Energy-Saving Myths and Misconceptions: What You Need to Know

In the move to make cleaner and greener energy choices, sometimes we end up doing a little more harm than good by listening to what the infamous “they” say. There is a lot of misinformation that gets circulated out there, and while most of it may be founded on a genuine lack of awareness, we have a responsibility to learn and debunk myths so that we can empower ourselves and our lifestyles. Read on to help clear up some energy misconceptions you may have to make your home run more efficiently and to save you money in the long-run:

They say you should set your thermostat lower to cool down your home faster

Your heating and cooling system works with consistency. By lowering the temperature on your thermostat, you are just ensuring that it works longer, not faster. It will work steadily until it reaches that lower temperature, which will inevitably take longer than if you set your thermostat a bit higher. This, in turn, is a big energy, and money, guzzler. Instead, installing a smart thermostat can help your home energy use run more efficiently by optimizing your home temperature and adjusting based on your daily routine and personal preference.

They say using the dishwasher uses a lot of water and energy

You’ll be happy to hear that hand-washing your dishes is not only time-consuming, but also energy-consuming (your own and your home’s!) Using the dishwasher, particularly newer models like ENERGY STAR appliances that are designed to work efficiently, will save both hot water and electricity.

They say you should leave your light on because it takes more energy to turn it on.

Yes, it’s true that more energy is consumed in the initial spark to turn a light on, but this burst of energy occurs within a second, after which it all depends on how long you leave your light on. As a rule of thumb, it’s generally recommended to turn off a light switch if you plan to leave the room for more than 15 minutes. 

They say you should use a space heater instead of heating up the whole house.

While it’s great to lower the thermostat of your house and heat up only the rooms that you’re using, electric space heaters are notorious for being one of the most energy inefficient small appliances in your home, using a whopping 1500 watts per hour. So, if you have a relatively small room and don’t need heat anywhere else, a space heater may be the way to go. However, if you plan to heat up a large room or space of the home, it may be more efficient to simply turn on the central heat. 

They say you should close the vents of rooms that are not in use.

Closing the vents of unused rooms can be helpful to direct hot or cold air through your ductwork towards spaces where the vents are open – a trick that is often used to help heat or cool down areas that need it more. But the catch is that closing vents can increase air pressure within your HVAC system. This, in turn, causes your system to use more energy as it forces more air back into the system, straining your HVAC.

They say that you will save energy by turning off appliances.

Yes, without a doubt, when an appliance is not in use, turning it off is the logical thing to do to save energy. But the story doesn’t end there. Plot twist! Modern appliances still draw energy into their units even when they are off, amounting to considerable energy wastage around the home. Do a mental checklist of the number of small (and large!) appliances you have around the home, from your toaster to your coffee maker, kettle, air fryer, laptops, television sets, chargers, lamps, you name it. Using a power strip can help you combat these energy vampires by grouping together your small appliances and flipping them all off with a simple switch when not in use. Smart power strips go one step further by detecting when electronics are in stand-by mode, and will actually shut off power to that device.

Now that we’ve busted some of the myths and misconceptions you may have had about energy consumption, what habits would you change? Consult Arrow Energy to see how we can help you run your home with more efficiency.