Home Heating and Cooling Myths
More than ever before, today’s homeowners are looking for ways to cut down and energy usage and lower utility bills. But when it comes to heating and cooling energy efficiency, there are a lot of myths that can actually increase your energy usage. Take some advice from a home heating and cooling company and educate yourself about these common myths:
Myth: closing off registers and vents will reduce your heating bill.
This is false. In a modern forced air system, the pressure load will be balanced throughout the entire system. Blocking off a vent will only cause higher pressure in one part of the system, not cause less heat to be used. Blocking vents will also change how the system exhales and inhales air, which can throw it out of balance and reduce its efficiency.
Additionally, the most energy-efficient practice involves evenly distributing heat throughout your home. Closed off vents in certain rooms will make those rooms cooler. Because warm air flows from warmer areas to cooler areas, these cooler rooms will draw heat from other rooms in the house, which can make the house as a whole feel cooler, and cause you to raise the thermostat.
Myth: ceiling fans will cool a room even when you’re not there.
False. Fans make you feel cooler by increasing the amount of air flowing past your skin, increasing the rate at which your skin loses heat. This makes you cooler without actually lowering the air temperature of the room. When you aren’t in the room, you aren’t benefiting from the cooling action of the fan, so it’s just a waste of electricity.
Myth: buying an energy efficient heater or A/C unit will always reduce my energy bill.
This is not necessarily the case. Even the most efficient air conditioner or heater will use more energy if it is improperly sized for your home, or installed incorrectly. Poor quality installation or improper sizing can cause you to waste as much as one-third of your electric usage, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Make sure to work with a reputable heating and cooling company to install your new unit.
Myth: duct tape is good choice for sealing ducts.
Despite its name, duct tape is a poor choice for sealing ducts. It provides very little insulation, doesn’t work well in dusty or dirty conditions, and tends to fall off as it ages and the adhesive dries out. Buy specialized tapes that are designed to seal ducts.
Myth: setting your thermostat higher will make your house heat up faster.
False. No matter how you set the thermostat, your furnace will deliver heat at the same rate. And since you will likely end up having to move the temperature down anyway, you will probably use more energy than you had intended. The same is true with A/C. Setting your air conditioning thermostat as low as possible will not make your house cool down any quicker. Save energy and set your thermostat for the temperature you want in your house.
Myth: turning lights and appliances on and off uses more electricity than leaving them on.
This may have been true for old appliances and computers twenty years ago that were much less efficient and produced larger energy surges. Today’s electrical devices are much more efficient. The small surge created by turning an electrical product on is much less than the constant energy use needed to run a device. If you want to save energy, always turn off lights and devices when you leave a room.
Myth: buying an energy efficient home is too expensive.
This is not necessarily true. Home purchase price is not correlated with energy efficiency. In some cases, smaller high-efficiency units can even be cheaper than larger, lower-efficiency heating and cooling units.