Lowering your electricity bill is always popular as the summer heat settles in. You can shop for lower electricity rates or set your thermostat a little higher to offset the cost of cooling your house. There are plenty of great energy saving tips and hacks available to lower your bill without sacrificing comfort. Unfortunately, energy savings myths sometimes get mixed in with all of the good information. Here are a few common misconceptions that you should avoid.
Myth: You can cool your home to the desired temperature faster by setting the thermostat to a very low temperature.
Fact: Your thermostat does not operate like the accelerator on your car. Either the air conditioning system is on or it is off. If the indoor temperature is 80° and you want it to be 75°, you should set your thermostat to 75°. Your home will not cool down any faster by setting the thermostat to a lower temperature. In fact, setting the thermostat too low could cause you to overshoot your desired temperature. This will result in wasting electricity and putting a strain on your air conditioner.
Myth: LEDs are too expensive and it is better to stock up on incandescent bulbs before they disappear from the shelves.
Fact: This may have been true in the past but LED prices have been dropping significantly over the past two years. LEDs use less electricity and produce far less waste heat than incandescent bulbs. They also do not have the mercury disposal problems associated with compact fluorescent lights. With their ultra-long life and energy efficiency, they are an excellent choice for your home. You do not need to replace all of the lights in your house at once. You will get the biggest electricity savings by changing out the lights that you use most. Then replace less-used lights with LEDs as needed.
Leaving Lights On
Myth: It is cheaper to leave lights on rather turn them off and on when leaving and re-entering a room.
Fact: There is no “start-up” energy used to power up a home lighting fixture. Lights simply consume electricity when they are on and do not consume electricity when they are off. It saves money to turn lights off even if you are leaving a room for just a few minutes. In addition, you should not worry about shortening the life of the bulb by turning it off and on. The new LED lights are especially hardy when it comes to being switched on and off repeatedly.
Ceiling Fan Operation
Myth: Ceiling fans reduce the temperature in a room.
Fact: Ceiling fans cool people, not space. Thermostats measure the air temperature in your home. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that allows you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher while maintaining your desired level of comfort. There are some odd ceiling and room configurations where fans help mix the air in the home to eliminate hot and cold air pockets. This can improve air conditioner efficiency by making sure that the air temperature in your home is consistent. Otherwise, it generally makes sense only to operate ceiling fans in rooms where people are present.
Enjoy the summer and remember that there are plenty of ways to save on electricity costs without sacrificing comfort.