When cold weather arrives, keeping your home warm and cozy is going to be your largest expense. In fact, it is estimated that this makes up 42 percent of your utility costs. Unfortunately, you may be making some of the most common heating mistakes that result in these high costs.

While there are more than a few things that you can do to help improve your heating system’s efficiency, there are also a few things you should avoid doing. The top mistakes to avoid related to your heating system can be found here.

Turning up Your Thermostat for Faster Heating

You should not try to heat (or cool, for that matter) your home faster by turning the thermostat significantly up or down. Your HVAC system is going to operate at one speed and will output the same amount of heated or cooled air, regardless of what the temperature on your thermostat is set to. This means you won’t be increasing the cooling or heating rate, you will just be increasing the operating time of your system. This means you should set your thermostat to your desired temperature and then leave it alone.

Failing to Change The Air Filters

If you don’t change your air filters, it will not only increase your utility costs, but it may keep your furnace from working completely. A dirty, clogged air filter is extremely bad for your HVAC system, as well as your indoor air quality. This is especially true if you have pets.

However, even if you don’t have any pets, a dirty air filter can irritate allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions. Make sure to change your filter every 30 to 60 days. Keeping it clean will ensure the air can move freely and that particles are being removed.

Failing to Schedule Annual Heating Maintenance

If you don’t schedule annual heating maintenance, you are just asking for trouble. In addition to having to pay for more expensive repairs and reducing the lifespan of your unit, without maintenance from the professionals your HVAC system warranty may no longer be valid.

It is essential that you have your system tuned up annually. This will help ensure your equipment lasts longer and runs efficiently and safely, while keeping your warranty intact.

Installing a New Thermostat on Your Own

While you may think that installing a new thermostat is a simple, DIY task, it is often much more difficult than you think. You have to find the right type of thermostat for the system you have. If you don’t purchase the right one, you may discover they are incompatible. As a result, you are going to waste both time and money if you attempt a DIY installation.

When you take care of your heating system, you will find that it runs more efficiently and that it does not require as many repairs. In the long run, this is going to help you save money, and frustration due to frequent issues.