It’s amazing what some homeowners will do to reduce their utility bills. From laying on extra blankets and refusing to turn on the heat to following myths that have no proof behind them, some people will go to extremes to save a few dollars. However, some of these strategies are more effective than others. Here are three common myths that won’t actually save you money, and might actually damage your system or cost you money in the long run.
Closing Your Vents Reduces Energy Costs
The idea behind closing vents in the house is that homeowners want to make the heating more concentrated. By skipping certain rooms, the heat will fill up one area and turn off faster. After all, if no one is staying in your guest bedroom, why should you heat it?
However, this myth is simply not true. First, your thermostats across the house will pick up different readings and keep pushing heat as long as they’re not hitting their goals. Next, the heat from the room you are heating will continue to seep through the rest of the house, driving up costs. The act of closing the doors and vents won’t stop the airflow entirely. While you might not pay more by closing your vents, you’re certainly not going to pay less.
Fans Cool the Air When You’re Gone
Image via Flickr by by Frank Boston
There’s a belief that fans work to cool the air, when in fact they just circulate it. They move the air around your home and push it against your skin, which feels cooler. This is why standing in a room with a fan might not be cool, but standing next to or underneath it does.
What does this mean for your energy bills? Many homeowners turn off the air conditioning but leave fans on when they leave the house to keep it cool. If they simply turn off the fans along with their HVAC units, they can reduce house of energy spent circulating air for no one to appreciate.
Setting the Thermostat Higher Will Warm the House Faster
This myth also applies to setting the thermostat cooler than you want it to be in the summer. However, your HVAC system doesn’t have multiple temperatures; it simply pushes the cool air out at the same pace until it hits the desired goal. You won’t cool or heat your home faster by setting the thermostat lower — you will simply increase your energy bills by forcing your system to work longer.
This can actually tax your HVAC system and cause it to break, so if you have been following this myth, you might need to call a maintenance tech to check for wear.
There are plenty of ways to reduce your electric bills without taxing your system or trying methods that don’t work. Walking around in socks and placing area rugs on your hardwood floors are two proven methods for naturally heating up your body and home. The next time you hear an energy-saving myth, think about where it came from before you believe it.