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What You Shouldn’t Do When Heating Your Home

Minnesota winters are notoriously cold, which makes a cozy, heated home all the more necessary. When considering your heating bill, though, it can feel like you never find a happy medium between affordability and comfort. This misconception roots in a handful of common mistakes that many homeowners employ once temperatures drop. Here are what you’re probably getting wrong with your heating system and the changes you can make to fix them.

Measures You Shouldn’t Take to Keep Your House Warm

1. Fussing With Your Thermostat

Setting your thermostat at its extremes during the winter usually has good intentions, but it almost always causes your heating bill to skyrocket. On the one hand, you turn it as hot as it can go, thinking it will heat your home faster on a chilly night. On the other hand, you turn your thermostat all the way down when you leave your home to not waste precious energy.

In reality, these measures only cause spikes in your energy bills as you force your system to work harder than necessary. To save energy and money this winter, invest in a programmable thermostat. This addition allows you to set your HVAC system to increase and decrease in temperature with your schedule automatically. That way, you know that your house will be cozy when you’re there without being wasteful when you’re not.

2. Neglecting Your Air Filters

Air filters in your HVAC system help to keep air clean of dust and allergens as it circulates through your home. Since they’re trapping these pollutants, they
eventually get dirty and require regular replacements. When you leave air filters for too long, they affect the efficiency of your HVAC system. Essentially, when there are dust and dander trapped in the air filter, air can’t flow as easily through them. As a result, your HVAC system has to produce more to provide the heat level you want.

Change out air filters once every few months to assure efficiency and air quality in your home. If you have pets, consider performing this task monthly—as pet dander can accumulate in your air filters very quickly.

3. Closing Doors in Unused Rooms

In the winter, even a closed door can mean all the difference for your energy bills. When you close the doors or air vents of unused rooms in your house, you restrict continuous airflow throughout your home. As a result, you create an imbalance in your heating system and hike up costs. To eliminate this issue, leave the doors of rarely used guest rooms ajar throughout your day-to-day.

If you’re on the verge of replacing your HVAC system, you can also address this issue another way. A zone system is an excellent option for heating your home when you have areas you don’t use that often. As the name suggests, the system splits the heating responsibility into zones that you can individually set to different temperatures. Discuss this option with your HVAC contractor if you’re in the market for a new system.


Babe the Blue Ox once lived through a winter so cold that the flames in his crew’s lanterns froze. If you’re weathering the frigid chill of a Minnesota winter like him, turn to our team at Blue Ox Heating & Air to keep your system running efficiently. For more information about our Twin Cities, MN, based team, give us a call today.