Biggest Energy Saving Myths- Debunked

Here are some of the most popular energy saving myths, as well as a few truths- can you tell which is which?

power button

In a world where everyone is trying to save energy, be their reasons financial, environmental or both, it is unsurprising that a number of myths manage to do the rounds, based on hearsay and out of date facts. Here are some of the most popular energy saving myths, as well as a few truths- can your tell which is which?

 Traditional light bulb fittings make it difficult to fit energy-saving or LED lightbulbs

 FALSE. Energy-saving lightbulbs and LED lights have been designed to be as versatile as possible, and can be fitted into all kinds of traditional fittings, including free-standing lamps, traditional pendant lights and down-lights.

  A screen saver helps your computer save energy

 FALSE. The screen saver is a file run by your computer to prevent a problem called screen burn, which can develop when your computer screen shows the same image for too long. If you want your computer to save energy when not in use, set it to enter “sleep mode” after 15 minutes of inactivity which will put it into standby. However, “sleep mode” or standby both still allow your computer to consume energy, so shouldn’t be used as an alternative to switching off your computer when not in use for long periods.

 It uses more energy to switch an appliance off and on than to leave it running

 FALSE. Switching an appliance off when not in use, then back on saves more energy than leaving it running for the endurance, despite myths about starting and rebooting computers, televisions etc using up higher levels of energy. Even if only for a few minutes, switching an appliance off saves more energy than leaving it running. This myth may have stemmed from the days of older technology, in which repeatedly switching on and off could impact on a device’s lifespan. Nowadays, this isn’t the case, and an electrical appliance can usually be switched on and off as often as needed without the risk of causing it damage.

 Switching to a new energy supplier can reduce your energy bills

 TRUE. Electricity rates can vary between areas and suppliers, so it can often be worth shopping around to find the best rates. There are a number of energy price comparison websites which can help you evaluate the best supplier and tariff for you, and switching supplier is usually quick and straightforward, making it easier than you might think to save money on your energy bills.

 Turning your thermostat up high makes your home heat up more quickly

 FALSE. When your heating is on, your home heats up at the same rate, regardless of how high your thermostat has been set. The thermostat controls how high the temperature in your house must become before the heating switches off, but has no control over how quickly this takes place. To help your heating to heat your home more quickly, consider installing better insulation to reduce the rate at which heat is lost through windows, doors, walls and the floor etc.

 Switching off an appliance with its power button stops it from using electricity

 FALSE. Switching off a TV or computer with its power switch when not in use stops a certain amount of electricity being used, and is certainly more energy saving than leaving your device on standby or sleep mode. But leaving an appliance plugged in at the mains can still cause it to drain electricity unnecessarily. To avoid this from happening, make sure all appliances including TVs, computers and phone chargers are unplugged from the mains when not in use, to ensure no excess energy is being wasted.

 Using your thermostat and timer to control your heating saves energy and money

 TRUE. Thermostats ensure that your heating is only running when it is needed, to keep your home at a comfortable temperature predetermined by you. Timers also help by making sure your heating isn’t running when the house is empty, when everyone is asleep or other times when heating is unnecessary. A timer allows you to set your heating to come on at important times, such as making sure the house is warm when you get up in the morning, or when you get home from work. Making sure that your heating only runs when it is needed is important when saving energy, and your thermostat and timer are important tools you can use to make sure you get it right.

Image sourced: Mozillar

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