fireplace roaring over thanksgiving

Winter is fast approaching and temperatures are now dropping—soon, it will be time to bite the bullet and turn up the heat.

Heating your home can be quite expensive, and homeowners understandably want to find any way they can to improve energy efficiency and lower utility costs. Though there are certainly some things you can do to improve energy efficiency, there are just as many myths that don’t work in practice.

Here are a few common myths about energy efficiency—and why they’re wrong:

Plastic film will help keep drafts out

We’ll call this one a half myth. Technically, it does stop some of the draft, but it comes at the expense of other window problems.

Plastic film kits can be a quick fix if you happen to be in a bind for the winter, but drafts aren’t the only thing you need to worry about when it comes to energy efficiency. Poorly-insulated windows can build up condensation. Add plastic film into the mix and you’ve essentially created a mini sauna between the film and your window. As a result, all of the moisture has nowhere to escape. Instead of just having moisture on your window, you have moisture in an enclosed space, which can rot wood and cause other issues.

Wood-burning fireplaces can lower energy costs

It may be nice to snuggle up next to a crackling wood fire in your fireplace, but these beloved wintertime staples do little to help save energy costs. (Note that wood-burning stoves can be a different story.)

When you get a fire going in your home, it’s going to look for oxygen wherever it can get it. It will pull in air from leaky spots throughout the house, and will also suck air from other rooms. While your living room might end up nice and warm, other parts of your home will cool down and your heater will have to work to make up for it. Not to mention, open fireplaces are actually quite inefficient at generating significant amounts of heat.

Thermal curtains will help keep heat in and cold air out

Both thermal and heavy curtains can be fairly deceiving. You won’t feel the draft directly from your windows once you put the curtains up. The trouble is, you won’t feel it because the cold air is actually pushing out from the bottom and moving along the floor. Once again, this can be another temporary fix when you are in a pinch, but in the end it doesn’t really do much for you in terms of saving money on your energy bill.

Don’t get caught having to suffer through the winter with leaky windows. Here at ODW, we carry an extensive line of top quality, energy efficient windows for you to choose from. Need new windows? Contact us today!

photo credit: what i did on my thanksgiving vacation via photopin (license)