Saving Energy Myths and What Should Be Done Instead

Saving Energy Myths and What Should Be Done InsteadSome time-honored notions about saving energy just don’t stand up to the science. Folklore often sounds simpler than facts and, in many cases, actually seems to make sense. However, with advanced technology that accurately measures heat gain and heat loss, today we know much more about what’s actually effective versus what seems like it ought to be. Here are a few common money-wasting misconceptions about saving energy, along with the proven facts:

  • Keeping the furnace thermostat set at normal temperature when you’re not home saves energy. Actually, bumping the thermostat down 10 degrees when you leave means the furnace runs fewer and shorter cycles. This saves substantially more energy over an extended span—even though, yes, you have to warm the house up again.
  • A fireplace is an efficient home heating method. The amount of heat lost up the chimney makes wood-burning very inefficient. Unless you’re finding and cutting it yourself, firewood is also expensive relative to the amount of usable heat provided.
  • Duct tape is effective for sealing furnace ductwork joints. Even though it’s called duct tape, it degrades rapidly and leaks expensive heated air out of joints. The proper method for sealing ductwork is application of mastic sealant, then covering the joint with aluminum foil-backed tape.
  • For fast home heating, set the thermostat way up high. A furnace generates a consistent amount of heat whether you set the thermostat to the normal comfortable temperature or crank it up far beyond that.
  • Closing furnace registers in empty rooms diverts heat to occupied rooms. Closing registers in certain rooms unbalances airflow throughout the house, increases air pressure inside the ducts and often leads to excessive duct leakage, wasting energy and money.
  • Installing high-efficiency windows saves money. Yes, but high-efficiency windows are expensive and the break-even point from energy savings may take decades. What’s not expensive and pays for itself very quickly? Use caulking and weatherstripping to seal cracks and gaps around your existing windows and doors.

Since 1922, Paitson Bros. has been helping our customers save energy and optimize comfort in their homes. Contact us today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about saving energy and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ribah/Shutterstock”

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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