It’s that time of year again. The holidays are almost here, the weather is getting colder and it’s time to switch over to the heating system. Yet, as you use your heating equipment this year, it’s important to remember best practices. The truth is there are a lot of misconceptions about HVAC systems out there, and for energy-efficient and effective results, you have to be able to separate fact from fiction. Keep reading to learn more about five common heating myths that have been debunked, and remember that for your HVAC needs year-round, you can always count on our pros at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar.
Five Myths You Shouldn’t Believe About Heating Systems
- A Higher Temperature Setting Means a Warmer House: a lot of people naturally assume it’s best to turn the thermostat up during the winter and down during the summer. Makes sense, right? Yet, as counterintuitive as it may seem, the opposite is actually true. Turning up your thermostat to high heat, doesn’t mean it’s going to heat your home faster—in fact, it will probably make your system work harder to heat your whole space. This not only puts a lot of strain on your furnace or other heating system, meaning more repair costs down the line, it also increases your utility bills. By keeping your thermostat at a regular temperature during the winter, your system will be able to heat your home evenly, without overexerting itself. And in the summer, it is best to turn your thermostat down to balance out AC costs and reduce pressure on your HVAC equipment.
- You Should Only Use Your Ceiling Fans in the Summer: ceiling fans are a great way to stay cool in the summertime and save some money on AC costs, assuming the temperature is low enough. Moreover, a well-placed ceiling fan can even help your air conditioner function more efficiently. What you may not know, however, is that your ceiling fans can be used to do the same thing during the wintertime. All you have to do is find the switch in your fan to reverse its spin in a clockwise direction. This will push the warm air near the ceiling down into your space. Remember, heat rises, so it is natural that much of your warm air floats upward. Using a ceiling fan, this air can be re-circulated, without any adjustment to your heating system.
- Space Heaters Are a Cheaper Choice Than a Gas Heating System: although space heaters are regarded as an effective method to heat one specific room, using them to heat up a given space rather than running your central heating system is not that cost-efficient. Electricity is actually much more expensive than natural gas and given how much electricity space heaters use, it can cost three to five times more to heat your home with these units than it does to run your gas-powered heating system. The bottom line is that you are probably going to be paying the same amount or more to run your space heater than you would by just keeping your furnace on—not to mention the fact that using space heaters has been found to be dangerous, and possibly lead to housefires and injuries.
- Closing Vents and Registers Can Reduce Your Heating Costs: if you have a modern, forced-air heating system, the pressure load of the air coming from that system is balanced throughout your home. Blocking the air vents in your home will throw off this balance, forcing your system to work harder, which in turn means you pay more in utility bills. Eventually, the rooms with closed vents will become cold and begin to pull heat from the surrounding rooms. This means it will cost just as much or more to heat your home, while also putting strain on your system that could cause it to break down.
- Using Your Fireplace Can Save You Money: fires require a lot of oxygen and they will pull oxygen from the air inside your home that has already been heated. As this air is filtered, burns and goes out your chimney, the end result is that you simply need more air to keep your home warm. Plus, the negative pressure coming from your fireplace will pull in cold air from any small cracks and openings around your house, meaning the overall temperature in your home is actually reduced when you are using a fireplace. So between the air loss and strain on your system, not to mention the cost of firewood, using your fireplace may cost you more in heating costs. This is not to say that installing a fireplace isn’t a great way to enjoy the holidays. However, it’s important to limit the time you spend by that fireplace, and to never use it as a replacement for your heater entirely—especially since this can be extremely dangerous.