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Around the house

As temperatures dip down, heating bills go up. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, home heating accounts for about 31 percent of the average utility bill. How much do you know about saving money while keeping your home warm?

Here are some common myths about cutting home heating costs, with answers from the experts at, a home resource website.

• Myth: I should set my thermostat to 68 degrees because it's the most energy-efficient temperature.

Fact: Setting a constant temperature is not the most energy-efficient approach. Instead, install a programmable thermostat that allows for multiple temperature settings throughout the day. It's more efficient – and more comfortable.

• Myth: Closing vents in my home will conserve energy.

Fact: Closing vents in unused rooms can help prevent unnecessarily heating those areas, but closing too many vents can cause the system to run less efficiently. Experts advise not closing more than 10 percent of your home's vents to keep your heating system running smoothly.

• Myth: Setting your thermostat to the maximum temperature is the fastest way to heat the home.

Fact: The length of time the furnace runs is the biggest factor in the final indoor temperature – not how high you turn up the thermostat.

• Myth: Using a fireplace is an energy-efficient way to heat a home.

Fact: While a fireplace will help heat a single room, most of the heat escapes up the chimney. A fire also creates a draft that draws heated air from the furnace out of the house. In addition, remember to close the damper when the fire is extinguished to keep more heated air from escaping.

• Myth: Space heaters are an efficient heating source.

Fact: Space heaters are designed to provide extra heat in very small areas, not large rooms. And be careful – they can pose a fire hazard.

– Debbie Arrington

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Posted 11:10 AM

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