Don’t be fooled: Bust these energy myths

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Posted on Feb 01 2024 in Features
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Eating carrots will improve your eyesight, cracking your knuckles leads to arthritis, watching too much TV will harm your vision. We’ve all heard the superstitions, but did you know there are also misconceptions about home energy use? Don’t be fooled by these common energy myths.

MYTH: The higher the thermostat setting, the faster the home will heat (or cool).

Many think that walking into a chilly room and raising the thermostat to 85 F will heat the room more quickly. This is not true.

Thermostats direct a home’s HVAC system to heat or cool to a certain temperature. Drastically adjusting the thermostat setting will not make a difference in how quickly you feel warmer. The same is true for cooling. The Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 F during summer months and 68 F during winter months.

MYTH: Opening the oven door to check on a dish doesn’t really waste energy.

While it can be tempting to check the progress of that dish you’re cooking in the oven, opening the oven door wastes energy. Every time it’s opened, the temperature inside is reduced by as much as 25 degrees, delaying the progress of your dish and, more importantly, costing you additional money. If you need to check the progress of a dish, try using the oven light instead.

MYTH: Ceiling fans keep your home cool while you’re away.

Believe it or not, many people think this is true. Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. They circulate air but do not change the temperature. A running ceiling fan in an empty room is only adding to your electricity use. Remember to turn the fan off when you’re away and reduce your energy use.

MYTH: Reducing my energy use is too expensive.

Many consumers believe that reducing energy use requires expensive up-front costs, like purchasing new, more efficient appliances or construction upgrades to older homes. But the truth is, consumers who make small changes to their energy efficiency habits, such as turning off lights when not in use, sealing air leaks and using a programmable thermostat, can see a reduction in energy consumption.

Learn more ways to save energy by contacting your electric cooperative’s energy advisor. He/she can offer smart, money-saving tips that can fit in any budget.