Energy Saving Myths
by Small Step Energy Solutions
Recently, energy conservation has become a very trendy subject. There are blogs about it, websites devoted to it, smart phone apps for it and a vast amount of technology dedicated to it. As with other trending topics, there are some energy saving myths out there that should be addressed. Here is a list of the five most common energy saving myths.
5. Buying a higher efficiency air conditioner will automatically save you energy.Higher efficiency is better, but make sure the system is sized and installed correctly by a trusted professional. Having an improperly installed air conditioner can waste one-third of the total energy used by the unit. Small Step recommends replacing your existing HVAC unit as a last step in energy improvements. This will ensure that the system is sized properly after you have made all other efficiency upgrades.
4. Keeping the thermostat at one constant temperature uses less energy than turning it down when you aren’t home and heating it back up when you return. Keeping a house at one constant temperature uses more energy than heating a cool house back to temp. Some area residents in Kansas City are eligible for a free programmable thermostat. For more info, go to: http://www.kcplsave.com/residential/programs_and_services/cool_homes/default.html
3. Using electric space heaters saves money. Those little electric space heaters may seem like they would be cheaper to run, but electricity is significantly more expensive than natural gas. Natural gas, depending on where you live, can be anywhere from four to ten times cheaper than electricity. So let your furnace do the work. If you are using a space heater for comfort – in other words, some rooms are much colder than others even with the furnace cranked – then this indicates that there are potential issues with the ducts, insulation, and/or air leaks that need to be addressed.
2. If you want to save energy, invest in new windows. This is one of the most common energy saving myths out there. Replacing your old single-pane window with new double- pane, low-e windows may seem like a good place to start when beginning energy efficiency improvements. Replacing windows will save you some energy, but in relation to their high cost and overall small surface area, windows tend to have a long payback period. Leaky windows impact your comfort level, which can be priceless, but they won’t impact the bottom line on your utility bills by much. There are many other areas of improvement that provide more bang for your buck.
1. Newer homes are more efficient. Just because you are buying a newer home doesn’t necessarily mean that it is more efficient than an older home, rather it is how the home was designed and built that bears the greatest significance on energy efficiency.