Spotting Energy Myths
Eating carrots will greatly improve your eyesight, cracking your knuckles leads to arthritis, watching too much TV will harm your vision. We’ve all heard the old wives’ tales, but did you know there are also many misconceptions about home energy use?
Don’t be fooled by these common energy myths.
Myth: The higher the thermostat setting, the faster the home will heat (or cool).
Many people think that walking into a chilly room and raising the thermostat to 85 degrees will heat the room more quickly. This is not true.
Thermostats direct a home’s HVAC system to heat or cool to a certain temperature. Drastically adjusting the thermostat setting will not make a difference in how quickly you feel warmer. The same is true for cooling. The Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees during summer months, and 68 degrees during winter months.
Myth: Opening the oven door to check on a dish doesn’t really waste energy.
While it can be tempting to check the progress of that dish you’re cooking in the oven, opening the oven door does waste energy. Every time the oven door is opened, the temperature inside is reduced by as much as 25 degrees, delaying the progress of your dish and, more importantly, costing you additional money. If you need to check the progress of a dish, try using the oven light instead.
Myth: Ceiling fans keep your home cool while you’re away.
Believe it or not, many people think this is true. Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. Ceiling fans circulate room air but do not change the temperature. 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: Reducing my energy use is too expensive.
Many consumers believe that reducing energy use requires expensive up-front costs, like purchasing new, more efficient appliances or construction upgrades to an older home. But the truth is, consumers who make small changes to their energy efficiency habits, such as turning off lights when not in use, sealing air leaks and using a programmable thermostat, can see a reduction in energy consumption.
Remember, energy efficiency doesn’t have to be difficult. Focus on small changes to save big. Learn more about ways to save energy here or by contacting your local PVEC office.