7 common home heating myths to avoid this winter
With winter firmly set in, it’s tempting to close the blinds, crank up the thermostat, and hibernate until spring. While keeping warm and cozy sounds easy enough, there are common myths to avoid when it comes to heating your home efficiently and effectively.
Continue reading to learn what those seven common home heating myths are, and how you can avoid them.
Myth 1: You can use your fireplace to heat your entire home
Wood-burning fireplaces provide a delightful aesthetic experience, but don’t expect them to save you money on heating costs. You certainly feel the warmth when you are positioned directly in front of it, but you’re not really doing the rest of your house, or your wallet, any favours. If you use a fireplace in conjunction with your furnace, the fireplace actually steals your heater-warmed air for combustion and sends the heat up the chimney along with the smoke.
Myth 2: Closing vents in unused rooms saves money
It might seem like you’re using less energy when you restrict air from reaching unused rooms, but, when it comes to your HVAC system, this is false.
Closing off the registers in unoccupied rooms causes the system to become unbalanced. HVAC systems are balanced for the local climate, the size of your home, and the occupancy. A system that is forced to work harder is inefficient and susceptible to malfunctioning. By creating colder zones, the warm air is naturally drawn into those spaces rather than the occupied spaces. This could encourage you to compensate for the heat loss and adjust the thermostat—losing those savings.
Myth 3: A warm basement means a warm house
When you heat your basement, only a fraction of that warm air transfers up a level. Energy is wasted without good-quality insulation between the first floor and the basement, so only heat your basement if you are planning to occupy it.
Myth 4: Leaving the heat on is more efficient
There’s some thought that leaving the heat on is more efficient than the cycle of heating and cooling that comes when you set it to switch off regularly. It’s pure fiction.
Having the heat run constantly consumes much more energy than that required to bring the temperature back to a comfortable place after it’s been off for a while.
Myth 5: Floors are always cold in the winter
At one point or other, most people have stepped onto a cold bathroom or kitchen floor first thing in the morning. If the hard floor surfaces of your home are particularly cold, this could indicate that the insulation in your home isn’t adequate.
Modern home insulation should succeed in keeping warm air in and cold air out. If you find that your floors are colder than they should be, it’s time to check for air leaks. Leaks could be caused by faulty insulation or breaches in your home’s exterior. Whatever the reason may be, keeping warm air inside and the cold air outside is the best way to help your furnace heat your home effectively—and avoid causing stress on your system.
Myth 6: A programmable thermostat always saves money
This certainly may be true if the user actually programs the thermostat.
Used wisely, programmable thermostats will result in using less energy. But, if you use your programmable thermostat as if it isn’t programmable, you haven’t gained any ground.
Myth 7: Crank up the heat to warm your home quickly
A frigid home gives people the tendency to crank up the thermostat in an effort to speed the warming process. The bottom line is that heaters have only two settings: on and off. So, no matter how much you want it, they won’t warm your home any faster if the thermostat is cranked up. The heater will simply run for a longer period of time and use more energy in the process.