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Don’t Believe These Winter Heating Myths

Knowing the truth about how to make the most of your furnace will keep you warm, save energy, and avoid the panic attack of high-power bills over the winter months.

Myth: I don’t need to have my furnace inspected every year. Saving a few dollars by skipping the annual inspection may seem like a good idea at the time. However, almost three-quarters of fall and winter service calls are initiated by preventable problems that would have been noticed during a regular maintenance visit. Proactive, not reactive, is the name of the game!

Myth: Setting the thermostat HIGH will heat your house faster. Furnaces work at the same rate regardless of where the thermostat is set. A higher setting will simply ask the furnace to work longer and make your house warmer than you possibly intend, especially if you neglect to turn the setting back down. Keeping the thermostat at a consistent temperature is more energy efficient than cranking it down at night and back up again in the morning. Choose a moderate setting and stick with it! Wear socks and a sweatshirt during the day and use a lighter comforter at night to help you resist the urge to play the thermostat game.

That being said, Myth: Adjusting the thermostat will raise heating bills. Not necessarily – slight differences of 2-4 degrees can help you be more comfortable without dramatically impacting your energy usage. Invest in a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature for you. 68˚ F when you are home and 65˚ F when you are away should do the trick.

Myth: Closing vents in rooms you don’t use will save money. Your modern forced air heating system was installed so that the pressure load is balanced throughout the house. Closing vents and registers impacts how the system functions and can cause an imbalance which can make the system have to work harder or even break down. If you have concerns about airflow in parts of your home, contact your HVAC contractor to have them take a look at the situation.

Myth: Window insulation doesn’t make that big of a difference. You can put your hand on a single-pane winter in the middle of January and FEEL the cold coming in. Truly, just stand next to the window and you’ll feel the temperature difference from there compared to a spot further into the room. The best solution is to upgrade to double or triple pane windows. If your budget won’t allow for replacement, install a low-emissivity film, blinds, or heavy drapes to help keep the cold out.

Myth: Having an energy efficient furnace installed will automatically reduce my heating bill. Only if the system was properly sized and installed. This myth emphasizes the importance of working with a trusted and experienced HVAC contractor who takes the time to provide you with the best equipment and service possible.

Myth: I can save money by fixing my old furnace AGAIN. No matter how well you take care of your HVAC system it will, at some time, age to the point that fixing it is no longer an option. A system that has lasted over twenty years is fatigued. The sustained wear and tear can increase the chance of carbon monoxide emissions, posing a danger to your family. Another myth that brings to light the importance of contracting with a trusted HVAC professional for regular maintenance and inspections to ensure you have the best advice you can get in regards to making decisions about your furnace.

Okay, you’ve decided to replace your furnace, Myth: the bigger the heating system, the better. If a furnace isn’t the correct size for your house, it can cause damage to the system (too small) or uneven heating and ridiculous energy bills (too large). Again, time for a trusted HVAC contractor. He or she will fully examine your current system and ductwork and test to determine the proper size system for your home.

Don’t be fooled by heating myths. Trust the expertise and experience of the professionals at GVs Heating and Cooling to help you with all of your HVAC needs. We’ve been trusted by the families in Chicago’s North Shore area for almost 30 years and have proven time and again that we will provide you, the customer with quick, courteous, and top-notch service every time. Whether it’s an annual check-up, consultation for a new system, or anything in between, contact us today!