Central heating describes the process of providing warmth to all or parts of the inside of a building through a single heat source located in one place. In many cases, for example with large offices and public buildings, the central heating system is part of a larger and more comprehensiveHeating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. Such HVAC systems are used to control not just temperature, but the actual internal climate of the building. Indeed, some buildings have automatic systems to control light levels too. Venetian blinds located inside sealed double glazing systems will automatically open and close throughout the day to adjust the amount of light coming in through the windows.
Home Heating Myths
Just as important as hard facts, and often more practical, understanding the difference between a common heating myth and a truth can save you tons of trouble.
- Setting the thermostat high heats the home faster. Definitely a myth! When you set the thermostat higher the system will just operate as normal. All this will do is increase your chances of wasting fuel or energy.
- Space heaters can help save energy costs. While a space heater provides a decent solution if your heating unit goes down, they’re actually very inefficient. Even the ones that are on the low end of the energy spectrum eat up 700 watts, and stronger units can use as much as 2,000. That’s as much as the furnace itself!
- Closing vents will benefit you. It will do the exact opposite. Heating systems are designed to heat your home, and because of this they’re sized to meet specific heating loads. When this is messed with it can cause air pressure problems and can restrict air flow, causing the furnace to work harder and cost more to operate.
- Keeping an even temperature is better than adjusting all the time. Not true! While the principle of staying steady might work with the cruise control on your vehicle on a flat highway, a home heating system isn’t the same. You can actually save a fair bit of cash by adjusting the unit down in the evenings or while you’re away on vacation.
Home Heating Statistics
We rely on our heating systems on a daily basis when the weather gets like to be very cold. But how much, would you say, do you actually know about your home heating system? If you’re like most the answer is probably not much!
- Heating your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home, typically making up about 42% of your utility bill. This is why we place such an importance on tune-ups and purchasing energy-efficient heating equipment!
- The vast majority of home heating systems are gas heating—almost half. The next highest is electricity at around 34%. Electricity is a great choice because of the low initial purchase and installation of the unit, but gas pulls ahead in sheer power and efficiency, making it the preferred choice.
- According to Department of Energy studies each degree you lower your thermostat can save you between 3-5% on your monthly bills. Even small savings add up, so be sure to keep an eye on this. Think of it the same way you do about shutting off lights when you’re not in the room!