Energy MythsWe have all  been told how important it is to save energy. You have probably even been told some of the best ways to do this, but which ones can you really trust. Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about saving energy that might help you decide out which tips to trust and which ones your should not.

 

Myth #1: Closing a vent in one room saves energy.

 

Fact: The thinking behind this is that if a vent is closed then that is one less room that has to be cooled. Unfortunately, this does not work. Closing a vent simply redirects that same energy into another room or through leaks in your duct system. This can end up costing you more money as it tends to but back-pressure on your HVAC system’s fan, causing it to work harder, waste energy, and create more wear and tear on your system.

 

Myth #2: Higher temperature means your house heats faster.

 

Fact: Heating systems are designed to heat the house at a certain rate. This means that whether your thermostat is set to 74 or 100 it will still heat up at the same rate. By turning up the temperature you are simply telling your heating system to run for a longer time, wasting your energy and turning your house into a sweat box.

 

Myth #3: Electric space heaters save money.

 

Fact: Electricity tends to be four to ten times the cost of gas. This means that the cost of running two space heaters is about the same as heating your entire house. It may seem like a good idea at first, but simply does not add up. If you can avoid space heaters and still have your house be evenly heated, then it is best to rely on your house’s heating unit.

 

Myth #4: Leaving a light on for short periods of time is better than turning it on and off constantly.

 

Fact: The theory here is that the amount of energy it take for the bulb to turn on is far greater than the amount of energy it takes to keep it running. This is simply not true. Though it does take slightly more energy to turn it on than for it to run, it is such an insignificant amount that you still end up using more energy leaving it on even when you are just going to go grab a snack or go to the bathroom. It will save you more energy to turn your lights off every time you leave a room.

 

Myth #5: Keeping a fan on cools a room.

 

Fact: A fan does not cool a room, but makes the people in it feel cooler by moving the air around. Many people will mistake the two of these and think that it is helpful or even necessary to keep a fan on all day to prevent the room from heating up. Whereas in reality turning it off when you are out of the room will save you energy throughout the day and not affect the internal temperature. It is easy enough to turn it back on when you want to use the room again.

 

Myth #6: Hand washing dishes saves more energy than a dishwasher.

 

Fact: This may have been true at some point, but it is no longer the case. Most dishwashers these days have an energy-efficient settings. These settings allow the dishwasher to use less water and less energy. Where handwashing dishes requires a lot of hot water. This means a lot more energy to heat it.

 

Myth #7: If it’s off it is not using energy.

 

Fact: Appliances use energy as long as they are plugged into the wall. This means your lamps, computers, and yes, your chargers. Not only is leaving your phone charger in the wall while not charging your phone wasting energy, it is also a fire hazard. When you turn off appliances such as a lamp or computer the amount of energy that it is using drops drastically, but as long as it is still plugged into an outlet it is still costing you money.

 

Myth #8: Most heat is lost through windows.

 

Fact: Some heat is lost through windows, yes. But this is not the main cause of lost heat in most houses and should not be where you look first to save energy. Before looking to replace your windows, consider adding insulation to your home. Due to the vast surface areas of walls, they are the leading factor in heat leaving your house and wasting energy. Upgrading your windows will cost a lot of money upfront and possibly save you very little in the long run.

 

Myth #9: Keeping your temperature on a low setting 24/7 saves money.

 

Fact: By continuing to heat your house while nobody is in it you are throwing money out the door. Keep in mind that while some heat will escape, your house is designed to keep it in. This means that you can turn off the heat or air conditioning while nobody is home and still save money when you come back. Even better, if you have a system that allows you to control the temperature in each room you can turn off the AC or heat in unoccupied rooms to save energy and money.

 

Myth #10: You can save money by sealing leaks with Duct Tape.

Fact: This is the closest to the truth we have gotten. Sealing leaks in your system is a good way to save money, but please do not use duct tape. This can cause more harm than good. While duct tape is an amazing tool for many different jobs it has a tendency to deteriorate over time with heat or dust. Instead of doing this consider calling a professional or using metal tape or mastic sealant. You can get either of these at a local hardware store and it will do a much better job than duct tape.