The first winter heating bill of the season can be brutal. After a mild fall and little use of your heating or cooling equipment, a sudden dip in temperatures can have you running your furnace more frequently, causing your utility bill to shoot skyward. All of a sudden you start looking for ways to save, and not all of them have the desired effect.
Myth #1: Close vents and registers
If you’re not using a room, close the vents and registers to control the heat supply. Makes sense in theory; why heat a back guest bedroom if nobody is in there. But new homes have forced air heating systems, which are designed to balance pressure to equally distribute heat throughout the home. By closing off vents and registers, you throw the balance off. This causes the heating system to work harder than is required, and can cause it to run more than is necessary, or even damage some of the internal workings of the system.
Myth #2: Raising and lowering the thermostat to keep you comfortable
Have you ever fallen into the trap of raising the thermostat to 80 when you’re cold, then dropping it back down to the mid-60s when you’re warm, only to repeat it all over again as your temperature changes? Your heating system delivers a constant supply of air no matter how high the thermostat is set. If you turn it to 80 too quickly warm the house, it runs at the same rate until it reaches the desired temperature.
Myth #3: Drafts are part of winter
Have you ever walked by a door and felt a cool breeze? Are your floors cold? Do you have ice or moisture forming on your windows? That isn’t a sign of winter. It’s a sign your home isn’t properly insulated. With today’s technology, a home can have a tight envelope, keeping the heat in and the cold out. If you feel a cool breeze or if you notice your floors are cold, it’s time to seal your home to reduce the drafts.
Myth #4: Adjusting your thermostat down while you’re away will do little to your utility bill
The warmer you keep your home, the more energy you use, the more money you’ll spend on your utility bill. Why heat your home if no one will be there for several hours? That’s why a smart thermostat can help save you money. Adjust the temperature by several degrees when you walk out of your home for the day. Turn it down at night when you’re tucked underneath the covers. The savings can be significant.
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