When cold weather sets in, most homeowners see a dramatic increase in their utility bills and many try a variety of tactics to lower them. Some strategies are sound, such as ensuring the home is properly insulated and all gaps sealed to prevent heat from escaping and cold from coming in. On the other hand, there are some so-called money-saving techniques that are woefully misguided. Below, are four commonly held furnace myths.
Myth #1: Setting The Thermostat Higher Makes The House Warm, Faster
Even with a brand new furnace, heated air can only be expelled at a certain rate. If you come home to a chilly house, you may be tempted to turn the heat up high to get warm faster, but this myth comes from the notion that you can heat up food faster if you turn the oven higher. Well, that may work for ovens but not for furnaces. Unfortunately, the air delivery rate of a furnace will remain constant no matter how high you set the thermostat.
Myth #2: Keeping The Thermostat At The Same Temperature Saves Money
Some people believe if the thermostat is lowered, the furnace will then have to work harder to raise the temperature later on. While adjusting your thermostat does make even a new furnace work harder, you can save far more money by simply using less energy. For instance, while everyone is away at work and school, a modest adjustment, say from 25 to 23 degrees, can reduce your heating bill over time.
Myth #3: Closing Vents Reduces The Heating Bill
Most homes use forced-air heating. These systems detect the pressure levels of different rooms to ensure that the heat is evenly distributed. If you close any of the vents, the delicate balance is disrupted and the furnace will use extra energy trying to correct the imbalance. So, this tactic may actually increase your heating bill.
Myth #4: Cold Floors Are Nothing To Worry About
Many people think a cold floor is normal in winter. Perhaps it was years ago, but today, cold floors indicate that a house is not well insulated. Cold floors are caused by drafts seeping in through improperly sealed windows, doors, or duct work. This means more energy is required to keep your home warm and thus a higher energy bill.