Chatter about how to save money and energy persists throughout the year. Don’t make the mistake of falling for one of these energy efficiency myths. You could end up driving your bill up even more rather than cutting down on costs!
Myth 1: Energy Efficiency is the Same as Energy Conservation
Energy efficiency does not mean using less energy in your home than you already do. The goal of energy efficiency is to reduce the amount of energy required to power certain appliances. This differs from Energy Conservation because conserving energy is reducing the overall amount of energy you are using.
Myth 2: Leaving your Lights on Uses Less Energy than Turning Them on and off
Leaving your lights on when you are gone ends up using more energy than if you were to turn them off. A small burst of energy is used to cut lights on and off, but it is minimal compared to the constant use of energy when the lights are left on.
Myth 3: Turning off Appliances Completely Cuts Off their Energy Usage
Appliances will use energy whether they are on or off as long as they are plugged in. Of course, if they are off, they will use less energy, but they will still constantly draw small amounts of electricity while plugged in. Unplug your appliances and electronic equipment to cut down on their energy usage!
Myth 4: Leaving Fans on in the Summer when you Leave is a Good Way to Keep Rooms Cool
Leaving fans on in the summer while you are not there just moves around air that is already in the room and cool air is not produced. It is a waste of energy to leave your fan on while you are gone and will not change the temperature of your home.
Myth 5: Lowering the Thermostat Will Cool My Home Quicker
AC units operate at a certain speed regardless of what your thermostat is set at. Even if you put your thermostat at the lowest temperature setting, AC units will still operate at the same speed when cooling down your home.
Myth 6: Space Heaters Can Help Reduce Heating Costs
Plugging in a space heater in an occupied room to assist your furnace system will use even more power and energy than just leaving the heating to your central system. You will save money and energy if you wear a sweater and leave the heating to your central heating unit.
Myth 8: Closing Unused Vents Will Cut Down on Energy Costs
Every AC unit works to balance the amount of air being distributed throughout a home. Closing vents throw off this balance causing your AC unit to work harder to find a balance, which uses more energy and costs you more money.
Myth 9: Sleep Mode or Hibernate is Just Fine for Computers Overnight
When you use sleep mode or hibernate at night on your computer, you will run into the same problem as in Myth 3. Your computer still uses electricity when it is sleeping or hibernating, as it is prepping to pop back on at a moment’s notice.
Myth 10: HVAC Equipment Makes Up the Majority of My Energy Usage
Many homes have very complex entertainment systems with units such as an Xbox, BlueRay player, large-screen TV, etc. Today, electronics in the home use up a majority of the energy, not HVAC equipment. Most of this equipment has been updated to use less energy, while high tech appliances and sophisticated electronics continue to eat up more and more energy.