It’s a no brainer that prudent and careful use of energy is no longer a matter of choice but an imperative requisite. Power resources, both renewable and non-renewable ones, are precious, and there is no alternative to limiting one’s consumption in order to bridge the demand and off-the-grid energy supply gap.
Now, even the most well-meaning intentions may not necessarily translate into productive measures. A lack of knowledge or susceptibility to prevalent myths can often derail even the most genuine energy conservation efforts.
These top energy efficiency myths need to be busted in order to channelize energy efficiency initiatives in the right direction:
Energy Efficient Features Escalate the Cost of a New Home
According to Australian HVAC experts, Incorporating energy efficient features such as natural skylights, solar panels, high thermal mass building materials, HVAC systems of the right size, and energy-efficient windows and landscaping, burning a hole in your pocket and escalating the cost of your new home is a thing of the past.
Given the emphasis on optimizing energy conservation, large scale research and development has made energy-efficient homes an affordable reality.
Energy Efficient Cooling or Heating System Automatically Reduces Energy Consumption
Can your new car drive itself? Then, how can the cooling or heating systems be expected to deliver on energy efficiency on their own?
Research has proven that faulty installation, which leads to cooled or heated air escaping the premises, or laxity in operations, such as leaving the devices on for more than the required durations, often interferes with their ability to conserve energy.
Repeated Switching On and Off of Electric Appliances Negates Energy Savings
Do you prefer leaving electric appliances such as lights or computers on if you are stepping out only for bit because repeated turning on and off interferes with energy savings and causes undue wear and tear? You could be living by an energy efficiency myth.
The idea of sudden power surges and wearing off may have had some credence in another time and age, but does not hold ground in the time of modern and sophisticated appliances and electric fittings available today.
Electric appliances must be turned off when not in use; there can be no two ways about it.
Energy Saving Windows Can Bring down the Utility Bill by up to 40%
While there is no denying energy-efficient windows that prevent conditioned air from escaping out bring down the utility bill by taking some load off your air conditioning devices.
But if you really expect the savings to be anywhere close to the 40% bracket, you are in serious need for some reality check. Power saving with energy efficient windows can at best be between 10-20%.
Insulation Does Not Allow Homes to Breathe
A home doesn’t need to breathe, its occupants do. Therefore, the whole concept of leaving gaps and spaces to allow your home to breathe’ is marred with silliness. Sealing off any unnecessary gaps and crevices and keeping your home as air tight as possible helps in increasing the efficiency of cooling and heating devices installed in your home. (More)
Gaps and crevices, on the other hand, make way for moisture, unpleasant odors and spores to enter into the house.
Space Heaters are More Energy Efficient than Centralized Ones
It may seem logical – confining use of heating devices to areas that are more frequently used will lead to energy conservation and also bring down the utility bill. However, you are better off using a centralized heating system because space heaters consume an absurd amount of energy.
Turning the thermostat levels on your centralized heating devices down is a more viable energy conservation option for off-the-grid living.
Keeping Vents of Unoccupied Room Closed Helps in Energy Conservation
Sounds like an obvious energy conservation solution, but it is yet another energy efficiency myth that needs to be debunked. Once the furnace is set in motion, the heat thus generated automatically fills up all the ducts of the heating system.
Closing down vents in certain areas, exerts more pressure on the heating device as the circulated hot air needs to be redirected to open vents. The added workload of directing the air to open vents not only uses more energy but may also cause unnecessary wearing off to the device.
Turned Off Appliances Do Not Use Energy
Do you think unplugging a turned off device or turning off the switch to stop power supply is needless because appliance do not consume energy in turned off mode? Another energy efficiency myth that calls for a reality check. It is true that electric appliances and gadgets of the previous generations did not use up electricity when turned off.
However, the advent of standby or sleep settings in appliances has changed that forever. In fact, certain electronics, appliances or gadgets are said to consume as much electricity in standby modes as they do for active operations.
Leaving Fans on Helps Reduce Energy Consumption By Maintaining Lower Room Temperature
Leaving fans on even while you step out of your house ultimate contributes to your energy efficiency efforts, as fans maintain a cooler room temperature at lower power consumption, thereby cutting on the energy use by air conditioning devices. Right? Absolutely not.
Fans are meant for faster circulation of air and are not designed for cooling. Leaving fans in use even when no one is around is a sheer waste of energy and money.
Clean Refrigerator Coils Mean Improved Efficiency
Now, there is no harm in keeping your refrigerator coils clean. But if you are doing so with a hope of improving the efficiency of the machines, you are likely to be disappointed. A refrigerator with dirty coils can work as efficiently as one with clean ones. Dirt and grime have no impact on a refrigerator’s cooling abilities.
Halogen Lights are a Super Energy Efficient Alternative
LED lights, CFLs and then, halogen lights – that’s pretty much the order of ranking as far as energy efficiency is concerned. Halogen lights are nothing but a slightly improved version of the traditional incandescent bulbs.
They are definitely a more energy efficient option in comparison to an incandescent bulb but far more inferior than LED and compact fluorescent lights.
Moving away from energy efficiency myths to scientifically backed logics can contribute immensely in energy conservation initiatives. (More on lighting)
As citizens rooting for a greener planet, we can do our bit by debunking wrong practices, and making small lifestyle changes in the right direction.