You may think you have tried everything possible to lower your energy bills but still need to find a way to save some more. You can find lots of information online how to do this. However, some “clever” ideas to reduce your energy use may damage your appliances or electronics. Others may have the opposite effect from the one you seek, raising instead of lowering your energy costs.
Take a look at this list to see if the suggestions you are pondering will give you an energy boost, or cause an energy leak.
Keep The Fan Going?
Ceiling fans are often an option to enhance cooling, but what is the best way to ensure their operation results in cooling that makes up for the power they use? Many will tell you that allowing a fan to run constantly is a great idea as it reduces the need for other cooling systems.
This is false. The way ceiling fans keep you cool is by evaporating moisture from your skin and giving you that cooling feeling. If you leave the room and no one else is in the space it would make the most sense to turn the fan off until people enter again.
The fan does not lower the temperature of the area. It merely moves the air around.
Keep The Computer On?
You often hear that it is much more energy efficient to keep a computer up and running even if you have no need to use it for a period of time. The thought is that it takes more energy to start the computer up again than to simply let it stay on and ready for use.
Although this may have been true many years ago, today’s electronics quickly reboot, and allowing them to run continuously actually wastes far more energy than it takes to turn them back on.
There is a parallel when it comes to shutting off lights. Some people argue that lighting should stay on as it takes more energy to start a light bulb than to just let it stay alight. Just as with electronics, this idea is no longer true. You save energy, and money when you flip the lights off when you leave the room.
Keep The Charger Plugged In?
When items like chargers are constantly plugged in, but not in use, many commonly believe that no power is fueling the engaged item. This is untrue. Anything plugged in is drawing power even if it is not currently operating, a concept known as standby power. Think about investing in power strips you can shut down while still leaving items plugged in to prevent this power drain.
HVAC Vents — Open Or Closed?
If you have an area of your home you think you could block from heating or cooling to save some money, think again. Most HVAC systems work most efficiently if all vents are open and the air flows freely throughout. Shutting down a vent into an unused room can make the system work harder, thus wasting energy.
Cranking Up The Heat Makes Your Home Warmer Faster?
If you think you can increase the heating speed of your furnace by setting the temperature much higher than normal you are mistaken. Choose a temperature that is comfortable and set the thermostat there. If you want to save energy by lowering the temperature when no one is home consider using a thermostat with a timer to bring your home back to your comfort zone just before you arrive home.
Throw Another Log On The Fire?
Using your fireplace to heat your home is not a sensible option. The only safe way to operate a fireplace requires a constant influx of cold, fresh air. This stream of cool air keeps the smoke moving up the chimney. Your living or family room may be warmer when the fire is blazing, but the rest of your home is cooler because the colder air is pulled in, and your central heating system works harder, and uses more energy, to compensate.
Keep Your Deep Freeze In The Garage?
It seems to make sense that keeping your freezer in a cold space makes it use less energy. The problem is that the garage or other non-climate controlled areas may actually be very hot at some times of the year, requiring the freezer to work much harder. It is much more sensible, and easier on the motor and condenser, to keep the freezer in a reliably cool area like your basement. This way the freezer cycles in a much more moderate manner, saving energy and money.