1. Myth: Closed vents are more energy-efficient than open vents
Blocking vents can lead to a buildup of pressure in your HVAC ducts and energy waste when the system struggles to cool your house. Closing vents to unused rooms restricts the free circulation of air in the house, forcing your HVAC system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature level. Also, air leakage due to increased stress in the ducts can redirect warm/cold air to other rooms and cause a draft in the home.
2. Myth: Turning off electronic devices eliminates their energy usage
Many devices have standby modes that consume energy even when turned off. Energy is still consumed if you have a desktop computer, TV, microwave, cable box or gaming console with instant-on capability. Even though standby power costs much less than active energy use, unplugging all your electronics and appliances after using them will make a noticeable difference in your electricity bill in the long run.
3. Myth: Setting your thermostat low will heat your house slowly
The lower interior temperature during winter slows heat loss and causes your furnace to run less frequently. Adjusting for this lower demand yet most comfortable level translates to additional savings on your heating cost. Conversely, you may be overpaying for a heating system that overcompensates heat escape when you set the thermostat higher than required for your comfort.
4. Myth: Energy-efficient upgrades always provide immediate financial returns
Unless initial costs are low, weighing the lifespan and performance benefits of each energy-efficient upgrade is important. Replacing old, power-hungry appliances, such as electric water heaters and refrigerators, with energy-smart models can result in net savings after a long payback period. But switching to LEDs or compact fluorescent lamps might be a better choice, given their lower upfront costs, lower power demands and extended longevity.
5. Myth: Renewable energy sources are free of energy costs
Purchasing solar panels may be the right choice for some people, although they're not the first choice of many due to high upfront costs. Although renewable energy reduces energy costs in the long run, you'll likely be required to purchase additional components such as batteries and storage units to ensure continuous energy supply when intermittent sources are unavailable.
6. Myth: Energy efficiency is limited to appliances and equipment
Often, energy efficiency comes down to behavior conservation. You can eliminate half a day's power consumption without breaking your budget by following simple practices such as taking shorter showers and air-drying clothes instead of turning on the dryer. Small steps like reducing your time in front of the TV and turning off unused lights will also reduce your utility bill considerably.
7. Myth: Hand-washing dishes saves more energy than using the dishwasher
The truth is energy consumption can vary significantly between both methods. One study showed that it costs about half as much energy to wash dishes in a dishwasher as it does to hand wash in a sink. Up to 4% of the water bill spent hand washing dishes can be saved using a dishwasher, which only accounts for about 1 percent of the average household water consumption.