Home Heating Myth Busting

Separating myths from facts about home heating and energy efficiency in the winter months.

Everyone wants to save money on electricity this winter. After all, we know there has to be a cheaper option out there, right? There are definitely some great ways to reduce your winter fuel and electricity costs, but in the quest to find the cheaper option, don’t be fooled by some common home heating myths which range from just plain useless to 100% counterproductive.

Here are some pretty white lies to avoid when heating your home this winter:

“Crank up Your Thermostat. It’ll warm Your House up Faster!!”

If you’re stuck shivering on the couch because it’s cold in your house, you might have been told and thus tempted to turn the thermostat wwwaaayyy up in an attempt to get it to your preferred temperature faster. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way it works. If you want the home heated to 69 degrees, it will get there just as quickly by setting the thermostat to 69 as it will if you bump it up significantly higher. What’s worse? Once the house hits your desired level of warmth, the temperature is going to continue climbing if you don’t adjust the thermostat again, and you’ll be paying more hard-earned money for heat you don’t want or really need in your home. 

“Darling, I Swear. A wood-burning fireplace is your ticket to Wealth.”

We all love the idea of sitting around a warm cozy fire in the evening, but don’t be fooled by the daydream. It’s not actually going to warm your home no matter how much the idea warms your heart. A traditional fireplace set back in the wall won’t do much heating wise, and can actually help send your coveted hot air straight up the chimney! It is possible to get a good value from a freestanding wood stove if it’s a closed version designed for efficiency and not looks specifically. It’s also going to help if you have a source for cheap and free wood, the deal will get even better.

“You can save big bucks with a Space Heater!”

You’ve probably heard a time or two about how you can save a significant amount of money running space heaters and turning your furnace down, but space heaters aren’t nearly as efficient as your furnace or boiler. What’s more, if your furnace runs on gas, it’s going to be a lot cheaper to fuel than an electric space heater. There are certain and rare circumstances in which you can save some money by using a space heater. This would include if you only need to heat a couple to a few rooms and can turn the thermostat down in the rest of the house. But as a general rule, you’re better off sticking with keeping your furnace on. Sorry to disappoint! 

Winterizing My Home is SO Expensive!”

Maybe when you think of winterizing your home you see a massive repair bill. It’s true. Doing things like installing new windows or beefing up your insulation can and probably will get expensive pretty fast. But the good news is that you can still increase your energy efficiency without breaking the bank. Using weather stripping and plastic to seal leaks in and around your doors and windows is an inexpensive way to cut your bills down, and a small investment in caulk to plug any holes around your roof line can make a big difference. There are some other minor things you can do too, like getting heavy curtains for your windows or investing in some warm pillows and blankets for the couch. The best part? You won’t empty your wallet making these kinds of upgrades!

In the end, keeping warm this winter while saving money doesn’t have to be expensive or even difficult. You hold the power in your hands, now. Make it happen and spread the word about all of these home heating myths.