Like me, many of you are trying to save energy and save money. Sometimes though, our good intentions are off base due to misinformation and we can actually be wasting energy doing the very things that we think are saving it. Here are 5 common tricks that many do in an effort to save energy, but are in fact doing the opposite.
1. Using fans to cool a room. Fans cool individuals, not spaces. If you leave a fan on in an empty room, no one will reap the benefit. Fans circulate air in a space, they don’t actually drop the temperature. So, when you leave a room, turn off the fan and save your energy. Don’t leave it on continuously.
2. Adjusting the thermostat up and down. Have you ever come home and been chilly and cranked the thermostat? I know I have. This very act though does nothing. Thermostats are simple little devices that only turn your heat on and off once the set temperature is reached. If you crank it, you risk forgetting to turn it off, therefore wasting energy. Plus it takes a while for the furnace to reach that temperature after you change it. The best thing to do is set the thermostat for your ideal temperature and make use of shades and curtains to keep you cool and window coverings to keep heat from escaping.
3. Don’t leave your computer on. Some believe that leaving their computer on is more energy efficient than turning it on and off regularly. This is FALSE. In the US, half of corporate PC’s are not turned off regularly which results in pumping 14.4 millions tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Many computers today are make with energy saver options and hibernation mode. Check your computer settings to set times when your computer can shut off. This helps you not having to remember to shut it off.
4. Closing off registers in unused rooms. This was a habit passed down from our parents when homes were not build as insulated as they are today. By closing registers you actually increase duct leakage and restrict air flow which can be unsafe. Instead, set your thermostat a degree higher in the summer and a degree lower in the winter.
5. Hand washing dishes instead of using the dishwasher. Say yes to a dish washer. They are more efficient and use less energy. Hand washing dishes in most cases requires a pre-rinse which wastes up to 20 gallons of water per load. Instead use your washer. Make sure it is full but don’t overload it either. Then turn off the heat during the drying cycle. Both of these activities will save a ton of water. This saves energy, money, and water.
So how many of you are surprised by this list? Are you guilty for doing some of these? Don’t fret, just change your habits today. This change will make a positive impact on the future.
So what other energy saving myths have you heard? Please share.