As winter sets in and the slippers come out, it’s important to know the difference between Heating Facts and Heating Myths before calling a heater specialist. We’ve busted seven Myths below to help you efficiently heat your home this winter.
1. Fireplaces and space heaters are the way to go
Lighting the fireplace seems like a cozy alternative heat source that will save money. Fireplaces and space heaters do indeed keep the more commonly used rooms warm, but they are not the most efficient options – or safe options.
Space heaters will run up your energy bill, especially if you use them all the time. Fireplaces are better in this regard but they can cause heat loss when used at the same time as your heating system. They tend to release all the hot air right out the chimney, causing your home to lose the heat you’re paying to pump out.
2. Turning up the thermostat will heat the house up faster
Patience really is the best virtue in this regard. Turning up the heater will not help you warm up your home any faster. The thermostat does not regulate the speed at which the temperature is changed – rather, it only turns the system off when the desired temperature is achieved.
3. You should set and forget your thermostat
Even though a programmable thermostat can learn your preferences, you can’t just buy one and sit back, expecting it to do all the work for you. The thermostat schedules need to be fine-tuned to achieve optimal comfort and system efficiency. If you invest in a good programmable thermostat, you need to invest the time to learn the technology and program it properly.
4. You should consistently leave your heating on low
There is a common belief that it’s more efficient to have the heater on constantly at a low temperature – even when no one is home. It is actually more energy efficient to turn it on when you get home and off when you leave.
5. The old drafty windows are to blame
It’s simple to blame heat loss on old, inefficient windows. However, before you spend a heap of money replacing or fixing them, consider how long it may take for that investment to be offset by energy savings. It’s not a quick fix. You may be better off trying out different types of weather-stripping to seal cracks and stop drafts.
6. Ceiling fans are only for summer
Ceiling fans are not only for summer. Most have a switch to reverse the direction of the blades to clockwise in winter in order to push warm air down so it doesn’t build up at the ceiling as it rises.
7. Duct tape is good for sealing ducts
Don’t let the name fool you – duct tape is a poor choice for sealing ducts. It offers little insulation, especially in dusty or dirty conditions, and often falls off as it ages and the adhesive dries out. There is a specialised tape which is specifically designed to seal ducts – ask at your nearest hardware store.