Winter is nearly here, and that means people everywhere will be rushing to fire up their furnaces any day now. With frosty temperatures on their way, most homeowners will be up to their old tricks for keeping their home warm and comfortable. However, some of those “old tricks” may not actually be helping them keep their home warm. In fact, as a heating repairs company we hear a lot of tips or tricks people have heard which have little to no truth about them at all. Instead, all these myths do is waste energy, create more difficult running conditions for your furnace, and drive up your utility costs while shortening the life of your system as a whole.
To set the record straight and help you make the most out of your furnace this winter, here is the truth about some of the most prominent heating myths we hear and some helpful tips so you can actually keep your home warmer without excessive strain on your system or your wallet.
Setting Your Thermostat Higher Warms Your Home Faster
People often think that a temperature setting on a furnace is sort of like a volume knob on a TV—the higher you raise it, the more you get. That’s not at all how your furnace works. Your furnace works at a constant rate of heat production—not going up, not going down. That means it constantly pushes warm air into your home at exactly the same rate as it would at any other temperature setting. Setting your furnace warmer than you want it only means your furnace is going to run for longer, and means you’re going to spend an abundance on extra energy to make your home warmer than you actually intended. Set your temperature exactly where you want it and your thermostat will reach your temperature target at exactly the same rate as it would otherwise.
Fireplaces Keep Your Home Warm Without High Energy Costs
A roaring fire, a blanket, and a warm cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Sounds like a great way to keep yourself warm in winter, does it not? While a fire may feel great for those sitting immediately around it, they’re actually not great for keeping your whole home warm. Fires really only impact the room they’re in, and opening your chimney flue actually lets out a lot of heat. In fact, opening a chimney flue is the equivalent of leaving a roughly 30”x30” window wide open somewhere else in your home—you lose about the same amount of heat. So while you may be warm around the fire, the rest of your home is actually getting colder, and you’ll probably realize that as soon as you get up to go somewhere else in your home.
Space Heaters Are A Less Expensive Way to Keep Your Home Warm
Small space heaters are popular purchases during the coldest months of winter. They have their advantages: when it comes to small spaces, they can provide a good amount of extra heat that keeps you toasty and comfortable. However, small spaces are all they’re good for—they don’t have nearly the capacity required to keep your entire home warm, no matter how small it might be. So why not run multiple space heaters throughout your home? Simple: cost. Using electricity to heat your home costs anywhere between three and five times more than it does to use natural gas for the same square footage. So while a space heater may be fine for some extra comfort in a single room, don’t depend on them as a reliable heat source for your entire home.
Having a Programmable Thermostat Saves You Money
Let’s call this one a half-myth. There is truth to the idea that a programmable thermostat can save you money. However, the thermostat itself isn’t what gives you the savings—it’s how you set it to run. Programmable thermostats can automatically set your temperature to a certain point you specify at a certain point each day. For example, you can set your thermostat to drop the temperature down about five or six degrees at a point where everyone has left for school or work each day, which will save you a substantial amount on your heating bills. Likewise, you can also set the temperature back up to your optimal level shortly before everyone returns home, so you never have to deal with showing up to a home that’s frigid and uninviting. However, programming your thermostat to keep you furnace blasting 24/7 is not going to save you any money at all. It’s all about how you set it up.
Keep your furnace working great and enjoy a warmer, more comfortable home this winter! Call Titanium Plumbing & Heating at (201) 355-5582 to schedule a repair or maintenance appointment today.