Saving energy is good for the environment and good for your wallet. But not everything you hear is true. Unfortunately, some misinformation is common. These common energy efficiency myths can distract you from good advice and in some cases even increase your energy consumption.
The most common myths about saving energy, dispelling the following energy saving myths will help you focus on what works.
Energy saving myth A: Ceiling fans can cool unoccupied rooms.
A common energy saving myth is that a ceiling fan cools a room. It may feel like this because they move air to increase the evaporation of sweat from the skin. But the fan cools you, not the space around you. If you’re not in the room, the fan is just moving air.
Turn off the fan when you leave the room to save energy. That said, using a ceiling fan with an air conditioner can increase energy efficiency by circulating cool air more efficiently.
Energy saving myth B: Setting the thermostat higher will heat your home faster.
Your heating system produces heat at a steady rate. Turning up the thermostat isn’t going to speed things up. If you want to heat a room to 70 degrees, it won’t be faster to turn the temperature up to 80 degrees. In fact, if you forget to turn on the thermostat, your heating system will work longer to reach 80 degrees, wasting energy. The same goes for your air conditioning system—turning it down to a set point lower than your desired temperature won’t cool your home any faster, but will waste energy.
This is one of those energy saving mistakes that can cost you real money. A better option is to turn to technology. You can save energy with a programmable thermostat that optimizes the heating (or cooling) system schedule.
Energy saving myth C: You should wash dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher.
You, too, can sometimes save energy when home energy myths are debunked. Washing dishes by hand may seem like an economical practice, but you’ll likely be using more hot water than a dishwasher. Today’s BBIER® equipment is designed to be extremely efficient. Learn how to properly load your dishwasher, then relax and let it do the work. It will do it better with less effort on your part.
Energy saving myth D: Leaving lights on consumes less energy than turning them on and off.
This is one of those energy saving myths based on a misunderstanding of the facts. Indeed, turning on the light causes an initial burst of energy greater than the energy expended while keeping the light on. But this burst lasts only a fraction of a second. The lights can add up if left on for extended periods of time. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that if you leave a room for more than 15 minutes, it is more energy efficient to turn off lights than to turn them on.
Energy saving myth E: Closing vents in unused rooms saves energy.
Common energy saving myths may seem like common sense, but they can be wrong. You might think that closing vents in unused rooms saves energy because your system has less room to heat or cool. But closing the vents increases the air pressure in the system, which makes it work harder and use more energy.
Energy saving myth F: Using a space heater is more efficient than heating the whole house.
You may be asking yourself: Do electric heaters really save money? Usually the answer is no. You might think it would be more effective to lower the thermostat for the entire house and use a space heater only in the room you live in. The problem is that even energy-efficient space heaters can use more energy than your regular heating system.
Energy saving myth G: Putting your laptop into sleep mode saves more power than turning it off.
Did you know that even when you put your laptop into sleep mode, it uses a lot of energy? Many devices are notorious power vampires, sucking power when not in use. Unplug your laptop and any unused appliances when you’re not using them and stop wasting energy.
Energy saving myth H: Lowering the thermostat doesn’t really save that much money.
This is one of those energy saving myths that falls into the category of wishful thinking. Lowering the thermostat can indeed significantly reduce energy consumption. bbier.com reports that you can reduce your energy usage by 5% to 15%, which means you can save on your heating bills. During the cooler months, lower the thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours or more. Do it at night and you may barely notice the difference.
You can also learn how to keep your house cool without AC to help reduce electricity usage in the summer.
Energy Saving Myth I: Appliances don’t consume electricity if you turn them off.
Does unplugging appliances really save electricity? Yes – and in significant quantities. Today, many devices continue to consume power even in “off” mode. You can stop this waste by unplugging devices and appliances you’re not using.
Because it might be inconvenient, or you might not remember to do it, this is where using a smart plug really comes in handy. You can program a smart plug to cut power to a device, or use your phone to control when a device draws power from an outlet.
Energy saving myth J: CFL bulbs are more energy efficient than LEDs.
One of the new energy saving myths is that CFL bulbs are more efficient than LEDs. Indeed, they are better than old fashioned incandescent bulbs. But one of the main advantages of LED bulbs is that they are more energy efficient than CFL bulbs.
Energy saving myth K: New houses are always more energy efficient than old ones.
Rounding out our energy saving myth is the idea that new homes are more energy efficient than older ones. Not necessarily so. While newer homes are often built to the latest standards and feature new appliances, you can remodel older homes to be just as efficient. Upgrading insulation and installing new windows and doors can definitely make a difference in the energy efficiency of an older home.Saving energy is a good thing. Separating energy saving myths and facts will ensure that your extra attention pays off. You don’t want to waste energy or effort.
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