When it comes to saving energy and reducing your energy bill, there are hundreds of tips and tricks available.
However, some of these “energy efficiency hacks” just don’t hold up. Here’s some of those energy savings myths:
Energy Savings Myth #1: Keeping your thermostat at the same temperature day and night uses less energy than turning it down at night and heating your room up again in the morning.
False. It takes less energy to warm up a cold room than it does to keep a room heated all night. The same is true for the reverse in summer, it takes less energy to cool down a warm room than it does to keep it cool all night.
Energy Savings Myth #2: Setting your air-conditioner thermostat to a lower temperature when you start it will cool your room faster.
False. Even when you set your air conditioner at a lower temperature, it will still cool the room at the same rate. In the end it will result in a lower temperature, but it will take longer to get to that point. Again, this is the case for the reverse. Even if you set your thermostat higher in the winter, your room will not warm up any faster.
Energy Savings Myth #3: Appliances don’t use energy when they are turned off.
While this may have been true for older appliances, for the majority of modern appliances this is false. Most appliances have standy-by power settings that are in effect even when the appliance is supposedly turned off. These features are typically included for convenience’s sake, allowing for shorter startup times when powering on an appliance. Unless it is an appliance that you use frequently throughout the day, consider unplugging the appliance completely or utilizing a power strip with a shut-off switch for multiple appliances.
Energy Savings Myth #4: Sleep mode or hibernate is fine for leaving your computers overnight.
False. Leaving your computer on sleep mode still uses a lot of energy, because your computer is essentially still on. While it does use slightly less energy than leaving it completely on, if you’re logging off for the night or for more than an hour or so, it’s best to completely shut it down.
Energy Savings Myth #5: Screen savers save energy.
False. The original purpose of a screen saver was to avoid an image displayed on an older monitor from being “burnt into” the screen. Modern monitors and display screens no longer have this problem. A computer running a screen saver uses the same amount of power as it would any other time. The only exception to this is a screen “time-out”; when a monitor turns off when the computer is not in use. Even so, this only slightly reduces a computer’s energy consumption, so if you aren’t going to be using your computer for a while, you should shut it down completely.
Energy Savings Myth #6: A little leak is not a major issue.
False. A faucet that drips just once per second can waste 100 gallons per month. The problem is worse if it is hot water that is leaking, as this creates extra work for your hot water heater, costing you now in both wasted water and wasted energy. If you notice a faucet is leaking, it is best to fix it right away. Sometimes a $0.50 washer is all you need.
Energy Savings Myth #7: Leaving a light on uses less energy than turning it on and off multiple times.
False. While older lightbulbs could potentially get worn out from constantly turning on and off, this is not true for today’s lightbulbs. It’s always a good idea to turn off the lights in a room that you are not using, even if you are planning on coming back in just a few minutes. Try to get into the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room.
Energy Savings Myth #8: Insulating the ceiling will just cause more heat to leak out of the windows.
Unless your home is highly pressurized (hint: it’s not), adding extra insulation anywhere in your home is not going to force air out of other places.