How to lower your energy bills the right way
When it comes to energy efficiency, there’s some good-sounding advice out there that just simply isn’t correct. Learn how to separate fact from some of the fiction floating around the World Wide Web when it comes to conserving energy.
1. Your fireplace is a great source of warmth
While it’s tough to beat sipping a hot chocolate by a roaring fire, doing so will not lower your energy bills.
Your fireplace has a damper that must be opened to vent the toxic gases that burning wood generates. This is important for your lungs but terrible in terms of energy efficiency, because having the damper open lets in as much outside air as an open window does.
While the room temperature you are in feels comfortable, the overall temperature in your home is prone to drop … which may ultimately have you turning up the thermostat.
2. A freezer must be kept in an unheated garage
This statement is easy to believe. That’s because freezers are cold, just like unheated garages are. But the temperature of most garages fluctuates a lot season to season. This temperature fluctuation can damage your freezer, because the motor has to work harder to standardize the temperature. The best place for a chest freezer is in your basement (providing that you have one), where it’s always cool.
3. Ceiling fans can cool a hot room
Ceiling fans circulate air, which cools our skin. But leaving a fan running in an empty room will do nothing to lower the temperature.
4. Turning your thermostat higher will heat your home faster
If your furnace is running, it’s operating at its maximum capacity. Turning up the temperature will only cause your furnace to run for a longer period, and could even make your home too hot.
5. Plugged in electronics in “off” mode don’t use any power
This claim could not be more false as most electronic devices, either on or off, use “standby power” if they’re plugged in. To keep cellphone chargers and other devices from inflating your energy bills, unplug them when not in use.
6. Closing vents in rooms not used will lower your expense
Keeping a vent closed affects how your HVAC system processes air and will cause the unit to work harder than it normally does, because the balance has been thrown off.
7. Keeping your desktop computer on is better than turning them on and off
This fact was true when personal computers hit the market a few decades ago, and they consumed enormous amounts of energy. This meant that it was better to keep them running versus shutting them off after each use. However, today’s computers are much more energy efficient and it’s now recommended to shut them off after every use.