If you’re like us and many other people, you’re very concerned about your electricity bill and would like to reduce your consumption and lower your costs. We all want to find ways to become more energy efficient, so we decided to dedicate this blog to debunking the following myths.
Some of these myths came as quite a surprise to us, and quite possibly they’ll surprise you too. Ultimately, our aim is that we’ll all embrace some new habits and rid ourselves of some bad ones and in the process save some money too!
1. Fans Cool Rooms
Myth: Many people think that if they leave a fan on in a room during the summer months, it will cool the room down.
Fact: Fans do circulate the air in a room; however, they do not cool down a hot room. If you’re hot, a fan blowing on your skin may make you feel cooler as it evaporates your sweat, but it does not change the temperature in the room. So, if you do go out and leave a fan on in the hopes of cooling the room, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money. Use the fan when you’re directly near it, instead!
2. Washing Dishes by Hand Saves Water
Myth: Doing dishes by hand is more energy-efficient than using the dishwasher.
Fact: Hand-washing your dishes isn’t always the most economical option. For example, if you’ve made a meal for four or more people and now need to wash all the dishes, cutlery and so on, an average dishwasher cycle uses approximately 13 litres of water whereas washing dishes by hand can use up to 36 litres. To be even more energy efficient, don’t run the dishwasher until it’s full and use the shortest appropriate cycle.
3. Raising the Thermostat Heats a Room Faster
Myth: Baby it’s cold inside! Turning the thermostat temperature up really high will heat a room faster. Sounds logical.
Fact: Apparently, it’s not. Setting the thermostat higher than your target temperature won’t heat a room up any faster. It’s recommended that you set the thermostat at a temperature that is comfortable for you and your family, such as 21°C, and leave it alone. It’s an energy efficient temperature and the room will heat up just as quickly as if you had set it at 28°C.
4. Lowering the Thermostat Doesn’t Do Much
Myth: Many of us believe that lowering the thermostat by one measly degree won’t make much of a difference to our energy consumption. Boy, are we wrong. We were guilty of this, personally, but have mended our ways.
Fact: Turns out if we turn the thermostat down by just one degree, we’ll reduce our energy consumption by 5% to 7%. When we realised that heating accounts for half of our home’s electricity costs, it was worth it!
5. Smaller Loads of Laundry Are Better
Myth: It’s better to do two small loads of laundry than to completely fill up the washing machine.
Fact: Wrong. Two small loads use twice as much energy as one fully-loaded machine. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Consider updating your machine if it’s older and/or inefficient, and get a greener model that’s the right size for your family’s needs.
6. Air-Drying the Laundry Indoors Saves Energy
Myth: Hanging a small load of clothing on an indoor clothesline during the winter is more energy efficient than using the dryer.
Fact: Not true. Drying clothes indoors, even just a small quantity, increases the humidity in the air and humid air is more difficult to heat. Result? It takes more energy to heat your home, potentially costing you more!
7. Air Conditioners Can Be Installed Anywhere
Myth: It doesn’t really matter where an A/C unit is located in relation to the sun.
Fact: It does matter. If the sun shines directly on an air conditioning unit, its thermostat will think it’s hotter than the actual temperature really is in the space it’s trying to cool, forcing the unit to work harder, using more energy.
8. All Those Gadgets Don’t Consume Much Electricity if You Aren’t Using Them
Myth: Most people think that when electronics and appliances are turned off, they aren’t using energy. Right?
Fact: Wrong. They all consume energy while they’re plugged in, whether they’re “off’ or in “standby mode”. Otherwise known as phantom power, it can affect your electricity bill by 5-10%. Stop wasting energy. Remember to disconnect electronic devices (home office equipment, entertainment systems, digital clocks, electric toothbrushes, small appliances) when not in use.
Tip: Plug multiple electrical items into a power bar, then switch the power bar off when you’ll not be using them.
Every Little Bit Counts
The truth is, we could go on and on about the many little (and large) ways we can all reduce our electrical energy consumption. Start by dismissing the myths and looking at the realities that exist when it comes to the little things that add up to big savings that we all can do in our everyday lives. Your wallet and the environment will thank you.