When any mainstream movement quickly catches on in society, some misnomers come into play as well. There’s no doubt the green, energy-saving movement is a good one, but it has its own share of myths too.
If you are trying to do your part and save energy while also reducing your carbon footprint, you want to make sure that’s actually happening. Here are some energy savings myths to watch out for:
1. Energy Star Appliances are Always the Best Choice
This is true in many cases, but you have to be very careful. You see, Energy Star is mostly based on the honor system. Companies monitor their products energy usage. In some cases, tests have shown the products actually use much more energy than stated on the labeling.
More often than not, you’ll be okay buying Energy Star products. But you do have to be careful.
2. New Homes are Energy Efficient
The truth is new homes, on average, are more energy efficient than older ones. However, that doesn’t mean they are as energy efficient as they could be.
There’s often room for significant improvement. Some do get ENERGY STAR certified, but that’s just a small minority of new homes. Make sure the appliances, windows, siding, HVAC, and insulation are all as energy efficient as they can possibly be.
3. Keeping Your Thermostat at a Constant Temperature Minimizes Energy Use
The truth is actually the reverse: it takes less energy to cool a warm room during the morning that it does to keep the temperature constant throughout the night. To maximize energy efficiency, remember setting the thermostat a few degrees higher during summer saves a significant amount of energy and money. Also, keep your blinds closed during the day to keep the heat out.
4. Turning Lights/Appliances on Draws Extra Energy
The reverse is true. Your appliances do not use additional energy when powered on or off. If you don’t need your appliances or lights, turn them off. That way, you’ll experience true energy savings.
5. A High-Efficiency AC System Instantly Saves Energy
It might, and it might not. The truth is the greatest impact on efficiency is having the right-sized AC system for your home. If it’s too large or small, it might kick in way too often, resulting in tons of lost energy.
6. Installing Gaskets in Electrical Outlets Saves Energy
This one is actually partially true. However, studies have shown only about 1% of all air that leaks out of a home goes through your electrical outlets.
You can save energy this way, but it’s not a huge energy-saver..
Those are the biggest energy savings myths of 2014. There are many more. But if you start there, you can avoid the trap of believing you’re saving energy when in fact you’re not. As always, make sure you do your research first before implementing new energy savings measures.