Three Reasons Your Heater Is Inefficient

December 7, 2020

Does it seem like your heater is causing your energy bills to spike? The reason might not necessarily be related to your heater itself. In fact, if you’ve had your system properly maintained and it still seems like your bills are high, then there is probably some other circumstance or factor that is preventing it from keeping you as warm as possible. Here are three things that could be the reason your heater is so incredibly inefficient.

Air Leaks in Your Ceiling

Do you have recessed lighting in your home? There’s a good chance you might. Recessed lighting is growing rapidly in popularity because of its ability to provide a lot of light from a small package that doesn’t crowd a room or make it feel cramped in any way. However, recessed lighting has a huge flaw: in involves putting a hole in the drywall that forms your ceiling, and this hole becomes an area where heat can escape into your attic.

For this reason, recessed lights need to be specially insulated, involving using an insulation that isn’t prone to catching fire while still being able to retain heat. Many times, these lights aren’t insulated at all, and when they are the insulation isn’t the right type or isn’t suitable enough to properly prevent heat loss. We recommend talking to an electrician about the right type of insulation to use for recessed lights in order to ensure code compliance and safety while also boosting the energy efficiency of your heater by avoiding this source of heat loss.

Closed Vents & Registers

Do you have areas in your home that you simply don’t use all that often? Why would you pay to heat or cool those particular spaces? This is the logic behind the decision many people make to shut their registers and vents in order to stop airflow into those particular areas. The idea is to prevent the heated air that you need elsewhere in your home from flooding into a space where you won’t get to enjoy it, and that makes sense. However, in the real world, it is actually a reason your HVAC system isn’t as efficient as it should be.

If you have a forced-air heater, it relies on a central part called a blower fan. This fan’s job is to distribute the air throughout your home using your duct system. However, because your duct system is self-contained, it can only hold so much air, and likewise can only easily sustain that airflow under a reasonable pressure. If you start shutting the vents and registers, you up that pressure, resulting in an effect that’s sort of like trying to blow too hard through a thin straw—the air comes out, but not very quickly. This could damage your air ducts, wear out your blower fan, and lead to some seriously high energy bills as your system tries to keep your home warm—even higher than if you had just left the registers open to begin with.

Poor Insulation

Finally, one of the biggest reasons your eater is inefficient is due to poor insulation throughout your home. We have already mentioned the insulation around recessed light fixtures, but these are just one of the areas where many homes are deficient. Perhaps the most prominent is around doors and windows, where weather stripping is necessary to form a tight seal, but wears out after a year or two of exposure to the elements. Spending a few dollars to replace this around each window and door can save you a ton in energy expenses over the course of a year.

Another type of insulation deficiency that greatly affects boiler systems is plumbing insulation. Your boiler depends on insulation to prevent heat loss between the boiler unit itself and the radiators and other hydronic heating elements that keep your home warm. The more heat you lose in that stretch, the less efficient your boiler will be. That means any exposed boiler lines need to be properly insulated in order to protect against heat loss and the huge financial drain that can include.

Tired of inefficient heating systems? Call Winters® Home Services at 617-221-5899 and let us repair or tune it up and get it ready for winter!