appliances must compensate for the changes in exterior temperature in order to keep the home comfortable. Since this process can take time to complete, impatient home occupants may be tempted to crank up the heat in an effort to speed up the process. When this happens, the furnace is tasked with working even harder to meet the higher demand and energy is used inefficiently, resulting in higher heating bills. 

In most cases, the occupants who tend to react to temporary outdoor temps by cranking up the thermostat instead of putting on a sweater do not realize the extra costs their actions are causing. To stop this issue from continuing to be a problem, take time to show family members recent energy bills and help them understand how rising costs affect the entire household budget and limit the amount of funds for other needs. 

Inefficient energy usage due to faulty heating equipment

When the occupants of the home are using the HVAC system as efficiently as possible, yet the amount of energy usage and the costs associated with it continues to rise, the heating system may be at fault. In addition to performance inefficiency related to component age or design, clogged furnace filters, worn or faulty components, and many other issues can cause even newer, high-efficiency furnaces to work harder than they should and use more electricity or fuel in order to do their job. 

In addition to changing filters and cleaning the heating system per manufacturer guidelines, homeowners should consider having their system professionally serviced by a reputable HVAC contractor. During this type of service visit, the furnace repair technician will inspect the components for wear or damage, clean and adjust the system for better efficiency, and make recommendations to help homeowners keep future heating and cooling costs under control.