Heating myths may or may not come with a bit of truth, but before you make serious heating decisions in your home, make sure you're aware of all the facts.

MYTH: Switching to electric room heaters will reduce your energy bill.

TRUTH: This is true only under some circumstances. If you have central electric heating, using individual room heaters may save you money, if you just run the heater in the room that you occupy. But if you have central gas heating (which is typically cheaper per unit of useful heat), you can easily match or even exceed your heating bill by switching to electrical units.

MYTH: Electric heating is more efficient than fuel-based heating.

TRUTH: It's true that all, or almost all, of the electricity that goes into an electric heater is transformed to useful heat in your home. However, making electricity is an inefficient process, with as much as two-thirds of the input energy (coal, natural gas, and so on) being lost in the process. This is why electricity is typically so much more expensive for the consumer than direct fuels. Don’t forget, though, that combustion appliances in the home must be installed and vented properly and must always have a continuous, reliable source of makeup air.

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