Debunking Common Energy Myths

Debunking Common Energy Myths

With the rising costs of energy, many homeowners will be challenged with finding ways to reduce consumption and therefore, reduce costs. But every industry has its common myths, and the energy industry is no exception. So we will discuss these myths so you can make informed decisions about your energy consumption and what will work to help you save money heating and cooling your home.

Here are 7 of the most common energy myths that you shouldn’t believe and why:

Myth 1. Keeping the thermostat temperature constant while you’re away saves energy

Keeping your thermostat at a constant temperature when you are not home is a waste of energy. Your HVAC system uses the most energy of any single appliance or system at 46 percent of the average U.S. home’s energy consumption. To keep the system from continuously running while you are out, set the thermostat lower if using heat and higher if using air conditioning. It takes less energy to heat or cool your home to your desired temperature when you get home than to keep it at that temperature all day long.

Myth 2. Setting the thermostat temperature higher heats the home faster

No matter what temperature you set your thermostat, your furnace or boiler will work equally as hard to meet that goal. For example, if you want to have your home temperature at 70 degrees, turning it up to 78 degrees will not heat the room faster. What happens is that the furnace will take the same amount of time to get to 70. Then it will continue to work until the temperature reaches 78.

The same applies to your air conditioner. Setting it to a lower temperature does not get the house cool any faster. The best thing to do is install a programmable thermostat to regulate your temperatures.

Myth 3. Lowering the thermostat doesn’t save money

Lowering your thermostat really does significantly cut your energy consumption. Set your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees lower for eight hours or more during the colder months. The best time to do it would be at night as you are sleeping under warm covers. Better yet, have your programmable thermostat lower your temperature automatically so you don’t forget.

Myth 4. Keeping a fan on cools a room

Fans do not cool your rooms. They are designed to circulate air helping people feel as if the air is cooler. A running ceiling fan in an empty room is only adding to your electricity use. Remember to turn fans off when you’re away and reduce your energy use.

Myth 5. Most heat is lost through windows

Many people believe this to be true. While glass seems to feel cold which makes you think heat is leaving through the glass, heat loss through the window is only a small percentage of the total heat loss in a home. the majority of the heat disappearing from your premises is escaping through the walls, and any gaps around your windows and doors. It’s best to consider insulating walls and attic to prevent heat from escaping.

Myth 6. Closing vents in unused rooms saves energy

HVAC systems produce the same amount of airflow regardless of how many vents you have and whether they are open. Closing vents puts pressure on your system. This makes your HVAC unit work even harder and potentially damaging it. Closing your vents will simply redirect the airflow to rooms where the vents are open. This causes the overall air pressure to increase and the system to work harder.

Myth 7. Using a space heater is more efficient than whole house heating

You might think that using a space heater only in the room you are in will be more efficient because you can lower the thermostat for the rest of the house. But what you may save in heating you might make up in the energy needed to run the space heater. Even energy-efficient space heaters are likely to use more energy than your regular heating system.

These are some of the many common energy myths regarding heating and cooling your home. Learn what is real and what are myths so you can make the best decisions for your home. If you need some help with your HVAC system, oil furnace or other heating and cooling challenges, let us know.