Along with all the good advice that's available today on saving energy at home, there are some persistent energy-savings myths that offer no savings but can actually increase energy and money expenditures. Here are five of the more notable myths and some suggestions on ways to turn them to your advantage.
- If I'm practicing energy efficiency, I'm also practicing energy conservation: Both energy efficiency and conservation will save money, but one is not the same as the other. Energy efficiency means getting the best results from the energy you use. Energy conservation means reducing the total amount of energy consumed.
- Turn it off and it's not using any energy: Many appliances and electronic devices still use a small amount of power if they're still plugged in after being turned off. This energy, called standby power, is used to maintain clocks, timers, internal settings and other features. Stop standby power usage by simply unplugging the device when you're not using it.
- Putting in high-efficiency HVAC equipment means immediate savings on utility bills: It's true that energy-efficient air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps and other appliances use less energy and are cheaper to operate. However, high-efficiency heating and cooling will not be effective if it the equipment isn't the right size, if there are air and energy leaks in the ductwork or elsewhere that allow conditioned air to escape unused, or if your home is not properly insulated.
- Leaving the thermostat at a consistent setting all the time will save more energy than turning it down when you're gone: This isn't true. If you're not going to be home for several hours, turn down the thermostat as much as a dozen degrees (or turn it up several degrees in the summer). It's not true that your system will use more energy climbing back to your comfort level.
- Leaving lights on uses less power than turning them off and on: Lights consume a small surge of power when they're turned on, but this energy spike will always be smaller than the amount of energy wasted by leaving lights on all the time.
For more than 47 years, Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. has provided reliable, professional HVAC services to customers in the mid-Ohio area. Contact us today for more information on the energy-savings myths that can end up costing you money instead.
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