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reasons for high heating billsIf looking at your heating bill causes you to feel stressed, it might be time to reassess your heating situation at your Longmont home. A higher-than-normal bill can create stress on your wallet. While it may be time for Longmont furnace repair if your heater is broken, there are otherwise many reasons for a price spike. Here are the five top possible reasons your heating bills are so high.   

Dirty Air Filters

One of the most common culprits for high energy bills is also among the easiest and least expensive to fix. A dirty air filter makes the furnace work harder to push air to the rest of the house, which can make the furnace run for longer and increase your heating bills. Air filters need to be changed around every 30 to 90 days, especially in the colder months when your furnace is running more frequently. Proactively changing your air filter can reduce wear and tear on the furnace and keep your heating bills at a normal level.

Old Furnace

An old furnace typically has to work harder than a new furnace, which can also increase heating bills. The average furnace lasts around 15 to 20 years, depending on its energy source and how frequently it is used. Furnaces that were manufactured decades ago aren’t as energy-efficient as today’s models, which means they often require more power and energy to heat the house and can increase the cost of heating. As furnaces get older, they also tend to need more power, which can also lead to higher bills. Although purchasing a new furnace is a big investment for the home, it can greatly increase energy efficiency and lower your heating bill.

Cold Weather

The simple fact is that your furnace has to work harder when the weather is colder, especially in the frigid Colorado winter months. Days of consistently cold temperatures mean that your furnace is likely running almost constantly, which increases the heating bill. While you can’t change the weather, you can lower the thermostat temperature and warm up with blankets, sock, and layered clothing. Lowering the temperature even just one or two degrees can make a noticeable difference in most people’s heating bills. A wood-burning fireplace can also keep the house warm in the winter without requiring a furnace.

Leaking Insulation or Ductwork

It’s possible your furnace is working just fine to heat the house, but the warm air it is creating is escaping through leaky insulation or ductwork. That means the house actually seems colder, and the furnace has to keep working harder than normal to get the house to the desired temperature. Damaged or old insulation in your walls and attic can cause heat to escape. Over time, insulation naturally breaks down and needs to be replaced. It can also be damaged by water or pests. Proper insulation reduces heating costs by as much as 40% a year. Similarly, you might have leaks or damage in the ductwork that carries the warm air from your furnace throughout the house. Leaks often occur along the seams of the ductwork but can be hard to locate. A professional can help find and repair leaky ductwork, which should improve your heating bill.

Non-Programmable Thermostat

Your heating bill can also be high if your furnace doesn’t know the correct temperature of the house. A programmable thermostat typically costs less than $100 and can lead to serious savings in the long run. A programmable thermostat allows you to set schedules and automatically change the temperature based on your daily schedule, such as lowering the temperature of the house at the time you leave for work each day or go to bed every night. With a programmable thermostat, your furnace isn’t working all day and heating the house to a comfortable temperature when no one is home. Installing a simple programmable thermostat helps the environment and can also make a serious dent in your heating bill.

These five reasons for a high heating bill show the importance of having a properly functioning furnace. Furnace repair and regular maintenance checks can keep your furnace functioning and your heating bills low.