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Debunking Energy Myths

 Debunking Energy Myths

Interested in saving energy to lower your electric bill but confused about new technology and information available to help you do so? Separate fact from fiction with the following energy-saving myths.

Myth: It takes less energy to have my thermostat maintain a comfortable temperature while I’m away than it does to have it heat up or cool down my house when I get home.

Reality: If you’re going to be gone for more than a few hours, then it is more cost-effective to turn heat or air conditioning off when you leave and back on once you return than it is to maintain a comfortable temperature while you’re out. And your home won’t heat or cool any faster if you put the thermostat on an extreme temperature.

Myth: I can save money simply by installing a programmable thermostat.

Reality: On their own, programmable thermostats do not make your heating or cooling system more efficient. Their money-saving value lies in their ability to automatically regulate the temperature inside your house to coincide with your family’s activities. For that to happen, you first must program it. If you need help programming your thermostat, check the manufacturer’s website.

Myth: When I turn off electronics (like my TV, game console or computer), they stop drawing power from the outlet.

Reality: Even when turned off, most electronics consume electricity while they’re still plugged in. Chargers for mobile devices (such as cellphones) also consume electricity when plugged in, even when they are not actively charging the device. This wasted energy, called “phantom load,” accounts for as much as 10 percent of a home’s total electric use.

Myth: It is not worth my time or money to seal small air leaks around windows and doors, or to make sure my home is adequately insulated.

Reality: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, air leaks around cracks and gaps throughout your home equate to leaving a window open all year long. Typical homeowners can save up to 10 percent on their total annual energy spending by sealing and insulating their home.