Fall 2012 Newsletter Volume 4 Number 2
Fall Comfort Myths
Myth #1: Turning your thermostat way up will heat up your house faster.
Furnaces will deliver heat at the same rate no matter what you set your thermostat at. If you set it at your desired set point, it will reach that point just as quickly as if you set it higher.
Myth #2: Closing off vents and registers will reduce your heating bill.
If you have a modern forced air heating system, the pressure load is balanced throughout the house. Blocking off vents will impact how the system operates; it can throw the system out of balance, causing it to have to work harder or possibly break down. Your furnace needs to move a certain amount of air to operate properly.
Myth #3: Fiberglass insulation keeps cold air out of your home.
Fiberglass insulation actually does a better job of keeping warm air in your home than it does keeping cold air out. You are better off air sealing any gaps, cracks or holes with a caulk or spray expansion foam.
Myth #4: You’re better off getting a larger furnace because it will heat up the house faster.
Over-sizing a furnace will cause it to short cycle on and off frequently which can lead to increased operating cost and reduced comfort. You can experience drafts from the over-sized furnace turning off and on. You also might see more service calls as it can be hard on the equipment to turn off and on repeatedly.
Myth #5: Duct tape is good for sealing ducts.
Despite its name, duct tape does a pretty lousy job of sealing ducts. The tape tends to fall off due to dusty conditions and the adhesive eventually dries out. You are much better off using a mastic sealant.
Myth #6: Electric heating is more efficient than fuel-based heating.
It is true that all of the electricity (or most) that goes into an electric heater is transformed into useful heat. However, making electricity is an inefficient process, with as much as two-thirds of the input energy being lost in the process. This is why electricity is so much more expensive for the consumer than direct fuels. Here is the approximant cost per one million BTU’s of heat:
Natural Gas (@ 92%) = $9.78
LP (@ 92%) = $23.16
Electric (@ 100%) = $35.74
Controlling Your Comfort
Thermostats and controls have come a long way in the past 10 years. From your basic round analog model to the new digital remotely controlled features that allow you to control much more than a set temperature.
New thermostats, such as the Bryant Evolution Control (pictured below), allow you to control temperature, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air cleaners and more; versus having a separate control for each unit. They also hook up to a remote outdoor air sensor, that displays outdoor temperatures and humidity levels, and communicates with your heating and cooling system to control run cycles.
The latest craze among controls is the ability to remotely control your settings. With today’s busy world, consumers are looking for ways to keep an eye on their home while they are out of town or on the run. These smart controls have Wi-Fi which connects to a manufacturer portal and allows you to view and change your HVAC settings, view and control temperature and humidity levels, and receive alerts if something goes wrong while you are away. Being able to remotely control your settings is especially nice for those that travel a lot for work and/or pleasure.
If you’re looking to upgrade your thermostat, just know that there are a lot of options out there and Pharo Heating & Cooling can find the perfect fit for you!