Save Energy the Smart Way — Don't Fall for These Myths

Be sure your efforts are really saving your energy

It never hurts to try to save energy. By doing so, you are being earth-friendly and saving yourself some hard-earned money. But don’t believe everything you hear. Check out these myths about energy consumption before you start on your energy-saving campaign.

Myth #1 — Set your thermostat to one temperature and leave it

The truth is you use less energy warming up a cold house than by maintaining a constant temperature. Your best bet here is to install a programmable thermostat that turns on when you’re home and lowers or cuts off when you got to bed or leave home for the day.

Myth #2 — Leave the lights on — It uses more energy turning them off and on

Incandescent lights use more energy if your leave them on. CFLs should be left on if you’re going to need them within 15 minutes. Turning CFLs off and on frequently significantly shortens their life.

Myth #3 — CFLs are irritating

CFLs or compact fluorescent lights have come a long way. They no longer make buzzing and humming noises, and they use much less energy and last longer than incandescent light bulbs.

Myth #4 — Save energy — turn your computer off when not in use

Many electrical appliances consume as much power when they’re turned off as when they are on. To really save electricity, you need to unplug the appliance.

Turning off computers and any electronics not in use is energy efficient; however, it will shorten the life of your computer if you turn your computer off and on several times per day — use the hibernate mode instead.

Myth #5 — Clean your refrigerator coils to increase energy efficiency

There’s nothing wrong with having clean refrigerator coils, but the energy conservation and savings isn’t noticeable enough to be worth the effort.

Myth #6 — It’s more energy efficient to run the dishwasher than wash dishes by hand

This is true if you only run the dishwasher when it is full. Running the dishwasher for partial loads uses more energy than washing dishes by hand.

Myth #7 — It’s more energy efficient to use electric space heaters than central heat

Space heaters are not efficient energy sources. In short — they are energy suckers. It’s better to turn the heat down, close vents and doors to unused rooms in the house.