In these days of increasing fuel prices, finding ways to save energy is always important. Yet, many homeowners are falling victim to common energy myths, and their best efforts are doing little to prevent wasted energy. As you look for ways to make your home more energy efficient, watch out for these 10 common energy myths.
Myth 1 – Energy-Saving Features Cost Too Much
In the past, adding energy-efficient features to your home drove up the cost of your home significantly, fueling one of the longest-standing energy myths. Energy-saving windows were much more expensive than standard windows. Energy-saving appliances cost a significant chunk more than regular ones. Today, with energy efficiency increasingly a standard and expected feature in HVAC equipment, the cost gap between standard efficiency and high efficiency has closed considerably.
Myth 2 – Switching Items On and Off for Short Periods Wastes Energy
Have you ever left the light on when you ran a quick errand or left a room for a few minutes, thinking it would take more energy to turn it on and off than to leave it on? This may have been a legitimate idea once, as with many energy myths, but it’s not anymore. Turning your appliances, lights, fans and other electrical devices on and off does not harm them, nor does it waste energy.
Myth 3 – Installing Solar Panels Means Having to Leave the Grid
If you opt to invest in solar panels, you won’t have to leave your area’s power grid. In fact, if your solar panels make more energy than you can use, you may even receive a credit from your utility company. These are a sound investment if you are looking for energy and money savings. The minus of being connected to the grid, however, is that if there’s a power blackout in the electric grid, your solar-powered home likely will be affected as well.
Myth 4 – Increasing the Temperature of the Thermostat Makes the House Heat Up Faster
Setting the temperature to 75 instead of 69 on a chilly day is not going to help it heat up faster. Your HVAC system can only heat your home as quickly as it was designed to. Setting the thermostat higher will simply use more energy. When the Tampa area temperatures drop, leave your thermostat alone and simply throw on a jacket.
Myth 5 – Leaving Your Fans on While You’re Gone Cools the Air
Your ceiling fans and other fans do nothing to cool the air in your Florida home. Yes, they make you feel cooler and they can help distribute the air cooled by your air conditioner, but they don’t actually cool the room. When no one is around to enjoy the benefit of the moving air, switch ceiling fans off to save energy.
Myth 6 – Closing Vents in Unoccupied Rooms Saves Energy
Closing vents increases the pressure in your HVAC system. This, in turn, makes your HVAC system work harder, making it wear out more quickly. Also, it does not change the amount of energy used; it simply moves the heated or cooled air to a different area of the home.
Myth 7 – Turning Appliances or Electronics Off Is Enough
Turning your appliances and electronics off is helpful, but you can actually do more to save energy. Instead of just turning them off, unplug them or turn them off at the power strip. This eliminates wasted power lost through the electrical cord on an item you aren’t using.
Myth 8 – Insulating the Ceiling Sends Air out the Walls
Adding insulation to the ceiling makes your home more energy efficient. Your home does not have adequate pressure to force air leaks or energy loss from another area when you insulate one area. More insulation is always a good idea.
Myth 9 – Halogen Lights Use Less Energy
The most efficient lighting you can buy are LED lights. Compact fluorescent lights are also a good option. Halogen lights are slightly more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs, but in reality the difference is miniscule.
Myth 10 – A Certified Energy-Efficient HVAC System Is All You Need
Unfortunately, even with an Energy Star certified, energy-efficient HVAC system, your home may not be energy efficient. If your home is not properly weatherized, and is plagued by air leaks and poor insulation, your new high-efficiency heating or cooling system will not be able to perform as intended. Plus, studies have found that most HVAC systems are either oversized or undersized. Partnering with a qualified HVAC company will help ensure that the energy-efficient system you invest in works as efficiently as it should, and that your home is made as energy efficient as possible.
If you have further questions about making sure your Florida home enjoys optimum energy efficiency and avoids these energy myths, contact the team at Senica Air Conditioning, Inc., Inc., your partner for all HVAC needs in the greater Clearwater and St. Petersburg areas.
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