5 Common Home Energy Myths Debunked

There are all kinds of myths and misconceptions related to home energy use. For one thing, many people assume that energy efficiency and conservation are the same thing, when in fact, energy-efficient products are designed to operate with less energy, while conserving energy is something that you have to do through your actions. A compact fluorescent light bulb may require less electricity than an incandescent bulb, but if you leave it on all day long, it’s still going to use a lot of energy. However, when you’re aware of some of the most common myths associated with home energy usage you can make sure that you’re not falling victim to them. Here are just a few myths debunked.

  1. Adjusting the thermostat wastes energy. Oddly, quite a lot of people seem to be under the impression that adjusting the thermostat when they’re out of the house or asleep will somehow waste energy. They mistakenly believe that having to re-heat or cool the home when they return or wake up will waste more energy than if they had simply left the house at the pre-set temperature. In truth, any time you adjust the temperature accordingly to account for your absence, you’re saving energy. And so long as you don’t crank the dial when you get home, you’re not going to waste energy. Your best bet is to set your programmable thermostat to adjust during work and sleep hours. It will regulate incrementally to return the house to a comfortable temperature when you need it.
  2. Powering down stops energy use. Sadly, this is untrue for most electronics and appliances. While you expect appliances like your fridge to run day and night, you probably think that turning off your oven means that it’s no longer drawing electricity. Actually, this probably isn’t true. Is there a digital clock on your stove? Yup, it’s still using energy, even when not in use. And this is definitely the case with household electronics, including computers, televisions, and so on. This is a phenomenon known as phantom drain and the only way to stop it is by cutting off the power source, which you can accomplish by unplugging electronics or simply putting them on a power strip and flipping the switch when you’re done using them.
  3. Turning lights on and off is worse than leaving them on. It’s unclear how people get these ideas in their heads, but suffice it to say that your parents were on the right track when they hammered you to turn off the lights whenever you leave a room. Flipping the light switch does not use energy – leaving the light on does. So turn them off whenever possible.
  4. Closing vents lowers costs. Sorry, but no. Your HVAC system works just as hard whether you close the vents or not. In fact, if you close the vent nearest the sensor for the thermostat, you could end up using more energy since the thermostat only turns off the system when it senses that the set temperature has been reached.
  5. Energy Star upgrades automatically save energy. Actually, this can be true. Some appliances come with pre-set options that are designed to help you optimize energy usage, supposing you don’t monkey with the settings. However, not all Energy Star products work this way. In some cases the level of efficiency is based in part on how you use them. If you don’t know¬†what to expect from a preventative furnace maintenance appointment, you might assume you’ll get certain services for free that aren’t actually offered as part of standard maintenance. So you need to find out what you’re getting. The same is true for energy-efficient furnaces and AC units. They’re designed for efficiency, but if you don’t take the time to learn how to use them correctly and conserve energy on your end, you’re going to be disappointed with the performance you get.

Related posts:

  1. 5 Tips for Conserving Electrical Energy in Your Home
  2. Top 5 Energy Management Solutions for Homeowners
  3. 5 Water Heater Energy Savings Tips
  4. 5 Alternative Energy Options to Power Your Home
  5. Common Humidity and Air Quality Problems Found in Homes
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