Do you really know the truth about what does and does not save energy? These days, many people strive to conserve energy and to save money when it comes to the upkeep of their home. Committing to saving energy is a great start, but make sure to educate yourself on the do’s and don’ts of energy efficiency. From heating and cooling to home appliances, let’s cover five common myths about saving energy.
Myth #1: Do ceiling fans really save energy? (False-ish)
Well, yes and no. Ceiling fans circulate air, but they don’t really provide a cooling element to a space quite like an air conditioner does. Additionally, it is suggested that homeowners raise their thermostat by 4 degrees when using simultaneously with an air conditioner. This will provide you with the same amount of coolness while allowing you to run the a/c unit for a shorter duration. Fans really excel at cooling people down, not chilling a room, so do turn them off when you leave the room.
Myth #2: Closing air vents saves money, right? (False)
Closing off vents in rooms that aren’t frequently used actually puts significant pressure on the fan. This can cause a number of other issues in the long-run. Ultimately, when closing off vents, extra back pressure is applied to the fan and in-turn, the unit. This could put an unnecessary amount of stress on the unit and cause it to fail much sooner than it’s manufacturer life expectancy.
Myth #3: New windows equals mega energy savings! (False)
Replacing old windows doesn’t come close to the amount you would spend on new ones. Not even a little. Yes, newer double pane windows are more energy efficiency, but not for the cost of news windors or to the degree you would think. The amount of energy saved is small. The majority of warm and cool air leaving your house isn’t leaving through your windows. Replacing your windows is a good idea when selling your home though, as it increases the resale value. If we’re solely talking about energy efficiency though, prioritize other energy saving practices until then.
Myth #4: Bump the thermostat way up to heat the home faster. (False)
A furnace is meant to heat in increments at its max power. Significantly upping the temp on the thermostat will only make the heater work harder and burn more energy in the process.
As the furnace runs longer and works harder, it has the potential to cause issues down the road. Turning the thermostat to a higher temp will not warm the home faster.
Myth #5: Turning appliances off saves power. (False)
Nope. There is such a thing as phantom power or standby power. Can you count on two hands how many appliances you leave plugged in an outlet at home? 10, 20, 30? Each item that is plugged in slowly draws electricity even when they are powered off. Choose your appliances carefully, unplug others or invest in products that can reduce standby power usage to truly reduce your energy consumption.
- Assessment of building envelope (windows, doors, insulation levels, and the level of air leakage in between building materials)
- Combustion equipment including boilers
- Measurement of air movement within the home
- Water heaters