Higher than normal heating bills can mean that something is wrong with the furnace. Often, the issue is repairable once you determine the cause.
1. Dirt In the System
A loss in efficiency will cause an increase in your electric bills. Dirt in the system reduces furnace efficiency. The filter on a home furnace must be replaced at regular intervals, usually every month or two during the heating season. The internal parts of the furnace, including the compressor and blower, won't run efficiently if dirt builds up inside. A repair tech can take apart the furnace and clean out every part.
2. Faulty Thermostat
A thermostat may give out long before the heater does. If your thermostat malfunctions, the heater may run continuously, which will drive up the electric bill. Even a thermostat that isn't calibrated properly could lead to higher heat outputs and higher costs. A repair tech can check the thermostat and either replace it or recalibrate it. In fact, upgrading to a programmable thermostat may save you more money than the initial installation cost.
3. Duct Leaks
Leaks in the ductwork lead to the loss of hot air so that it doesn't heat the home properly. Duct leaks can be a result of improper installation, but they can also occur over time as ducts come loose and air gaps occur. Your heater repair tech can perform a full duct inspection to determine if there are any leaks that are leading to heating loss and higher energy bills. Repairing the leaks will increase the efficiency and lower your heating costs.
4. Short Cycling
Short cycling is when the heater turns off prematurely, only to cycle back on almost immediately. This nearly constant running of the heater is inefficient and will cost more money in the long run. There are a variety of things that can lead to short cycling, but overheating is usually the main one. Electrical shorts, dirty components, and blocked airflow are some of the most common causes. Short cycling issues are usually repairable.
5. Furnace Age
An older furnace is just not as efficient as a new furnace. Even older energy-efficient models will lose some efficiency due to age. A heater repair tech may be able to tune up an old furnace and increase efficiency somewhat, but eventually, it will be necessary to replace the unit with a newer and more efficient model if you want to avoid rising electric bills.
Contact a heating repair service for more assistance.