What you need to know about heating your home
It seems as if everyone has heard myths about home heating in the winter; what causes heating issues and what might fix them. From insulating your attic to replacing your windows to buying a new furnace, everyone can seem to have the golden ticket to lower gas bills and a warmer home. However, homeowners beware – there is a lot of misinformation out there and it’s your job to take the time to learn what is accurate and what is not. We’re myth busting with 5 common home heating myths.
Most heat loss goes out through the attic
People are more likely to spend money on insulation when they suspect they are losing heat in their home. However, according to Keith Hill of Minnesota Air, “typically, that is not true, most heat loss goes out through windows or doors.” Assuming the furnace is operating properly, it’s an easy fix in homeowners’ minds to just add more insulation to the attic to make things cozy, but according to Hill, you’re better off investing in window or door upgrades. Modern windows and doors can make a dramatic difference in the amount of heat you’re losing in your home. Much more so than adding insulation.
The higher the thermostat is set, the faster the house heats up
Cranking the temp on the thermostat doesn’t speed up the heating of your home, it just makes your furnace run longer (and may cost you more in energy bills). Set your thermostat at the temperature that makes sense for you and your family and wait – don’t bother setting it real high in hopes to quickly heat up the house because it simply doesn’t
work. If it seems like a hassle to deal with manually changing a thermostat, consider a programmable thermostat to take the guesswork out of heating and cooling your home.
Turning down temps during the day really doesn’t have an impact on heating costs
Research shows that the longer a house stays at a reduced temp, the more energy and money is saved. Setting your temperature back 10 or more degrees for 8 hours while you’re away at work and school, or asleep, can reduce your energy bill by 5-15%. However, a modest decrease in your thermostat setting may have a negligible effect on your expenses. Nevertheless, a programmable thermostat can adjust and manage the temps for you automatically.
Wood-burning fireplaces cheaply heat your home
Wood-burning fireplaces require air for the logs to burn, and the air it uses is the air that your furnace is working hard to heat. So you’re actually sending heated air up and out through the chimney when you light that fire. If you’re there to enjoy the ambiance of a fire, great. But Hill adds “if you think you’re saving money, you’re not.”
Gas fireplaces don’t waste energy
If you have a professionally installed, modern gas fireplace completely sealed with air taken from the outside, you are probably close to an efficient heat source. But, many gas fireplaces are older versions or fireplaces that were converted from wood-burning to natural gas – so they have a lot of air leaks and are actually energy wasters not energy savers. Again, a gas fire looks pretty, it just may not be saving you money on gas bills.
Know the facts about home heating and contact an HVAC expert if you’re concerned your furnace is not operating efficiently. If you have a furnace that’s over 20-years old, there’s a good chance you can recoup your costs with a higher efficiency furnace, but again, there may be more to your heating woes than an outdated furnace.
For home maintenance and comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.