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A-1 Mechanical Blog

Why Is My Heating Bill So High?


“Why is my heating bill so high?” is a question we hear from many Lansing and Grand Rapids area homeowners every fall and winter. An unexpected heating bill hundreds of dollars over budget is a surprise no one wants. Learn what drives your heating bill up and what to do to save energy and money this heating season.

Why Is My Heating Bill So High?

The most common causes that lead to unexpectedly high heating bills are:

  • Colder outdoor temperatures than what’s normal for the area
  • Lack of heating system maintenance
  • Air leaks in the home
  • Poor insulation
  • Dirty furnace filters

Top Ways to Lower Heating Bills

These energy-saving strategies help homeowners improve home energy efficiency to lower heating bills:

  • Schedule a heating system preventive maintenance tune up
  • Seal ducts and air leaks throughout the home
  • Use efficient thermostat settings
  • Regularly check and replace furnace filters

Preventive Maintenance Tune Ups Increase Efficiency & Lower Heating Bills

Ideally in the fall, before the busy “heating breakdown season,” schedule a preventive maintenance tune up for your Lansing or Grand Rapids heating system. Gas furnaces, electric furnaces, heat pumps – no matter your heating system type, a maintenance tune up helps the system function more efficiently throughout the season.

Poorly maintained heating equipment consumes excess energy as it heats your home. Wear and tear, damaged and broken components, and airflow blockages make the system work harder to heat and circulate indoor air.

NATE-certified HVAC technicians perform maintenance tune ups and inspect, service, and test all aspects of the heating system. This ensures it performs at peak efficiency over the heating season ahead.

Here’s a review from an HVAC service customer, Amanda M. –

“Such a great experience! Everyone we worked with, from the initial call, to the service visit was knowledgeable, helpful, and so nice. It’s not often I write reviews, but this service was above and beyond!”

Duct Sealing & Air Leak Sealing Reduce Heating Load

The average Lansing and Grand Rapids area home loses 20 to 30 percent of its heated air through duct leaks. Damage, gaps, loose fittings, and disconnected sections allow heated air to escape before it reaches your rooms while letting chilly air into the ducts.

Because of this loss, the heating system compensates by expending more energy to replace heat lost. This extra heat production uses 20 to 30 percent more energy. Duct repair eliminates these costly leaks to significantly lower your heating bills.

Heated air is also able to escape through other areas of the home, such as:

  • Windows and doors that don’t shut tightly
  • Gaps and cracks around window frames and door jambs
  • Vent, piping, or wiring holes through exterior walls
  • Uninsulated or under-insulated attics, basements, and crawl spaces

To reduce heat loss, air leak sealing is a must. Replace damaged insulation and raise insulation levels throughout the home. Add weatherstripping to all exterior doorways. Seal windows and door frames both indoors and out. Seal around the exterior wall penetrations outdoors as well as on the interior of the wall.

Energy Efficiency Thermostat Settings Save on Electric & Gas Bills

When it’s chilly outside, many homeowners continue to raise the temperature on their thermostats to keep the home warm. Every degree you go up adds cost to your heating bill. Instead, use energy-conscious thermostat settings to maximize efficiency.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a thermostat setting of 68 degrees when the home is occupied during the daytime. As you sleep or when the home is empty, lower the setting to conserve energy.

Eight-hour temperature setbacks of four to six degrees generate up to 10 percent savings on heating bills! Easily implement energy efficient temperature settings when you trade your old manual thermostat for a programmable or smart thermostat!

Curious about modern thermostats? Call us and we’ll send a Comfort Consultant to your home. He or she will evaluate your current HVAC system, ask you about your energy goals and make a thermostat recommendation.

We’ve met many homeowners who bought a smart thermostat at a big box store and found it doesn’t work well with their existing system. For example, do you have a single-speed or variable-speed system? It makes a difference in which smart thermostat is best for your home.

Change Furnace Filters and Lower Heating Bills

Dirty furnace filters block the flow of air through your heating system. This forces the blower motor to expend more energy to pull air through the system and push heated air into your living areas.

Avoid this problem when you regularly replace your furnace filter. How often depends on the type of filter, heating usage, and other factors specific to your home. Most people get by with furnace filter changes every two to three months.

Throughout heating season, check your filter monthly to determine if a change is needed early. During periods of heavy system use, this is often the case. If you have pets, smoke, are sensitive to pollen or other allergy and asthma triggers, change it monthly or more frequently.

A-1 Mechanical Solves the “Why Is My Heating Bill So High?” Question

If your heating bills are shockingly high this season, take action to start saving right away!

Call 517-348-0302 for A-1 Mechanical to identify causes behind high heating bills in your heating system and solutions to bring your bills back down.

Don’t forget about traditional tips either! For example, let the sunshine in your south and east-facing windows then trap the warmth inside with thermal-insulated curtains. Switch your ceiling fan to slowly rotate clockwise for winter. This should push the warmer air at the ceiling level back down along the walls to floor-level.

Soon, you’ll enjoy cheaper utility bills over the winter. For heating repairs, service, and new furnace installation contact A-1 Mechanical today.

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