Winter is revving up! Will you be ready to stay warm – and protect your wallet – when Jack Frost comes nipping through? You may have the “stay warm” part covered, but it’s very possible you’re making some heating mistakes that could be costing you in short term cash and in the long term health of your furnace.
Do any of these mistakes hit home? If you need help or have questions, just ask!
1. Myth: Closing Vents In Unused Rooms Will Help Save Money
It may sound like common sense to avoid “wasting” heat in empty rooms, but closing vents a terrible idea! Even a halfway modern HVAC system is designed to balance airflow throughout your home. Closing vents actually unbalances the system and causes it to *work harder*. More work equals more money! Turns out that the thing you thought would save you money could actually be costing you more.
What’s worse, when your system works harder it wears down quicker. That can make it susceptible to malfunctioning, and that means even more money in parts and repairs.
Your best bet is to keep vents open and let your furnace do its job. If you have a particularly cold room and find yourself constantly cranking up the heat while you close vents in other rooms, there are other solutions that can be far more effective. Ductless heating, for example, can take care of a chilly room – or even let you lower the overall temperature of your central HVAC system – so you can be comfortable in the spaces where you spend the most time.
It’s also possible your furnace is old, wrongly sized or just inefficient. If your home is irregularly heated and you’re never quite comfortable, it might be time to consider an upgrade.
2. Myth: Using A Fireplace Will Help Save On Energy Bills
This is another “sounds like common sense” mistake that can end up costing you quite a bit more than you think. After all, what’s hotter than fire? The problem is that in order to safely enjoy a fire, you need to open the flue and let exhaust gases escape. Guess what’s going right up your chimney with those gases? Yes, that’s right – your heated air!
Plus, fire burns oxygen, which creates a need for more air in the house. Want to guess where that air is coming from? It’s being sucked right in through the tiniest of cracks and crevices, and if you haven’t figured it out by now, that is ice cold air that’s coming in to replace the warm air that you just burned up.
If you have glass doors covering your fireplace, then you’re blocking even the ambient heat you might have felt. And unless you enjoy a Saturday afternoon with a hatchet, you’re probably also spending money on firewood and log starters.
If you want to enjoy a fire, go ahead! They’re cozy, fun and add charm to your room. Light a fire because you want to – not to save money.
3. Myth: Ceiling Fans Are For Summer
We’ve talked before about how running a ceiling fan (assuming you’re in the room) during summer can help you stay cooler at higher temperatures. By leaving your air conditioner at a higher temperature, you can save some big bucks. But who wants cool air blowing on them when it’s already cold?
Turns out – nobody, of course! But that doesn’t mean your fan needs to be out of commission until next summer. Warm air rises, which means its probably a bit warmer near your ceiling than it is where where you are – at your desk, on the sofa, or in bed. Remedy that by changing the direction your fan blows.
Switch your fan from blowing down, to blowing up (counter-clockwise to clockwise) and instead of a breeze you’ll be helping to recirculate warm air from the ceiling back down to where you really want it.
Th same caveat is true for winter as it is for summer: only use ceiling fans when you’re in the room. If there’s nobody to keep warm, then the fan will do nothing to actually warm your home. It will only increase your costs as you add running the fan on top of running the furnace.
Experiment with lowering the furnace temperature a degree or two and see if keeping the air circulating helps you feel more comfortable.
4. Myth: Duct Tape Can Seal Leaks In Ducts
You may have noticed your ducts working less efficiently, or perhaps noticed an outright crack, gap or leak. And you want to seal it up against heat loss so your home will be more comfortable and your energy bills will be lower.
While you’ve got the right idea – leaky ducts *can* dramatically and negatively impact your furnace’s effectiveness – you’ve got the wrong tool.
It’s a real head-scratcher, but the truth is, duct tape (despite its promising-sounding name) is not very good for sealing ducts.
Duct tape may work *ok* for a short time – and we mean very short, less than a season even – but it will dry out and fall off in short order. Not to mention that it doesn’t create a great shield anyway.
Choose something that is proven to be effective at sealing ducts, like mastic tape. Better yet, contact your HVAC professional to guide you to a productive, cost-effective, and long term solution.
All of that, and we’ve only touched the tip of the money-draining iceberg! We’ve got a few more costly (and even dangerous) myths to share in another post, so stick around!
In the meantime, if you want to talk about improving your comfort and making a wise investment in your home, get in touch for a free assessment and estimate. We’ll visit your home, listen to your concerns and share recommendations to suit your needs. We’ve even got financing options that can make your decision easier!