Energy saving myths seem to proliferate in summer when hot weather keeps air conditioners running overtime and monthly bills rising. Everybody’s looking for an easy way to save energy and cut expense without compromising indoor comfort. Unfortunately, many of the energy-saving myths “everybody knows” are true actually don’t hold up to scientific scrutiny and laboratory tests. While certainly not everything is yet known about ways to cut household energy consumption, we are pretty sure about some of the things that don’t work. Here are some energy-saving myths that will probably be making the rounds again this summer:
Myth: Leaving the air conditioner on all day when you’re not home uses less energy than cooling down a hot house when you return.
Fact: Cooling a hot house definitely makes an air conditioner run extended “On” cycles. However, that still represents less energy consumption than letting it cycle on and off repeatedly all day while you’re gone. A central air conditioner actually runs most efficiently under heavy load and longer cycles, so you’re not overworking your A/C to cool down a hot house.
Myth: Setting the thermostat way down cools a hot house faster.
Fact: An air conditioner extracts heat from the house at the same rate whether you simply move the thermostat down a few degrees to the normal desired temperature — or crank it down as far as it will go. Extreme thermostat settings don’t get you comfortable faster. However, they may well cause you to overshoot the normal temperature and make the house much cooler than desired, which definitely wastes energy.
Myth: Running ceiling fans in empty rooms saves energy.
Fact: Energy-efficient ceiling fans do make rooms feel cooler by a downsized version of the “chill factor.” This cooling effect is only perceived by occupants, however — a thermometer will show that there is no actual change in room temperature. The bottom line is: running a ceiling fan in an unoccupied room doesn’t save energy, it’s actually a waste of energy.
Ask the professionals at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, Electric and Plumbing for more information to bust energy-saving myths this summer.