The mild weather has made it very comfortable outside, but winter weather is right around the corner. Below are some of the more common myths we hear while out on service calls. Let’s bust these myths!
Myth #1: Closing vents in unused rooms will save money.
This is a common statement we hear from clients, and sadly, it’s just not true. Closing vents and doors in unused rooms actually interrupts the airflow within your home. Your HVAC system was designed and installed with your whole house in mind. When you close vents in unused rooms, you are restricting the air flow and preventing your system from operating properly.
Recommendation: Keep your vents and doors open. You will save money on your utility bills. Plus, your system is less likely to need a major repair due to an air flow restriction.
Myth #2: Setting your thermostat to a higher temperature will heat your home more quickly.
Nope. It will still take the same amount of time for your heater to warm the house to your preferred temperature whether you set the thermostat to that temperature or five degrees higher. All a higher temperature setting will accomplish is less efficient heating, especially if you forget to drop the temperature down to your preferred setting.
Myth #3: An energy-efficient heat pump or furnace will automatically save money.
Not quite. Energy-efficient systems have the potential to save you money, but only if you use them correctly. A system will not operate efficiently if you constantly change the temperature settings from high to low temperatures or don’t provide proper maintenance and care. However, if you are committed to using the system properly, you will save money.
Myth #4: If my home is properly insulated, I don’t have to worry about leaks in winter.
Proper insulation sets the foundation for keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, but drafts can always cause problems. The most common draft sources are doors and windows, but we have seen drafts in basements and even electrical outlets. Too many little drafts can have an effect on how well your system maintains a comfortable temperature in your home, so don’t overlook these areas when doing routine household maintenance.
Myth #5: Replacing all of your windows will save you a lot of money on heating costs.
This statement is a little tricky, because it’s sort of true – energy efficient windows can save you money on both heating and cooling costs. The key here is to do some research. The cost of replacing all of the windows in your home can be thousands of dollars, and often the energy savings you see on your electric bill won’t match the investment.
Unless the windows in your home are awful, it may very well be more cost efficient to address drafts with less invasive maintenance, like caulking.
Myth #6: A fireplace is a great way to help heat your home.
Sadly, a traditional wood-burning fireplace is not a great way to heat your home. A surprising amount of heat can actually escape from you home via the chimney when the fireplace isn’t in use. When in use, wood-burning fireplaces are really great for heating a single room, and even then you have to consider the safety hazards involved, including carbon monoxide and reduced air quality due to wood ash.
We love fireplaces for their cozy ambiance, but homeowners should consider all of the pros and cons before having one installed in their home.
Myth #7: Maintaining a constant temperature is the most efficient way to heat your home.
This is another myth that is a little tricky. There is nothing wrong with dropping the temperature of your home during hours when you are away, or at night when you are sleeping. The key is to not drop the temperature too much. Ideally, dropping the temperature by 2-3°F is the best solution – any more than that and your HVAC system will have to burn energy trying to get your home warm again. So a constant temperature isn’t necessarily the most efficient way to heat a home, but neither are wide temperature changes during the course of a day.
Myth #8: Space heaters are energy hogs and aren’t worth the investment.
It’s true that space heaters consume more energy than we would like, but they are actually a great choice for spaces that have poor insulation, for single rooms that are rarely used, or for renters who may not have a lot of say when it comes to maintenance issues. Space heaters have come a long way in terms of design and safety.
Recommendation: If you purchase one, make sure it is made by a reputable company and has safety features such as an automatic shut off if the unit is knocked over.
Myth 9: Ceiling fans are only useful when it’s hot outside.
False. Ceiling fans are a great way to spread the warmth around the room instead of allowing it to simply rise to the ceiling. Set you ceiling fan to spin clockwise to enjoy this energy saving tip.
Preventative maintenance is a great way to ensure your heater is operating safely and efficiently. Call (205) 871-8111 to schedule an appointment.
Have a heating question? Give us a call at (205) 871–8111. We’ve got answers!