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Heating, Cooling & Energy Efficiency Common Myths 11 - 14

Posted by Michael Kamps on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 @ 02:19 PM

Achieving Energy Efficiency And Comfort Begins With The Right Information.

Let's continue with our discussion about the facts on some of the most common home energy myths and fallacies. (This information is supported by TOP building scientists): Here are numbers 11 - 14:

CommonEEMyths11"Turning Up (Down) The Thermostat Will Make Your Home Get Warm (Cool) Faster."

It's tempting to think of a thermostat like a water tap, i.e. the wider you open it the more water (heat/cool) will come out. In reality, it works more like a light switch in that if it's "on" the same amount of light (heat/cool) will come out. Let's illustrate using a story everyone has experienced. Think of Thanksgiving dinner with a bunch of people in a home, what happens is it can get pretty hot with the cooking and all the people in the home. So someone decides to solve the problem and turns down the thermostat to compensate for the heat. That's not going to work; you'd be better off opening the door and letting in the colder outside air. It made me think how many people think that's how a thermostat works.

CommonEEMyths12"The Higher You Set Your Thermostat, The Faster Your Furnace Will Heat Up Your House."

False. Furnaces deliver heat at the same rate no matter how high the thermostat is set. If you set your thermostat at the desired temperature, it will reach that point just as quickly as if you set it higher. And since you’ll probably end up having to move the temperature down a few degrees anyway, you’ll probably wind up using more energy than you intended in the long run. The same applies to air conditioning. Setting your A/C at full-blast will not make it reach a comfortable temperature any faster. It’s just going to make the room colder and make your system work harder.

CommonEEMyths13"The Best Way To Solve Ice Dams Is To Call A Roofer."

Fact. Ice dams aren’t a roofing problem. Ice dams form when attics are unintentionally heated by air leaks and/or insufficient insulation. This causes snow on the roof to melt, and freeze on the eaves, creating ice dams. You can reduce the risk of ice dams by sealing attic air leaks and adding insulation.

CommonEEMyths14"The Shorter My HVAC System Runs The More I'll Save On My Energy Bill."

Facts: HVAC Systems use more energy in the first three to five minutes of start-up time than in the next 25 minutes of continuous running. In the heat of the summer, if your A/C system  is turning on and off four to five times per hour, it’s not operating efficiently. Instead, the system should run continuously for 40 to 50 minutes out of every hour to maintain consistent room temperatures and achieve more comfortable humidity levels. Running for longer periods of time allows the HVAC to remove the excess humidity that is put into the home. If this occurs with your furnace, you end up drying out your house to the point that interior caulking will actually crack and peel.

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Tags: Myths, Energy Efficiency Tips, Thermostats