Do you have that annoying friend or relative who always has some of the latest advice they think you should follow?
…And they just can’t stop themselves from telling you about it time and time again?
That’s kind of like the internet in some ways, isn’t it?
The web is filled with electricity savings advice. Some of it’s worth listening to. And some of it, well, you should just ignore.
Here’s some of the myths you can ignore because they don’t save energy as promised:
1. Turning Things On/Off Causes Power Surges and Uses Energy
There’s a little bit of truth (and a whole lot of confusion) on this one. With lights, they don’t experience any power surge when turned on. So just turn them off.
The same kind of goes for computers. But, you may have heard that they do indeed have a power surge when turned on.
Well, technically they do. However, it’s so small that you can barely even measure it. And it’s so short, there’s no meaningful savings (think a fraction of a cent).
So go ahead and turn your devices off without worrying about using more energy by turning them off and on.
2. Should You Leave Your AC On All Day Because That’s More Efficient?
This one has some confusion. And it depends on how long you want to leave your AC off.
If you leave your AC off all day, you do gain efficiency by only running it at night. And that goes even if your home is quite hot.
If you turn your AC on and off multiple times per day, then you might be costing yourself some energy.
But if you leave it off all day and run it all night, you save energy.
3. Taking a Shower Saves More Energy than Taking a Bath
Maybe. This depends on the type of showerhead your shower has. Older showerheads allow 5 gallons of water per minute through, which means you’ve used the same amount of water in 7 minutes that you would have used to take a bath.
Even with a low-flow showerhead, it remains debatable as to whether you save energy. That’s because most people keep the shower water hotter than the water they use to pour a bath.
4. Handwashing Dishes is More Efficient than Using Your Dishwasher
Again, a bit of a “it depends” here. For small loads, washing dishes by hand is much more efficient. For large loads, your dishwasher is the winner.
So, now you understand the truth behind these energy savings myths. And you can win genuine savings!