Advice about saving money on home heating costs abounds this time of year, but some of it is oversimplified, marketing hype or just plain wrong, while some long-standing myths persist.
For example, programmable thermostats are not the holy grail of home heating, cranking up the furnace does nothing to heat a chilly house faster, and fireplaces used as heating sources suck paid-for warm air up the chimney.
Duct tape? Not good for sealing ducts.
To truth-test heating advice, we sought help from Max Sherman, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory overseeing research for residential energy efficiency. Besides being a serious scientist, he gained notoriety in the late 1990s as Dr. Duct Tape for discovering that the gray-backed sticky tape “failed reliably and often catastrophically” when used for sealing ducts. “It will get old and fall off after a year or so of heating cycles,” Sherman said. “Plenty of tapes are good for sealing, but standard duct tape isn’t one of them.”
Here are a few other home-heating myths.
If you enjoy the sound, smell and ambience of a wood fireplace, go for it. Just don’t think you’re helping your wallet.
“A fireplace is a particularly bad way of heating your home,” Sherman said.
First, there’s paying for firewood. Then you feed the fire’s appetite for oxygen with your paid-for heated indoor air, which it shoots up the chimney.
A possible exception is if you want to turn down the heat in the rest of the house and close off and heat only one room — the one that includes the fireplace. Or, as Sherman notes, it might be a net benefit if the fireplace has sealed glass doors and “you’ve gone through the trouble of essentially turning it into a sealed wood stove … then you no longer have the nice, cheery fire you probably had in mind when you said, ‘Let’s use the fireplace.’ ”
read more: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/dec/06/tp-common-heating-myths-that-can-raise-energy/
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