As temperatures get cooler and heaters start to kick on, what advice is helpful and what is a waste of time? There are many home heating myths. Here are some long standing assumptions and what is true.
Myth: Turning the thermostat up high makes the home heat faster.
Truth: Unless you have a 2-stage furnace, heating works at the same pace whether the thermostat is set for 75 degrees or 85. Think of your furnace like a light switch, it is either on or off. Cranking up the heat once you walk into a frigid house will only waste energy and money as well as heat your house beyond the temperature you desire.
Myth: Leave the thermostat up and going because it is cheaper to keep the house at a constant temperature.
Truth: If the furnace is running less, it is using less energy. Since the furnace heats up quickly, you don’t have to worry about losing too much heat during the times you are not using it and in the end, save money.
Myth: Ceiling fans are only for the summer.
Truth: In the summer, you want the air to blow straight down, but in cooler months, air should be circulated. Turn the fan to the clockwise rotation to recirculate warm air. This can be done by turning off the fan and once the blades have come to a complete stop, locating the direction switch and flipping the switch in the opposite direction. When the blades start turning, they will be going in the opposite direction.
Myth: It is cheaper to use small space heaters than central heat.
Truth: Electricity is more expensive and less efficient than natural gas. It can cost 3-5 times more to heat your home by electric heaters than to use central heat.
Myth: Fireplaces heat your home.
Truth: Fireplaces heat the room they are located in. They also create a vacuum that pulls heat from all other rooms and then exits out of the chimney. A roaring fireplace is idyllic, but the result is that the rest of the house is cold and drafty.
Myth: Closing air vents in unused rooms saves energy.
Truth: The furnace is designed to work with all air vents open. If you close vents off then the furnace actually has to work harder because the air pressure is out of range.