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Think You Know It All About Energy Savings? 5 Myths Debunked

You’re a smart person and probably do a lot of research before you make any important purchasing decisions. And you most likely know a lot about energy savings. Well, we have some news for you: Even the best-informed consumer can be misled by a myth or two. Let’s debunk five energy-saving myths.

  • Myth: Set the thermostat as low as possible to cool the house faster.
  • Fact: Unless you have a variable-speed air handler that adjusts the blower speed to meet demand, your air conditioner has one fan speed: on. That means whether you set the thermostat two degrees or 10 degrees lower, the temperature will adjust at the same rate. By drastically changing the setting, you’re simply setting yourself up to waste energy.
  • Myth: Turn the A/C off any time to leave the house to save energy.
  • Fact: The only time it’s worthwhile to shut off the air conditioner is if you’re gone for four to eight hours or longer. To avoid coming home to a hot house, install a programmable thermostat that automatically raises the temperature a few degrees in your absence and restores a comfortable temperature before you return.
  • Myth: Run ceiling fans to keep empty rooms cooler.
  • Fact: Fans cool people with the wind chill effect, but they have no bearing on the room’s actual temperature. After all, they simply move air around, They don’t actually cool it. Turn off the fan in an empty room to save energy.
  • Myth: Close air vents to boost efficiency.
  • Fact: While you can save energy by closing the vents in one or two unused rooms, you don’t want to close any more than 20 percent of your home’s air vents. The resulting pressure imbalance could damage the system without saving you any money at all.
  • Myth: Air conditioning is the only way to stay cool.
  • Fact: Save on cooling bills by getting creative with other ways to stay cool. For example, escape to the basement, go to the pool, turn on a fan, and spray yourself with water. There are plenty of ways to stay cool without ramping up the A/C.

For answers to other myths about energy savings, contact HVAC Unlimited in Fairfax.

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