With all the energy-savings chatter out there and the concern about the present and future welfare of the earth, some misinformation spreads.
It happens. Some people are so fanatically dedicated to this way of thinking that they distort reality in their own mind and then spread their thinking to others.
Some energy savings “tips” are not really “tips” at all.
In fact, they’re dead wrong.
So what shouldn’t you do?
1. HVAC Tune-Ups Most Likely Do Not Save You Energy
If you get a tune-up of your HVAC system, that’s still smart and responsible behavior. But don’t fall into the thinking that it’s going to save you energy.
More than likely, it won’t.
Michael Blasnik, a leading energy savings consultant, has spent years studying this. He’s found that while HVAC tune-ups lengthen the life of your system, they do not save you energy.
2. Run Your HVAC and Ceiling Fans at the Same Time to Save Energy
Technically, you might save a nominal amount of energy doing this. You might. A 1996 study called Are Energy Savings Due to Ceiling Fans Just Hot Air did not find a statistically significant difference between homes who did and did not do this.
That does leave room for the possibility that some homes could have saved a miniscule amount of energy.
So, you can do it if you want. However, you don’t really know if doing this makes any difference whatsoever.
Certainly, there’s better ways to save energy with your time.
3. Don’t Waste Your Life Cleaning Your Refrigerator Coils
Yes. You’ve heard to do this one several times. And technically, it’s partially true.
But, take the totality of the context into account first.
In 1993, Diamond and Moezzi studied whether this has an impact on energy savings or not.
And they found that if this does have any difference at all, like running your HVAC system and ceiling fans at the same time, it results in little or no energy savings.
Remember, that study was done in 1993, which was 25 years ago when fridges were a lot less efficient than they are today.
So if it barely made a difference then, it certainly makes even less of a difference now.
Save your time. Use it more wisely elsewhere.
4. Caulking and Weatherstripping Your Home
Of all these tips, this one has the most credibility. For most homes, you’re again completely wasting your time with caulking and weatherstripping.
But, this does make a difference for some homes.
Basically, you’ll have to identify all cracks and crevices that could be letting unconditioned air seep into your home.
Check around pipes that exit your home, and also your doors and windows. If you have a basement, look around the ring joist.
But for the most part, you don’t need to make a big deal out of this. Definitely don’t stay up at night worrying how much money and energy you might be wasting.
Well, anyway, that’s enough debunking baloney for today.
For now, you’re that much wiser. And you’ll get genuine savings from your actions.