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On this week’s Savvy Savings with Amanda we explore the most common myths surrounding saving energy. Everything from ceiling fans, portable heaters, light bulbs, and more.

  • Myth 1: Use portable electric space heaters instead of running your central heating
    • Why heat the whole house when you’re just working (or sleeping) in one room? 
    • Electric heating is the most expensive heating available
    • Running one small 1,500-watt space heater—just enough to heat a single room—might cost more than running a gas furnace for your entire house.
  • Myth 2: Leave the ceiling fan on to cool your home
    • Fans cool people, not homes
    • The cool sensation brought by ceiling fans is a result of evaporation of moisture on the skin
    • the actual temperature of the home doesn’t change
    • If you’re not under the fan as it runs, you are not getting any of the benefits
  • Myth 3: Turn off the lights and appliances each time you leave a room
    • Some lights, like compact fluorescent lightbulbs, have a certain amount of energy they must burn in the beginning before they consume a relatively even amount of power. The amount of time is about 15 minutes
    • The same goes for a TV or video game console that has to be booted up if you’ve powered it down.
  • Myth 4: Keep the temperature consistent, even when you’re out of the house
    • It does take extra energy to warm up or cool down your house if you’ve turned the system down when you were at work for the day,” says Forbus. However, he adds, it takes a lot more energy to keep it heated or cooled for all of those hours while you’re gone.
  • Myth 5: Heat your home faster by turning the thermostat higher than it needs to be
    • Driving faster can help you reach your destination sooner, but your HVAC isn’t a car.
    • Your HVAC runs at a constant, so turning the thermostat higher will just end up overheating your home.
    • Smart thermostats can be programmed to help you achieve maximum comfort without wasting energy.
  • Myth 6: Close vents and doors to help save energy
    • Don’t close too many vents as this might cause undue pressure and create leaks, leading to more energy waste
    • In reality, although you can manipulate comfort in a room by opening or closing a vent, the heater or air conditioner continues to produce the same amount of air, so energy saving certainly shouldn’t be the reason to close them.
    • And if you shut doors to unoccupied rooms, Benefiel says this won’t cause your unit to run more efficiently either.
    • Much like shutting vents, this tactic will only lower the temperature in a room, which in turn will cause the overall temperature in your home to drop, and cause your HVAC unit to have to run longer.

Annual expenses (those that you don’t pay each and every month) can sneak up on you and wreck your budget if you don’t plan for them. 

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