The Myths and Facts About Your Furnace in Winter

Facts and myths

Even though autumn just started, it feels like winter is right around the corner here at Air Treatment ClimateCare.

Over the years,  the same winter furnace myths keep coming back to haunt us:

  • Close vents to save energy
  • Crank the furnace up high to heat your home faster
  • Leave the thermostat at a single temperature
  • Cold floors are common in winter

So for this blog, we play Mythbusters as we look at the myths behind your furnace in winter and the actual facts.

The myth: Closing vents/registers in empty rooms save energy

The fact: It actually forces your furnace to work harder

Your forced-air home heating system is equipped with sensors that monitor and adjust the heat pressure levels each room receives.

When vents and registers are open, heat flows evenly throughout your house.

However, any closed vents or registers impact how heat is distributed.

Your furnace needs to work harder to equalize the pressure in each room (which doesn’t save energy or money).

  • If you want to save power…keep vents and registers open and remove any blockages (i.e. chairs, rugs, books, tables, etc.).

Turn up the temperatureThe myth: Turn up the temperature to heat your home fast

The fact: Furnaces heat spaces at a consistent rate

It’s cold and you want to get toasty warm ASAP.

So you do what a lot of Toronto and North York homeowners do: turn up the temperature and wait for your house to heat up.

In reality, cranking up the heat doesn’t accomplish much.

A furnace that’s working properly heats up the rooms in your home at the same rate. It’s not about how hot it gets, but rather how fast the temperature rises.

Setting the temperature higher warms up your home; but no faster than if you turned up your furnace by a degree or two.

  • If you want to heat your home smartly…don’t turn off the furnace, because turning it back on wastes energy. Keep the temperature a few degrees cooler than you think and your home will be consistently warm. Or, adding a humidifier to your furnace makes the house feel warmer without actually raising the temperature.

Dollar thermometerThe myth: Playing with the thermostat costs money

The fact: Only if you adjust the temperature wildly

Some homeowners believe lowering the temperature when the house is empty makes the furnace work harder when it’s time to warm up again.

As mentioned in the previous myth, that’s not really the case.

Now, if you immediately raise the temperature 5°F, you will cause your furnace to work harder.

After all, more energy is required to heat up a cold room than a slightly cool one.

So yes; feel free to adjust your thermostat as you see fit; just don’t go from crazy cold to crazy warm in an instant.

  • If you want to properly adjust the temperature…keep the thermostat around 68°F when you’re home and 65°F when you’re not. A programmable thermostat can help you with that.

The myth: Cold floors and winter go hand-in-hand

The fact: That shouldn’t be the case

You’re walking barefoot in your home.

When you step into the kitchen or bathroom, you let out a yelp because the floors are so incredibly cold.

Although it seems like cold floors are just part of winter, that’s not necessarily true.

Exceptionally cold floors indicate that your house isn’t properly insulated. Homes should keep warm air in and cold air out during the winter.

  • If you want to warm up your floors…look for air leak around windows, doors and your duct work. If you feel any cold air coming in where it shouldn’t, you know those areas need to be sealed.

Furnace care

Let us get your furnace ready for winter

Yes, it can get quite cold in Toronto during winter.

However, that doesn’t mean you should:

  • Spend a fortune on home heating.
  • Worry about your thermostat.
  • Crank up the temperature.
  • Deal with cold floors.

This winter, save energy on your furnace (and keep more money where it belongs: in your pocket).

To start, contact us today to book furnace maintenance. We’ll make sure your furnace is ready for whatever Old Man Winter can throw at it.

Contact ClimateCare