It’s officially fall, and with the falling leaves, apple cider, and pumpkin pie comes cooler weather. While the mild temperatures may bring relief from the long summer’s heat, it also means that winter is right around the corner. The colder weather months often bring higher energy bills for homeowners, and you may be looking for quick tips on how to be energy efficient this fall. However, don’t believe everything you hear. We’re debunking fall energy-saving myths.
Myth: Your home will heat quicker if you set your thermostat higher.
Fact: Your home heats at a steady rate. It doesn’t matter if you set your thermostat to 85° or 70° — your home will still reach 70° in the same amount of time. Plus, setting your thermostat to a higher temperature can cause your system to overwork, wasting energy.
Myth: Leaving a light on is more efficient than turning lights on and off.
Fact: While it’s true that there’s a burst of energy when you turn on a light, that burst only lasts nanoseconds, so it’s not affecting your energy efficiency. Leaving a light on for extended periods can and does eat up energy, though. So, when you leave a room, turn off the light!
Myth: Closing vents saves energy.
Fact: It’s common for people to close vents in unused areas such as basements or guest rooms, thinking the air will redirect to other rooms and heat them faster. However, closing vents can actually damage your HVAC system and make it less efficient. Shutting vents over prolonged periods results in an accumulation of air pressure, potentially causing issues like air leakage, the growth of mold, and elevated radon levels.
Myth: It doesn’t matter what kind of appliances I have; they all use the same amount of energy.
Fact: Appliance efficiency has come a long way in the past decade, so if you have an older home with older appliances, you may use way more energy than necessary. If you upgrade, opt for ENERGY STAR products – these appliances meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the U.S. EPA, helping you save energy and money while protecting our climate.
Myth: Space heaters save more energy than heating my whole house.
Fact: Space heaters are generally less efficient in heating your home than an HVAC system. Most space heaters run on electricity, which is more expensive than the natural gas most homes run on. Plus, space heaters are also more dangerous – according to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for 88% of home-heating deaths.
This fall, keep these energy-saving myths (and facts!) in mind to stay energy-efficient and warm.