Don’t fall for one of these energy conservation myths listed below. You can smile knowing you have your facts straight!
- MYTH: Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency are the same thing.
FACT: Energy conservation is using less energy or choosing not to use energy at all. Turning off the lights when you leave a room and opening the windows for a cool breeze instead of turning on the A/C are good conservation habits. Energy efficiency is using less energy to provide the same service. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) provide the same light output as standard incandescent bulbs but use just one-quarter of the energy and last 8 to 12 times longer. Low-e windows help block sunlight out keeping your home cool in the summer, preventing your A/C from working harder to cool and maintain your comfort indoors.
- MYTH: Closing The Vent Saves Energy
FACT: Although closing vents in unused rooms seems like it’s conserving energy, the energy consumed by the HVAC system is at the unit itself. Restricting conditioned air at a vent register redirects it to other locations in the house or through leaks in your duct system. Closing vents also puts backpressure on the fan that pushes the air through the system, causing it to work harder and use more energy (and increasing its wear and tear).
- MYTH: When appliances and devices are turned off, they don’t use power.
FACT: Appliances and devices that have a little black box on their cord (a power converter) consume energy even when you’re not using them. DVRs, game consoles, and other set-top boxes are also notorious for using more energy than you might think. Using a power strip to turn off devices and desk electronics not in use cuts standby power, which can help you save energy and money. Also, look for ENERGY STAR® certified models that consume far less energy in standby and other inactive modes.
- MYTH: Energy efficiency projects and renewable energy installations are too expensive.
FACT: Home efficiency improvements can include making your home more air tight to reduce heating and cooling loss, improving the efficiency of or replacing your HVAC system, replacing windows, adding insulation and switching to more energy-efficient appliances. The cost for improvements varies, but the typical cost can range from $300-$5,000, depending on your home’s needs. Separately, a new study has shown that residential solar installations in 3 leading solar states (CA, AZ and NJ) were increasingly occurring in middle-class neighborhoods.
- MYTH: Ceiling fans cool rooms.
FACT: Ceiling fans cool people not rooms. Unlike air conditioning units, ceiling fans don’t cool the air but move the air around. Fans simply recirculate air and create flow – that slight breeze that cools us down by increasing the rate of evaporation of sweat and removing heat from our skin. To save energy, it’s beneficial to run the fan only when people are in the room to feel the breeze.