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Heating, Cooling & Energy Efficiency Common Myths 6 - 10

Posted by Michael Kamps on Wed, Nov 06, 2013 @ 02:18 PM

Let's Continue With Common Myths About Heating, Cooling and Energy Efficiency!

In the Internet Age, there's plenty of information out there on the topic of energy efficiency alone.  Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell which ones are factual; based on solid building science. At H&H Plumbing & Heating, we continue to make an investment in providing credible information that helps homeowners like you become an educated buyer so you can make the best buying decision.

So let's continue working through our list of the most common. So let's see if we can set the record straight. Here are the facts on numbers 6 - 10 of the most common home energy myths and fallacies. (This information is supported by TOP building scientists):

CommonEEMyths6"A Dehumidifier Is The Best Solution For Damp And Musty Basements."

Fact. It’s alarming when you can smell that musty basement smell on the first floor. Even the basement should not smell that way. First you need to identify moisture sources and recommend ways to reduce moisture in your home — check the bottoms of exterior walls for signs of mildew or mold, and manage the water at its source. Work on improving exterior drainage, putting vapor barriers over damp walls and floors, and dehumidifying, among other things.

CommonEEMyths7"A Humidifier Is The Best Way To Keep Your Home Comfortable During A Dry Winter."

Fact. Air leakage is the most common cause of excessive dryness. When cold air enters the house and is heated, the relative humidity is significantly reduced. Air sealing can help keep your home at a comfortable humidity level, without the need for a humidifier.

CommonEEMyths8"Making Your House 'Too' Airtight Is Dangerous; Houses Have To Breathe."

Fact. While houses do need fresh air, most homes have more air leaks than necessary. Even worse, incoming air usually enters homes through basements, garages and crawl spaces, which can compromise air quality. Controlling the flow of air in your home can save energy and improve air quality.
The true secret to optimum energy efficiency is to make the structure as airtight as possible while keeping the air quality very pure," says Richard Rue, CEO of EnergyWise Structures, McKinney, TX.

CommonEEMyths9"R-Value Is The Best Measurement Of How Energy Efficient Your Walls And Ceilings Are; Or How Well Your Home Is Insulated."     

People think I've got to have R19 in the wall and R38 in the ceiling. It's more important to have it installed correctly. If you have cracks, air leaks and drafts anywhere in your house, the cold air will seep in no matter how much insulation you have. Air sealing is the most important thing you can do to plug these holes and gaps and keep the chill from creeping in. A few more rolls of R13 fiberglass insulation in your attic probably won't do what you hope for. You see R-Value ratings work great in the laboratory, not so good in real life. "If air can go through it you have an effective R-Value of ZERO!"

CommonEEMyths10"Closing Off Vents And Registers Will Reduce Your Heating Bill."

False. If you have a modern forced air heating system, the pressure load is balanced throughout the house. Blocking the vent will impact how the system inhales and exhales air; it can throw the system out of balance, causing it to have to work harder or possibly break down. Also the most energy efficient practice you can do is to have heat evenly distributed throughout the house. Blocking vents in certain rooms will make those rooms colder. Because heat moves from greater concentrations to lesser concentrations, these colder rooms will draw heat from other rooms in the house, making the whole house feel colder and causing you to raise the thermostat.     

We hope this helps you achieve what every homeowner wants, a Home That Performs'. If you'd like fill out our online comfort consultation survey.

Tags: Common Myths, Building Science, Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency Tips