One quick search on the Internet will bring up hundreds if not thousands of energy-saving tips promising to save you money on your next energy bill. But are they all true? While there are many ways you can save money by making energy-efficient choices, it’s possible that not everything you’ve heard is true.
Unfortunately, this is a false assumption. Closing a vent doesn’t actually save any energy and it could have negative effects on your heating and cooling system. Restricting air at one vent just means it will be redirected to another, or it might even escape though leaks in your duct system. Your system will end up using the same amount of energy no matter how many vents are open. Furthermore, closing your vents may cause additional pressure on your system, causing it to work harder, wear out faster and consume more energy in the long term.
While in some cases this is true, a home is not automatically energy efficient just because it’s new. Home efficiency is directly tied to construction and design, not to the age of the structure. A new home may not have been built efficiently at all. If a highly efficient green home is important to you, look for one with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED verifies that homes and buildings are designed, constructed and maintained as green, sustainable structures.
An air conditioning unit works at maximum power when it is first turned on so it can cool your home as quickly as possible. Turning the AC down to a super low temperature will only keep the unit working longer and harder. Instead, set the thermostat at a temperature that you would be comfortable in. That way the unit will stop running when your home has cooled down. To get the most efficiency out of your unit, it is recommended that you set you thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
Actually, many devices such as TVs, DVD players and coffeepots continue to use electricity when they are turned off because they have a standby mode. This is called “vampire energy.” The best way to ensure your electronics and appliances are not using energy is to unplug them. As an easier alternative, consider using a power strip that you can just switch off when you are not using your devices.
The grain of truth in this myth is that fans save energy. Ceiling fans use less energy than an air conditioning unit and allow you to turn your AC down by 4 degrees without losing your level of comfort. While leaving the fan on may seem like a good energy-saving idea, it actually does nothing to cool a room. Ceiling fans simply circulate the air that is already in the room, creating a draft that makes you feel cooler. Fans cool people, not rooms. If you are not in the room, your ceiling fan is just wasting energy.