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Why Is My Heating Bill So High This Month?

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airprofHave you opened your heating bill this month and noticed a spike? Or has it slowly gotten more and more expensive over the months and years even though you haven’t changed a thing?

That can be frustrating.

This article will show you some of the reasons for these higher-than-normal heating bills as well as what you can do to fix them.

A leaky house

A leaky home is one that lets your heated air escape and the cold outside air come in.

This is usually because your home is not sealed well around openings in its exterior (like doors, windows, light fixtures, electrical outlets, plumbing, etc.). Poor insulation can also cause a home to “leak” your hot air.

Many homes in New Jersey are older and therefore may not be as well sealed as newer homes. This problem can get worse over time and the cost of this problem rises as the price of gas also rises over time.

How to fix it: Find the leaks in your home and seal them. (Here’s a good how-to guide from ENERGY STAR.) The most common causes of a leaky home are:

  • Cracked/broken seals around windows
  • Worn or missing weather stripping around exterior doors
  • No caulking around light fixtures, electrical outlets and pipes
  • Insufficient attic and home insulation
  • Old, single-pane windows

Misuse of your heating system

There are several things we classify as “misuses” of your furnace that can cause a high heating bill. They are:

  • Heating your home to the same temperature when you’re home as when you’re away
  • Constantly adjusting or “tweaking” your thermostat manually
  • Turning your thermostat way up to try to get it to heat your home more quickly
  • Ignoring your yearly furnace tune-up

Each of these things can cause your furnace to work harder than it needs to, raising your heating bill significantly.

How to fix it: First of all, don’t ignore your yearly furnace tune-up. This can create a disaster. Tune-ups keep your furnace running more efficiently and also protect you from a costly breakdown and other dangerous problems (like a carbon monoxide leak). Other things you should do to avoid misusing your furnace include:

  • When you’re home, pick a temperature and leave the thermostat alone. Constantly changing the temperature (even just a degree or two) can have a significant impact on your heating bill.
  • When you’re away, use a programmable thermostat to set back the temperature and save you some green.

An outdated furnace

One of the most common causes of high heating bills is an outdated furnace. As your furnace gets older, internal parts begin wearing out, which can cause the furnace’s efficiency to worsen.

In fact if your furnace is more than 10 years old, a suddenly high heating bill can be a sign that your furnace is on its last legs and you may want to consider replacing it before it kicks the bucket completely.

How to fix it: Get a trusted heating company to come take a look at your furnace to see if it needs to be completely replaced or can be easily repaired. If you need a new furnace, schedule a free estimate and we can show you your options for your budget.

Stamp out high heating bills

There are, of course, other things you can do to reduce your monthly energy bills, but these are the most common reasons for a suddenly high heating bill. If you still didn’t find the answer you were looking for, ask one of our experts for help.

Air Professionals serves New Jersey homeowners’ heating and air conditioning needs. Contact us online for more info.