Like many of your northwest Arkansas neighbors, you’re probably looking for effective ways to achieve more energy efficiency around your home while cutting down on home electricity bills. Unfortunately, when it comes to heating, cooling and the use of home appliances, some electricity-use myths may lead you into thinking you’re saving energy and money, but can actually do the opposite. Here’s a brief review of some of the most common of these electricity-use myths and falsehoods to help you navigate the right path to better savings.
Myth: It is more energy efficient to keep the air conditioning operating at a constant level, regardless of whether anybody’s at home.
Fact: The moment you turn down or off your air conditioner is the moment you begin saving on home energy. This is especially true if you have a tightly sealed and well-insulated home. If it’s excessively hot outside, however, you do want to keep the A/C operating at a higher temperature rather than turning it all the way off. You don’t want to force your A/C to overwork itself bringing 90 degrees down to 75.
Myth: Buying a top-of-the-line energy-efficient air conditioner or heat pump will lead to an automatic reduction in my utility bills.
Fact: While this may be partially true, it’s important to understand that more than the machine results in the savings. A new air conditioner must be properly sized and professionally installed before it can hope to capture a portion of its listed savings. An improperly installed unit with poorly functioning ductwork can waste over a third of the energy used by the air conditioner. Finally, if your home leaks a lot of air and/or has inadequate insulation, you won’t get the expected results from your A/C or heat pump.
Myth: I can save energy and reduce my home heating bills by lowering my heat pump’s thermostat by several degrees at night.
Fact: This can actually do the opposite. Most heat pumps are designed to raise heat by one-degree increments. If you turn the heat pump down several degrees during sleeping hours, and then program it to return to your comfort level at waking hours, it will kick on the emergency heating element – an expensive to operate electric heating element. A special heat pump thermostat will ensure that any temperature changes occur gradually.
To learn more about the facts behind electricity-use myths, or about other energy-saving HVAC products and solutions, please contact our experts at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. Our technicians have proudly served northwest Arkansas homeowners for more than 45 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about electricity-use myths and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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