Use these tips to sort fact from fiction during the upcoming winter season to save money on your energy bill.
Myth #1: Cranking the thermostat up higher will make your house warm up faster.
When all you want is to be warm – and FAST – it’s tempting to turn the thermostat up much higher than normal. The thought is that this will warm the house up more quickly. But this is a myth. Your furnace doesn’t – and can’t – pump out more heat just because you set the temperature higher.
Instead, it heats your home for longer periods of time. And if you forget to change the thermostat back to the temperature set point you actually want, you’ll overheat your home and waste money and energy (1).
Myth #2: It’s cheaper to run space heaters in a few rooms than to run your home’s gas heating system.
If the evening’s plans involve spending time in only one room, some people consider turning off the furnace and plugging in a space heater. However, this proves inefficient, because electricity is much more expensive than natural gas. Using electricity to heat your home costs between 3 to 5 times, on average, what it costs to heat the same space with a gas furnace. So you end up paying the same amount – or more – even if you are only heating a few rooms with an electric space heater (1, 2).
Myth #3: Ceiling fans are only for use in the summertime.
Most people only use fans in the summertime, because they are a great way to cool off and provide a nice breeze in a warm room. But those same fans can be used to your advantage in the winter. Simply turn the switch on the fan to change the spin to a clockwise direction, and it will push warm air from the ceiling zone down into the room. Since warm air rises, this re-circulates the warm air, causing your home to feel warmer, without any extra effort from your furnace (1).
Myth #4: Replacing your windows will save you significant money.
It is true that leaky windows waste energy because heat can escape from your house. However, the amount saved on your energy bill doesn’t always offset the high price of those new windows. Start small by sealing or plugging small leaks before you make the larger investment of brand new windows. Adding insulation, weather strips, and other seals will cost only a fraction of the price of new windows (1).
Myth #5: Closing off vents and registers will reduce your heating bill.
Assuming you have a modern forced air system, the pressure load of the air is balanced throughout the house. Blocking vents will impact how the system brings air in and puts air out. This can throw the system out of balance, cause it to work harder, or even lead to a unit break down (3). Those rooms with shut off vents will eventually become colder, which serves to pull heat from the surrounding rooms. The end result is that you still use the same amount of energy to heat your home, but with potential stress and damage to your system (4). Remember to ask us if you have more questions!
Myth #6: A fire in the fireplace will save you money.
A fire needs lots of oxygen. It takes that oxygen from the indoor air you’ve already heated and filtered, burns it, and sends it up the chimney. This creates a great need for more air in the house. This negative pressure pulls in cold air from any small openings, cracks, or opening and closing doors, causing the overall temperature of the house to fall quickly and your furnace to kick in.
You’ll also have to pay handsomely for the firewood (unless you are lucky enough to live somewhere you can chop your own). So if you enjoy a nice evening with a fire in the fireplace, go ahead and indulge. But know that it’s not going to save you money (4, 5).
Myth #7: Duct tape seals air leaks well.
Despite the name, duct tape is actually a poor patch for leaks in your air ducts. Your best choice for the job is a mastic sealant or metal tape (but ask us if you have more questions). Keep in mind you have another great tool at your disposal: The HVAC experts at Greater Comfort. We are here to help with any repairs you need (3).
Call the Experts at Greater Comfort For All Your Furnace Needs
Want to learn more about the trusted, affordable brands we offer—or just have more questions you’d like to ask to get to know us? Give us a call today at (859) 491-4915.