Dispelling Energy-Saving Myths and Getting Down to True Conservation

Dispelling Energy-Saving Myths and Getting Down to True Conservation

Due to soaring energy prices and the state of the economy, most people are looking for ways to save energy and cut down on their utility bills. This leads to a lot of information being passed around – some good and some bad. Here are some of the biggest energy-saving myths to avoid:

  1. Closing air vents saves energy. This is usually not the case, because your air conditioner pumps out the same amount of air no matter where the air goes. In fact, closing vents could end up unbalancing your airflow and forcing your air conditioner to work longer and harder. Blocked airflow to certain rooms also will increase air pressure in those ducts, potentially opening up connections and seams.
  2. Keeping the thermostat at one temperature uses less energy than turning it down while you sleep or leave for work. This is one of the biggest energy-saving myths, but it’s also false. The energy your system uses to maintain a temperature for eight hours is far less than it uses to change the temperature. Try a programmable thermostat instead.
  3. Newer homes are more energy efficient. This qualifies as true in most situations, but not necessarily in every one. The truth is that some builders sacrifice energy efficiency to cut costs, so always check before buying.
  4. Using electric space heaters saves money. This obviously depends on the size of your home and how you use them, but electricity is generally more expensive than gas, and portable electric heaters are usually less efficient than whole-house heating systems, whether electric or otherwise. The better bet might be on your furnace doing the job cheaper.
  5. Setting your thermostat higher (or lower) than necessary heats or cools your home faster. This is generally false since most homes have a single-speed furnace that is either on or off. It takes the same amount of time to reach a certain temperature whether the thermostat is set higher (or lower) than that point. If you have a variable speed furnace, this may not be the case, though it usually is with any sort of system.

Are you looking for real ways to save energy in your Portland area home? Please contact our HVAC experts at Roth Heating & Cooling.

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