Looking for Summer Energy Savings? 4 Myths That May Be Hindering Your Plan
When temperatures soar outside, it’s up to you to adopt the correct practices for summer energy savings. Unfortunately, many myths surround the most effective ways to beat the heat. Here are five to watch out for:
- MYTH: Cranking down the thermostat cools the house faster. Unless you have a variable-speed air handler that changes the output level to match demand, your air conditioner has a single speed: on. An air conditioner turning on is like flipping a light switch, not pushing a gas pedal. Cranking the thermostat down to 70 degrees doesn’t make a difference and could actually end up wasting money by overshooting the target temperature.
- MYTH: Turning off the A/C while you’re gone saves the most energy. This one isn’t too far off. It’s less wasteful to turn off the A/C than to have it maintain a balmy 75 degrees while no one’s home, but the best option is to turn the temperature up 10 degrees. A programmable thermostat can restore a comfortable temperature in time for your return.
- MYTH: Running ceiling fans cools the room. Actually, the air movement cools people, not the air. The wind chill effect makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler, but leaving the ceiling fan on in an empty room is a waste of energy.
- MYTH: Closing supply registers boosts efficiency. If you close over 20 percent of your home’s registers, you could end up paying big time. Unused spaces don’t get as cool, which may seem like a positive, but you’re basically paying to keep the ductwork frosty. Plus, closing vents in a balanced system could cause excess wear and tear on the compressor and condenser, resulting in the need for more repairs.