Energy Myth Busters: 10 Real ways to lower your consumption

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Looking for ways to keep your house cool without bumping up your electric bill? Make sure you know about the most common myths that are costing you more.

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MYTH 1: Keep the lights on instead of turning them on and off to avoid power surges

TRUTH: Always turn your lights off when you’re not in the room. Leaving your light on continues to use electricity, which adds to the bill. There’s no surge of power when you turn a light on, so don’t worry about that. Just turn your lights off when you leave.

MYTH 2: Run your A/C all day at a higher temp to keep your house from getting stuffy

TRUTH: Running your air conditioning when you aren’t home is a waste of money. When you get home, turn it on and let it cool the home. Turn it off when you leave to make sure you’re not getting surprise bills.

MYTH 3: Turn your thermostat to 60 degrees to cool the house faster

TRUTH: Your A/C will work at the same pace no matter what you set it at. Set it to the temperature you want so you don’t forget and then spend more money making your house too cold.

MYTH 4: Close the vents in certain rooms to save energy

TRUTH: Closing vents makes your air conditioner work harder and can stress it which could cause damage to your A/C unit.

MYTH 5: Taking a shower is less wasteful than a bath

TRUTH: It depends on the length of your shower and your showerhead. Older shower heads can go through 5 gallons in just one minute. That’s a lot of hot water. If you take 5-minute showers and have a low-flow shower head, then you’ll save money compared to a bath.

MYTH 6: LED light bulbs are a waste of money

TRUTH: Old incandescent lighting uses four times MORE energy than LED bulbs. With LED bulbs, you get the same brightness, same amount of light, just cheaper.

MYTH 7: Wash dishes by hand to be more energy efficient

TRUTH: You can wash by hand if you only have a few dishes. But if you’ve got a full sink of dishes, put them in the dishwasher. You’ll use less water, heat, and energy.

MYTH 8: Keep a fan running all day to cool the room

TRUTH: Fans don’t cool the room. Fans cool people by evaporating sweat off skin. If there is no one in the room to be cooled down by the fan, then turn it off.

MYTH 9: Solar only works when the sun is out.

TRUTH: Even in snowy or rainy weather, sunlight still reaches the earth’s surface, which means you’ll have power during the day. At night, you can still use energy if you store a surplus of solar power within solar power batteries that connect to your solar panels.

MYTH 10: Washing your clothes in cold water or hot water doesn’t make a difference

TRUTH: In terms of energy, there’s a big difference. Washing your clothes in hot water means the water heater has to work to heat the water. Washing with cold water eliminates that energy use, saving money.

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