Top Energy Myths That Could Be Costing You
Nowadays, it seems everyone wants to “go green” to save both money and our environment. As we search for ways to decrease our energy use, it’s good to know what old wives’ tales or urban legends are fact or fiction: Which will actually save you money? Here are some of the top home energy myths that could be costing you.
Turning an appliance off actually turns it off.
Many home appliances and electronic devices continue to use power after the “on” button is switched to “off.” Despite being “off,” many devices will continue to use as much energy as if they were on, consuming “standby power.” The only way to stop these devices from guzzling energy is to unplug them from your outlet. Connecting a handful of energy-sucking devices to a power strip or extension cord can allow for added unplugging convenience.
Energy efficiency equals energy conservation.
While efficiency refers to using less energy to perform a specific task, conservation involves reducing the need for energy through behavior and habit changes. An example of energy efficiency would be switching your incandescent bulbs to CFLs whereas training yourself to turn off lights and fans when you leave a room is an example of conserving energy.
Dimming lights will cut lighting costs in half.
Although dimming your lights does use less power, savings may be less than expected. When your lights are dimmed, the voltage drops and the filament in the bulb becomes cooler, causing an overall loss in efficiency instead of lowering your electric bill.
Leaving lights, fans and electronic devices on uses less energy than turning them on, off and then on again.
Usually, the small surge of power needed to start a device once its off consumes much less power than a device that is left on. Simply put, leaving on lights, fans and electronic devices such as TVs when you’re not around to reap the benefits wastes energy.
Closing vents will help lower heating and cooling costs.
Because heating and cooling systems balance their load throughout the duct system, closing a vent in a room where air conditioning may not be necessary throws off the systems balance. This pressure can cause build up in your home’s ductwork, resulting in leaks and a reduction in the amount of air circulating throughout your home.