5 Energy-Saving Myths Debunked
Relying on an energy-saving myth may cost you money and comfort this winter. All too often, home energy conservation decisions are based on outdated, debunked folklore that was once accepted as common knowledge. New technology proves that some longstanding beliefs about energy conservation are actually closer to fables than actual scientific fact. See if you recognize a familiar energy-saving myth from the list of five below.
- Keep the furnace thermostat at normal comfort setting all the time, even while the home is unoccupied. People used to believe more energy was wasted warming up a cold house than by leaving the furnace at a normal setting 24/7. Turns out, it’s not true. Bumping the thermostat down 8 to 10 degrees while the home’s unoccupied for several hours saves more money than keeping the setting at its usual temperature.
- A wood-burning fireplace saves money and heats efficiently. Are you gathering and chopping your own firewood? If not, purchasing commercial firewood is a costly way to buy BTUs of heat. Also, most heat produced by a fireplace goes straight up the chimney.
- The higher you set the thermostat, the faster the home warms up. Actually, the furnace generates consistent heat whether the thermostat is set at the typical temperature—or cranked all the way up. Be patient. Higher thermostat settings lead to energy waste and a too-hot house.
- To better distribute heat, close heating vents in unused rooms. A forced-air furnace and duct system is designed to convey a balanced amount of heated airflow into and out of every room. Closing heating vents in some rooms throws the system out of balance and may make heating throughout the house inconsistent. It also tends to increase air leakage from ductwork.
- High-efficiency windows reduce heat loss and save money. That much is true, however, the savings may take many years to compensate for the cost of the windows. For more immediate payoff, inexpensive caulking and weatherstripping is a more cost-efficient and effective method of weatherizing doors and windows.