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January 28, 2016
For the next few months, the snow, ice and frigid air will have people running for the warmth of their homes. With the conditions getting colder, many people share some common beliefs as to how they can optimize their home’s heating performance and save money. What most people don’t know, however, is that some of these beliefs aren’t actually as valid as one might think. So before you turn to any of these methods, let us help you better understand these issues, you can save yourself a lot of money, energy and comfort.
Myth #1: Setting a higher temperature on the thermostat will heat your home faster
On especially cold days, it can be tempting to crank the heat by significantly raising the temperature on your thermostat. Just because a higher temperature has been set, however, doesn’t mean that your home will be heated any faster. What actually ends up happening is your heating system keeps working past what would normally be the desired temperature and makes your home unnecessarily hot. This happens because most home furnaces (excluding multi-stage units) run at full capacity, regardless of how high the temperature is set at on the thermostat. By keeping your thermostat at a need-based temperature to maintain indoor comfort, instead of setting higher temperatures as a shortcut, you can save heat and money this winter.
Myth #2: All new homes are energy efficient
Most people in the market who purchase a home believe that any new home will be energy efficient because most recent construction projects are done with energy efficiency in mind. What they don’t realize however, is that certain aspects of a newer home may not be as energy efficient as one would like to think. An example for this would be the insulation installed in new homes. Much of the insulation work for newer homes is done under the guidelines of the Construction Code, which does not meet Energy Star qualifications for efficiency. Because of this, newer homes are more susceptible to air and comfort problems, which can result in higher energy and utility bills. To combat these problems, it’s important to keep a careful eye out for home efficiency, regardless of age, and schedule home assessments to maintain your home’s performance.
Myth #3: Running space heaters is more cost efficient for your home than running a gas heating system
A common belief among homeowners is that instead of using their gas heating system to heat their home, they can save money by heating frequently used rooms with space heaters. If your plan is to cut down on gas-use to heat your home, this actually isn’t that bad of an idea. However, if your plan is to save money on gas by switching to space heaters, you might be surprised at how little you actually save. Space heaters run off of electricity, which means that the more space heaters are used, the higher your electric bill will be. On top of that, electricity bills tend to be a lot more expensive (up to five times more) and less efficient than natural gas. So when it comes time for you to turn on that space heater in your living room, it might be beneficial to rethink your strategy and go with something that works well, like natural gas. It will save you money and comfort!