As with most home energy efficiency ideas, many of the ones floating around on social media are urban myths. There are solid ideas that can help you save energy such as using CFL light bulbs, adjusting your thermostat higher in the summer or lower in the winter, increasing the insulation in your attic, walls, or floors and turning off and unplugging appliances.
There is also design ideas that can be followed when building or remodeling your home. Home design energy efficiency is critical if you are starting from scratch. Make sure you have some of these tips included when you build your next home.
Maybe you are not ready to start a brand new home. you have a good home and want to find out how efficient you are currently living. In this case you may want to try out a home energy audit. taking this step can identify products or areas in your home that need attention and repairs will help improve your energy efficiency.
How about on your next trip to the home improvement store, you take the extra minute to look into home energy efficiency products? Solar exterior lighting or solar panels, or even a solar hot water heater? even wind turbines are starting to make an appearance in the residential market.
But if you think you are doing everything correctly then here are some myths that you should be careful about.
- Compact Florescent Lights are dangerous because the contain mercury. While it is true that CFL bulbs have a trace amount of mercury, power companies that burn coal put significant amounts of mercury into the atmosphere and reducing the demand on those facilities by using CFL bulbs reduces the total mercury exposure in the atmosphere.
- [frame src=”http://www.horizonservicesinc.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/homeenergymyths200.jpg” width=”100″ height=”100″ lightbox=”on” title=”thermostats” align=”Right” ]Turning the thermostat up or down significantly uses more energy. While the system is running until the temperature is reached, it probably is not running as much as it would if you left the temperature alone at the higher or lower temperature when you are away from your home or while you sleep.
- Shutting vents to other rooms saves on energy. While this seems like an obvious truth, it is in reality a myth. Closing the vents does not divert the air from the unused spaces into the used spaces. It only interferes with the air flow pattern and make the system less efficient. The system may even work harder if rooms are closed off and vents closed. The AC system is designed on a delicate balance of air flow. And closing vents disrupts the air flow to a point that the rooms with the vents open, may not get any more air than if you had not closed off the other vents. And by closing vents, you are allowing a heat source to enter the building envelope inside the insulation making it tougher to cool the house.
- Turning off your electronics means you are not using any electricity. Some appliances today are designed to go into a “stand by” mode when the power switch is pushed so that when you are ready to turn the appliance back on, it is instantaneously on. remember how the old TV’s had to warm up before turning on? Well they still do. The only way to insure that they are not consuming any energy is to completely unplug them. It is a good idea to unplug TV’s and stereos when you are away from home on vaction, saving you real energy.
- 90 Day filters are designed to last 3 months. I can’t say this enough, if it’s dirty, it needs replacing. even if it is 20 days old. Dirty filters will wreak havoc on your heating and air conditioning equipment. Change them frequently. It is inexpensive and will save you thousands down the road.