It’s great to be energy-conscious — both for money-saving purposes and so you don’t waste energy unnecessarily. But some of the stuff you hear about energy-saving isn’t true. Here are some common myths you might’ve heard — and the truth about them.
- Closing Vents Saves Energy
Closing vents does a lot more harm than good. The unit is still pumping out the same amount of energy, but with vents closed, air doesn’t disappear, it just gets caught behind the vent. It leads to the unit working harder and an increased chance of duct leakage because of the air trying to force itself out.
Closing vents can actually lead to some serious problems. Your air conditioner coil could freeze, and you could crack your heat exchanger, which means carbon monoxide could get into your home. Not only doesn’t it save energy, it could be hazardous to your health.
- Setting Your Thermostat Higher Heats Your Home Faster
Cranking your thermostat won’t necessarily get your house warmer any faster. The thermostat lets you set the temperature you want the room or house to stay at. The boiler that’s running and providing the heat is going to be running at the same rate, regardless of what temperature the thermostat is set. The only way to make rooms warm up faster is by getting a bigger boiler.
- Light Emitting Diode Bulbs Cost More Than Regular Ones
Yes, when you’re at the store and looking at the prices in front of you, LED bulbs look more expensive. But you have to look beyond those prices to get to the real cost. LED bulbs are a lot more efficient than incandescent or CFL bulbs. They use 10 watts of power compared to the 60 of incandescent or 14 of CFL.
LED bulbs have a ridiculously long lifespan. They’re good for 25,000 hours of use. If you’re using one for three hours a day, that LED bulb isn’t going to burn out for 23 years. You’d have to purchase multiple bulbs in either of the other categories in the time that you could use one LED.
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- Fans Keep Rooms Cool When You’re Not in Them
Fans do keep you cool when you’re in a room. But that’s the thing — they keep people cool, not entire rooms. They work by moving and circulating air, which creates a breeze to cool people down. However, they don’t actually cool the air. Therefore, the only time a fan is really doing any good is when you’re actually in the room where it’s running.
- Electronic Devices Don’t Use Energy When They’re Off
You might think turning a device off means it’s no longer using energy. You’d be wrong. Anytime something is plugged in, it’s using electricity. Some devices use a lot less while off, but some use almost the same amount as they would while in use!
The best way to avoid this is to unplug anything when you aren’t using it. This includes your microwave, TV and computer. This is understandably annoying, so another option is to use surge protectors and turn the whole protector off. While the surge protector still uses a bit of energy being plugged in, it’s less than the multiple devices would be if they were plugged into the wall instead.
- Leaky Faucets Don’t Really Matter
Leaky faucets waste a lot more water than you would think. You can use a drip calculator and see how much water is being wasted when it’s “just a little leak.” If it’s a hot water faucet, this is also impacting your energy bill. A hot water faucet leaking means your water heater is running constantly. That’s something that’s going to run the bill up fast.
Keep on being energy-conscious, but know the difference between something being helpful and something being wasteful. It might be easier and less expensive than you think to keep your home energy efficient.