Don’t believe everything you hear about home energy savings. Homespun mythology, urban legends and just plain dubious advice abound. Some helpful suggestions turn out to actually decrease efficiency, while others are more trouble than the marginal gains they deliver. When you’re looking for the truth about home energy savings, subject unproven theories to the bright light of common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Remember to forget these tips about home energy savings:
- High-efficiency air conditioners always deliver substantial energy savings. Except when they don’t. Manufacturers’ efficiency specs are reliable and the opinions of reputable HVAC contractors are credible. However, several variables affect how much you’ll ultimately save. These include the condition of your ductwork, the air-tightness of your house, the quality and amount of insulation and whether you follow efficient operating practices, such as the proper use of a programmable thermostat.
- Closing a vent in one room saves energy. The same volume of conditioned air is cooled or heated by the system whether all vents are open or not. If you close one vent, that air isn’t saved for later use. It’s diverted and dispersed elsewhere in the home.
- Duct tape seals ducts effectively. Actually, Department of Energy (DOE) lab tests have shown that sealing ducts is one of the few things duct tape isn’t good for. The majority of duct tape tested by the DOE peeled off the ducts within three months. Leaky ducts should be sealed by an HVAC professional using sealants such as mastic or foil-backed metal tape.
- Simply turning off a device always terminates its energy consumption.Off doesn’t really mean “off” in many devices. As long as they’re plugged in, they’re drawing electricity 24/7. Turn off every device in your home, then look at your electricity meter: It’s still turning. Called “phantom energy,” this consumption can account for up to 5 percent of your home’s total energy usage.
Blanton’s Heating & A/C has served Fayetteville and surrounding area since 1951. Call us for more help in separating home energy savings facts from fiction.