Energy-Saving Myths: These Practices Are Counter-Productive

Energy-Saving Myths: These Practices Are Counter-ProductiveEnergy-saving myths are often easier to believe than the simpler money-saving truth. Many of these fables of uncertain origin actually increase operating costs instead of cutting them. While certainly not everything is known about household energy conservation, scientific research has identified what doesn’t work. Removing these pseudo-solutions from the folklore often takes longer than disproving them, however. Until then, here are some persistent energy-saving myths you may encounter:

Turning the thermostat way low cools a warm house faster. Probably not. In single-stage air conditioners with one-speed blowers, the unit extracts heat from the air at the same rate even if you peg the thermo at its lowest setting. What’s more likely is the A/C will plunge the household temperature lower than desired before you can correct it. This will increase operating costs.

Switch the A/C off when the home’s empty. Don’t do this in hot weather. But also don’t set it to the cool comfort you enjoy when you’re home, either. Instead, invest in a programmable thermostat to maintain a stand-by temperature of around 85 while you’re gone, then program it to cool the house to normal temps an hour before you return.

Ceiling fans cool empty rooms. Nope. They make rooms feel cooler to people or pets. However, air temperature remains unchanged. Running a ceiling fan when nobody’s there to feel it wastes money.

Closing vents in unoccupied rooms saves money. Sorry, but your A/C compressor and blower don’t have a clue whether individual vents are open or closed. They just keep cycling on and off as the thermostat commands. Closing vents may actually depressurize rooms and suck warm outdoor air indoors, boosting cooling costs.

Life without A/C is unthinkable. Actually, previous generations did it every day. Close curtains during daylight hours to reduce solar heat gain. Use fans to flush the house with cool night air. Take cool showers, cook outdoors now and then, and put off running major appliances until nighttime.

Since 1922, Paitson Bros. Heating and Air Conditioning has kept Wabash Valley residents cool all summer. Let us help separate the energy-saving myths from the proven facts of lowering home utility costs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy saving myths and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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