You may have heard a number of “old wives tales” about how to save energy and money around your home. While some of the tips can help your electric bill, some of them can actually cost you efficiency, and raise your power bill. This month, Piedmont Electric is de-bunking 5 common power myths and giving some better alternatives you can use to make your family more energy efficient.
Cranking up your thermostat will heat your home faster.
Something in human nature leads homeowners to walk into a frigid house and believe that cranking the thermostat to 85 degrees will somehow heat the home quicker.
REALITY: It doesn’t work that way. Think of furnaces like light switches, not dimmers. They are either on or off. The only result of cranking your thermostat will be heating your house beyond a desirable temperature and wasting energy, and money.
HELPFUL TIP: Use a programmable thermostat. You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68 degrees while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. You can save up to 1% per year on your heating bill for each degree you set back the thermostat for eight hours, such as when you’re sleeping or at work. A 10-degree drop could be 10% savings.
Computer screen savers save energy, right?
REALITY: Wrong. Screen savers are just another program that consume energy. Switching off your monitor (or the whole computer) is the most effective way to save energy and cut
There’s nothing you can do to reduce the amount of energy your fridge, freezer and washing machine use.
REALITY: If you adjust your settings, you’ll save money.
HELPFUL TIP: Avoid using the coolest setting on your fridge and close the door straightaway – the more hot air gets in, the more energy it needs to cool down again. Also, remember to check the Energy Star rating before buying new appliances.
TVs, laptops and phone chargers don’t use electricity when not in use.
REALITY: Nope. Everyday gadgets and appliances suck up electricity even when idle or on standby mode. The average household spends up to $100 a year on standby energy. Switch it off!
LED light bulbs will cost you more.
REALITY: A single LED bulb lasts around 50 times longer than a traditional light bulb. So you could spend a whopping 80% less if you used LEDs rather than traditional bulbs. A single LED light bulb costs around $13 and will last 5 and half years (if left running constantly), while the cost of traditional bulbs over that same amount of time would set you back almost $200.