5 Common Heating System Myths

As a homeowner, you’ve probably heard a variety of so-called “facts” about your heating system — ideas that will help you save money and keep your unit running far beyond its anticipated useable life. Many of these notions, however, aren’t true — and they may be causing more harm than good to the heating system you depend on for warmth and comfort.

Myth #1: If I turn the furnace off when I leave home, I’ll save a lot of money!

Turning the furnace off completely isn’t going to save money. In fact, it’s likely going to cost you even more on your energy bills if this is a habit you find yourself getting into every day.

The truth is that when you turn off the furnace, the temperature inside your home will quickly drop (especially if it’s below freezing outside). When your family gets home, you’re going to want to crank the temperature on the thermostat back up so you can get warm fast. The furnace will have to cycle back on and warm your home’s internal temperature back up to where it needs to be, and this could be by 15+ degrees, depending on how long the unit has been off. This uses a lot of energy, and it can also cause a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on your system.

Myth #2: My home feels chilly in some rooms, so I’m just going to use a space heater to stay warm.

Space heaters can be dangerous, especially if you are using them to heat a bedroom. Many people turn them on for extra warmth at night, but then they fall asleep and leave the devices turned on. Space heaters can become extremely warm, particularly if they’ve been running for a while. This can pose a fire hazard, especially if curtains, blankets, rugs, etc. come in contact with the heater. Also, children and pets who accidentally touch the heater can sustain serious burns.

The furnace installed in your home should be able to keep all rooms and levels consistently warm and toasty. If you’ve noticed that there are certain spots that feel much colder than normal, this could indicate an issue with your heating system that may ultimately lead to an expensive and untimely breakdown. If your furnace isn’t working correctly, contact an HVAC professional to look into the problem.

Myth #3: My furnace is running just fine. I don’t need to schedule maintenance this year.

It’s important for you to schedule an annual tune-up appointment for your heating system. During this maintenance check, the professional and experienced technician in your home will carefully inspect and clean the unit to be sure things keep running efficiently. Potential problems may be caught during a tune-up, and hopefully can be fixed before getting worse — and causing the unit to experience an unexpected breakdown during the season’s bitter cold.

Furnace maintenance appointments are essential in keeping your unit running as well as it can for many years, but you may be concerned about finding a service provider in your area to trust with this yearly task. Fortunately, Oncourse Home Solutions offers an affordable Heating Maintenance Plan for homeowners. When you’re enrolled in this plan, you are entitled to one annual maintenance appointment for your heating system — performed by an experienced technician who is part of our service provider network. That professional will also be able to address any questions or concerns you may have regarding your heating system.

Myth #4: I can just wait until the furnace stops working before I think about replacement.

If your furnace is 10-15 years old, it’s time to start thinking about having a replacement unit installed. Once a furnace reaches a certain age, it becomes inefficient. This could lead to an uncomfortable home and higher energy bills. Start budgeting for a replacement as far ahead of time as you can — just in case your aging unit decides to break down unexpectedly in the middle of winter. There are many replacement options available, regardless of whether you need a natural gas or electric-powered unit. A heating professional will be able to help you choose the best new system for your home, based on your home’s size and your spending budget. He or she will be sure you choose a replacement with a high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the unit will be at keeping your home warm and toasty.

Myth #5: The bigger the furnace, the better!

If you choose a replacement furnace that’s too big for your home, it will generate more heat than necessary. This can trigger your thermostat to keep telling the furnace to shut off and, in turn, this can lead to premature wear and tear on your system — and expensive, unexpected breakdowns.

It’s best to work with a heating professional when you need a replacement heating system. He or she will help you choose a new unit that is the right size for your family’s specific heating needs.

Keep your heating system protected!

At Oncourse Home Solutions, we can provide you with affordable Heating Maintenance and Heating Repair plans to help your family get the most out of your heating system by keeping it running efficiently all season long.