The world we live in today is full of myths and superstitions that make life interesting. Without these we would not fully know how to handle ourselves. Some of these myths however, should really be debunked for sanities sake. A licensed electrician hears their fair share of myths about electricity on a daily basis when they talk to their customers. While there may have been some viability to them at one point, many of these myths are just that. Energy Squared came up with a good list of some of the most common myths we have heard through the years.
You waste more electricity by turning your lights on and off
No. You don’t. You are actually saving yourself money, especially if you are using the old incandescent bulbs still. These bulbs should be turned on and off regularly as they will cause your electric bill to go sky high as they continue to heat up. CFLs however, take a while to heat up and get bright. The rule of thumb for CFLs is that if they are going to be off for more than 15 minutes, you should turn them off. Otherwise, turning them on and off can have the same response as leaving it on and lessen the lifespan. But overall in general, you should be good with turning your lights on and off when you leave and enter a room.
Turned off/Idle devices don’t use a lot of electricity
Whether you want to believe it or not, just because you shut off your computer doesn’t mean it isn’t sucking energy. It is believed that up to 75% of the electricity that home electronics use is actually used while you have them off. This is because many of the chargers have adaptor boxes to them which can actually continually suck power. Also items that can be turned off instantly like your TV and cable tend to store power as well. Then you have the items that have a clock like the microwave. A good way to help this is to use a power strip that you can turn off or unplug them if you can. Maybe not the microwave if you use it for time or the cable box so you don’t need to sit through reconfiguration but, what you can do, do.
Set the thermostat higher, things will heat up faster
Ah, the myth of turning the temperature up to produce faster heat. This one is interesting, while you may mentally think that this is working, it doesn’t actually do anything but make the air blow longer, not harder or faster. The furnace, or the AC for that matter can only work at a certain capacity no matter what you set it to. Whether you do 75 or 80 degrees F, it will work the same, getting to 80 will just take longer. So the higher the temperature, the longer it takes and that means you are just using more energy and raising both your heating and your electricity costs.
Energy Efficiency has a large upfront cost
One of the biggest issues that we come across when we talk about energy efficiency to many customers is the concern of the cost. They want to be able to “go green” but they worry that it will cost them a fortune. Rather than getting a new furnace or something that will cost a lot up front, there are little things that can be done to help lower costs without the big, shiny toys. For one if you can seal any air leaks or places that could potentially have air leaks you will save on AC/heating costs. Also regularly replacing air filters and switching to low flow fixtures for showers and faucets can help (no the feel will not be any different than the high flow systems). One of the best things you can do on the electrical side is to add in motion sensors for lighting. This will allow for your lights to turn on and off as people enter the room.
While these myths seem viable, you can be sure that electricity has come a long way. A licensed electrician can tell you, that there are plenty of other myths to answer questions about but the big ones are covered.
If you need any electrical repairs or inspections call Chamberlin Electric today at 603-595- 9473.