It’s time for Mythbusters: CUB Edition.
As temperatures drop, make sure you’re not falling victim to these home heating myths. Learn how to heat your home efficiently and economically this winter.
1. MYTH: The higher you set your thermostat, the faster it will heat your home.
FACT: After coming in shivering from the cold, it can be tempting to set the thermostat as high as possible. But cranking that dial won’t do anything for your warmth. Your home will heat just as quickly if you set it to the desired temperature. (Perhaps make a cup of tea while you wait?)
Source: Chicago Tribune
2. MYTH: Insulation alone keeps cold air out of your home.
FACT: While insulating your home is vital, insulation actually does a better job at keeping heat in than keeping cold air out. Those cool winds can still seep into your home via cracks and leaks near doors and windows. Seal these gaps to reduce the energy needed to heat your home.
Source: Horizon Services
3. MYTH: Electric space heaters and fireplaces can lower your energy bill.
FACT: Electricity generally costs more than natural gas, so running a space heater for prolonged periods of time could actually increase your bill. And that crackling fireplace? Yep, we know it’s beautiful, but it can suck a lot of warm air up the chimney and out your house. So when you’re done using it, make sure to close the damper. (Always make sure the fire is completely out, though, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning!)
4. MYTH: Replacing windows will save you big money.
FACT: Many think that replacing windows with energy-efficient options is the best way to save energy in your home. However, window replacements are so expensive, it could be decades before you break even on savings. You’re much better off simply sealing cracks and leaks around your windows to save on winter heating bills.
Source: Chicago Tribune
5. MYTH: You have to buy expensive materials to insulate your home.
FACT: There are many easy and cost-effective insulating steps you can take to keep your home warm without breaking the bank. For example, just as you would use heavier blankets on your bed in the winter, use thicker-material drapes to keep in warmth. Also, if you can, open your blinds during the day so that sunlight can help heat your home. Finally, while it can be an up-front cost to properly seal your windows and doors, the investment will pay off when you see your lower heating bill.
★ BONUS MYTH: Leaving lights, appliances and computers on uses less energy than turning them off and on.
FACT: The small surge of power used when you turn electronics on and off is nothing compared to the energy needed to keep them running all day. When in doubt, turn it off!
Source: Berkeley Lab
Heard any of these before? Have your own myths to debunk? Take CUB’s survey.