a woman turning up her thermostat
January 31, 2020

Everyone’s heard of clever workarounds to heat your home without breaking the bank. Maybe you have a neighbor in Tempe or Phoenix who swears by a few handy heating tricks that cost them less than keeping their furnace running all the time.

The problem is, many of the tips you’ve heard (and trust us, we’ve heard them, too) have the opposite effect: they will actually increase your monthly home heating costs over the course of an Arizona winter. Today we’re going to debunk a few of these heating myths and educate homeowners on how to avoid inadvertently paying more to stay comfortable this winter.

1. Fireplaces Are a Great Way to Heat Your Home

There’s no denying that sitting around on a fireplace on a cold day is a relaxing and quintessential winter pastime. But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that fireplaces are efficient methods of heating. Fireplaces are actually one of the most inefficient ways you can heat your home, as the majority of heat that your burning logs create is sent right up the chimney and outside before you ever benefit from it.

So feel free to enjoy the occasional cozy fireside afternoon or evening. Just don’t do it as an energy efficient alternative to an efficient central heating system. Always check if it’s a “No Burn Day” in Maricopa County before lighting a fire by visiting this page.

2. Turning Up the Thermostat Will Heat Your Home Faster

We’ve run into homeowners who believe that their HVAC thermostat can actually control the intensity or the power of their furnace, and if you crank up the temperature when you’re cold, your furnace will work harder to quickly bring their home up to the desired temperature.

In fact, the only thing a thermostat controls is when to turn your furnace on and off. A furnace runs at one speed, no matter where the thermostat is set, and odds are that if you are constantly adjusting the thermostat up and down, you’re wasting money on heat you don’t really need.

The much more energy efficient solution is to install a cutting edge smart thermostat!

3. Closing Vents In Unused Rooms Will Cut Down on Heating Costs

Many people believe that if there are rooms they rarely use in the winter, they should close the vents to those rooms so that they don’t waste any heat (or money) conditioning them.

What homeowners forget is that your home’s heating and cooling system, including the ductwork, is a very carefully designed system sized specifically to properly condition the air in your entire house and each individual room. When you close off part of that ductwork system, you increase air pressure, which will lead to more heat loss through duct leaks, which in turn dumps conditioned air into your attic space. In addition, this puts a strain on your heating system and will cause quicker wear and tear on the system. Your furnace will be forced to run for longer than it otherwise would have to deliver heat to the rest of your home, costing you more in the long run. 

4. Space Heaters Are Less Expensive to Run Than Your Furnace 

Space heaters are small, and often cheap. Plus, they don’t require fuel to run, so if you’re looking to cut down on your winter fuel bills, an easy way to combat high energy bills would be to turn the furnace down and use space heaters in the room you frequently occupy, right?

Wrong again—by relying on space heaters, you’re only going to trade one source of energy for another: electricity. Space heaters might be smaller than the average furnace, but they can use up a lot of electricity, so while you might think you’re saving energy, you’ll be in for a surprise when you get your next electric bill.

5. There’s No Such Thing as a Furnace That’s Too Big

If you’re thinking that spending a little extra on a bigger furnace upfront would save lots of money down the road, as your furnace wouldn’t need to run as often to keep your home warm, you’re mistaken.

An oversized furnace can be a real problem in a home, as they short cycle—turning on and then off again right away. Short cycling leads to inconsistent temperatures throughout your house, and more wear and tear on your system, which will lead to more frequent heating maintenance calls and a shortened lifespan for your furnace.

The best way to save money on heat with a furnace is to make sure that it’s properly sized to deliver energy efficient comfort all winter long. 

Heat Your Home Using Facts, Not Fiction, with Ideal Energy

Are you worried that you’re spending too much every winter to heat your home? Don’t grasp at straws trying to find shortcuts to energy efficiency. At Ideal Energy, we know a thing or two about how to help homeowners increase home comfort and decrease energy costs: we were awarded the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractor of the Year Award for the last two consecutive years for our industry leading heating, cooling, and home performance services.

Reduce energy costs and stay warm this winter. Call 480.839.0082 or contact us today to find out more about real home heating solutions.

Which heating tips are true, and which are myths?

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