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.
Was just curious where you got your information. Usually when disproving a well-known idea, a writer provides the source of the information. Is this from personal experience? Did you read it somewhere? I just like to know where my information comes from and what the basis is. I’ve heard all those things as well and as much as I HATE handwashing dishes, you didn’t count the electricity used to run the machine into your calculation. That uses energy, too. Theoretically saving hot water, but using electricity so is it really better? And the fact that some of us don’t leave the water running when washing dishes which is the only conceivable way I can think of to use 20 gallons when handwashing. Just trying to play devil’s advocate here, not trying to put you on the defensive! We’re all here trying to save money.:-)
Thanks for your comment. Yes we are all trying to save money and find ways to be more green. Where I live, hydro is very cheap so paying to run the dishwasher is actually cheaper then washing them by hand. It is great to hear that you don’t leave the water running by the way. It is such a water waster.
I got this information from my local utility company. There has been a campaign locally to reduce consumption. As far as personal experience, it has played a roll too. We actually measured the energy we saved when turning our computer off compared to leaving it on. We also tested the fan theory and it was true. The post is a combination from local resources as well as our own testing efforts. I hope you have found it a bit helpful anyways. Please continue to share your comments and take care.
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