Winter officially ends in March—but that doesn’t mean cold weather stops. April can bring unpleasantly icy surprises. This is why we stress that our customers arrange for heating services in Gaithersburg, MD when they encounter malfunctions, no matter how close it is to when warmer weather settles in.

We want to draw attention to a common problem homeowners at the end of winter can have even with heaters in good condition: money waste. A combination of bad habits and excess stress on the heater can cause bills to rise needlessly at this time. Don’t spend the end of winter shelling out more money for heat than you need to.

Watch those thermostat settings

Poor choices with setting the thermostat is a leading—and easily preventable—source of wasted heating money. When temperatures abruptly plunge in March or April, it’s easy to panic and jam the thermostat up super high. We recommend keeping the thermostat set at 68°F during the day when it’s cold, and throwing on an extra layer of clothing. Please don’t push the thermostat up to 80°F—it’s extremely wasteful and you’ll end up with a stuffy house that rapidly loses heat to the outside.

Remember the air filter change

Here’s another regular heating job people often forget to do as the winter comes to a close. The air filter for a forced-air system needs to be routinely changed for a clean one—every 1 to 3 months, depending on filter type. Letting the same filter stay in place at the end of winter not only raises heating costs, it can drop comfort and cause damage to the heating system. Keep in mind, if you have a standard HVAC system with a furnace and AC sharing the blower fan, they also share the filter—and you don’t want to start cooling your home with a clogged filter either.

Move fast for repairs

No doubt, this is the biggest mistake people make with a heating system as spring starts. If the heater is having trouble keeping up with comfort demands, is making strange noises, turns on and off at odd times, or shows other signs of a problem, a homeowner will glance at the calendar and think, “Ah, I can ride it out.”

Please don’t do this! Wasting money is one of the big reasons to always move fast to have professional repairs for a heater. But it also puts you in jeopardy of losing the heating system entirely. What seems “minor” to you may be a symptom of a big problem. For gas furnaces and gas boilers, it can even mean unhealthy conditions. It’s simple to call our HVAC technicians to have them inspect the heater, find the issue, and fix it. (You’ll also have a better guarantee the heater will come back on again in fall.)

Take advantage of a ductless mini split’s zone heating ability

If you have a ductless heat pump for home comfort, use its zone control to only heat the rooms that need it. In the milder winter weather, you may only need to run one or two, and this cuts down on costs.

When you need heating help, call us first! Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing serves Washington D.C., Montgomery & Frederick Counties.