5 myths about energy efficiency

There is a lot of great advice on how to be more energy efficient—using ENERGY STAR® LEDs, for example. But then there’s the not so great advice: the misinformation, mistakes, and myths that could lead you astray in your efforts to save on your electric bill.

But fear not! Your friends at POWER MOVES are here to help. Here are a few of the most common myths we run into—and the truths that bust them.

Myth: Switching appliances, computers, and electronics off when you’re not using them will cause them to wear out faster.
Truth: Nope. Modern electronics and appliances are built to perform just as well with frequent shut-offs. In fact, most computers are actually built with this in mind, and use the on-off cycle as an opportunity to install updates and perform other necessary self-maintenance. So go ahead—shut off, and save power.

Myth: Your HVAC system uses less energy if you close vents in your unused rooms.
Truth: This one seems counterintuitive, but unless those unused rooms are somehow sealed up airtight, the air is still going to circulate. In fact, closing vents can even make your HVAC system work harder than normal by causing a backup in internal pressure. If you really want to save energy on your heating and cooling costs, you’d be better served by adjusting your thermostat or switching to a more efficient system, or having an energy audit and performing the suggested upgrades, like sealing your duct work, air sealing your ceiling and band joists, or adding insulation.

Myth: Adding insulation in the attic will cause more heat to leak out the windows.
Truth: Any insulation that you add will help your home to maintain a stable temperature. Adding insulation to your attic (and, more importantly, sealing your ceiling) is a great way to help keep your home more energy efficient. But if you are concerned about losing heat through your windows or doors, why not schedule a free energy assessment?

Myth: New homes are required to be more energy efficient.
Truth: Not necessarily! A home’s age doesn’t always tell you whether or not it’s energy efficient, which depends much more on the way a house was constructed. That’s why we recommend looking for homes built to the specifications of the Touchstone Energy® Home program, which are designed specifically with energy efficiency in mind.

Myth: Electric space heaters save money.
Truth: An electric space heater might look small, but it uses a tremendous amount of energy to warm the room it’s in. Running a 1500 W heater for eight hours a night for a month can add about $43 to your electric bill. While it may be effective in some circumstances, in general you’re much better off heating your home with an energy efficient furnace, or just wearing an extra layer or two.
If you’d like to learn more truths about energy efficiency, contact your Energy Advisor today!