8 Energy Saving Myths
There’s plenty of advice about saving energy out there, but not all of it is true. By debunking the following eight energy saving myths, you’ll stop wasting your time pursuing tactics that don’t actually work.
- Myth: Buying energy-efficient HVAC equipment is all you need to experience the most significant energy savings.
- Fact: While high-efficiency products can help, there’s more to it than simply installing the equipment and walking away. First, you must size the equipment and install it properly for the lowest energy bills possible. Then you need to pursue annual maintenance to keep the equipment performing at its peak for years to come. You should also seal the ductwork and other air leaks around your home that allow heated and cooled air to escape.
- Myth: Leaving lights and electronics on uses less energy and helps them last longer than turning them on and off repeatedly.
- Fact: It’s true that a small power surge occurs when lights, computers and other devices turn on, but the general rule of thumb is to turn off the lights when you leave a room for more than five minutes and shut off computers, TVs and other electronics when not in use. Plus, improved modern equipment design has largely overcome the outdated energy saving myth that says turning lights on and off repeatedly wears them out faster.
- Myth: Pressing the power button on an electronic device turns it off completely.
- Fact: Many devices, from computers and game consoles to laptop and cell phone chargers, continue to consume a small amount of power while plugged in, even if turned off. To save energy, unplug these types of devices when not in use.
- Myth: Using electric heaters in individual rooms lowers heating bills.
- Fact: If you have central gas-fired heating, electric heaters could easily match or exceed your heating bill. Only if you have electric central heating should you try to save money by using electric heaters in individual rooms.
- Myth: Halogen lighting is as efficient as it gets.
- Fact: Actually, halogen lights are only slightly more efficient than incandescent bulbs. They also often require transformers that cost extra and give off a lot of heat. Fluorescent lights are three times more efficient and give off very minimal heat, making them a better choice. LEDs are another long-lasting, high-efficiency lighting option.
- Myth: Cranking the thermostat way up or down heats up or cools off the house faster.
- Fact: Unless you have a variable-speed air handler, your furnace or air conditioner has only two settings: on and off. By changing the temperature by just a degree or two, you can warm up or cool off without risking the energy waste that comes from cranking the thermostat way up or down.
- Myth: Keeping the temperature steady all day long saves energy compared to setting setbacks and recovery periods.
- Fact: If you leave home for four hours or longer, temperature setbacks do indeed save you money. The longer the setbacks last, the more you save. To ensure you come back to a comfortable home, install a programmable thermostat and program temperature settings based on your family’s schedule.
- Myth: Running a ceiling fan cools off the room.
- Fact: The air circulation created by a ceiling fan cools people without actually changing the temperature in the room. To save energy, turn off the ceiling fan when no one’s around.
With these energy saving myths in mind, you can take steps to save more energy at home. For other useful tips, or to schedule HVAC services, please contact Mountain Air Conditioning & Heating or call us at (801) 416-2215(801) 416-2215.