Here are some common misconceptions about energy efficiency in the home that we have tried to clear up:
1. Unplugging my appliances after turning them off doesn’t really save so much money or energy.
Well guess what? That’s absolutely not true. According to the NRDC, your set top DVR can drain 446 kilowatt-hours per year, your refrigerator 416, and your tv 275. That is just the tip of the iceberg, and that already costs (at a conservative assumption of 12 cents per kilowatt) $136 per year. While realistically you cannot unplug your refrigerator, you can unplug other items in your house to save a lot of money every single year. Practecol makes it easy to unplug appliances with its remote controlled surge strip, so you don’t have to bend over and unplug things- instead just use the remote control for big savings!
2. Air Filters for my HVAC only need to be cleaned when they get REALLY dirty.
The air filters on your HVAC system guard every outlet of your air conditioner to take out all of the harmful dust in the air before it gets circulated throughout your house. Optimum efficiency for the air conditioner is at the first instant that there is a clean filter, when no dirt is obstructing the airflow. From there on out, the efficiency of the air conditioner trying to blow through all of the clogged dirt steadily decreases. The Department of Energy recommends checking and cleaning your air filter once a month, especially during heavy usage seasons like July or August.
In addition to making your air conditioner less efficient, clogged air filters also can damage your machine. Because they are forcing your machine to overproduce, the lifespan of your air conditioner is actually significantly shortened by not maintaining proper air filter cleanliness. And, the more often you clean it, the easier each cleaning will be. All the signs point to cleaning it early and often, so why not? There is a way to monitor specifically when to change the air filter using Practecol’s air filter whistle. It places a device on the air filter that senses when the air flow is obstructed on the filter itself, and emits a whistling noise so that you know it is time for a change. This is a simple way to avoid the issue of how often to change it objectively, and it simply tells you when your specific machine needs to be cleaned for maximum efficiency.
3. Fans cool down the room- therefore I should leave them on while I’m not in the room.
The short answer is “that’s not true and you shouldn’t.”
The long answer is a more scientific and technical one. The reason fans cool you off is because they create a wind chill effect, just like wind on a cold day. Essentially the wind or fanned air makes it easier for the sweat on your body to evaporate and cool you off. But, that means that the air itself isn’t getting any colder, it only creates a façade of coolness that exists while you are in the room! In fact, the fan actually makes the room hotter, because the electricity used to power the fan converts into heat and fills the room. So despite making it feel 5 degrees colder while you are under the fan, the fan is technically making the room hotter. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to leave a fan on while you are out of the room, because it only serves to heat the room while you are gone.
4. Air leaking through air ducts and the attic are the only places you lose heat from in your house. (Also, insulating one area will cause more loss in other areas)
There are actually a lot of places in your house that lose heat. Although one of the big ones is through your roof, another large heat drain are the edges around windows and doors, and even through your windows themselves. You can save $15 a year and save 231lbs of CO2 annually by placing the Practecol Easy-Roll Film Kit over all of your windows to prevent heat escaping through the glass of your window panes. You can also save $13 a year on electric bills by using weather stripping to seal up those holes around your doors and windows. These are two other locations in your house that lose heat or cold air to your backyard besides your roof.
Additionally, sealing up these leaks in your house does not adversely affect other regions of your house that leak air. The pressure to lose heat does not increase in other locations, but rather by sealing up one area, you simply reduce leakage. It therefore just makes sense to seal up all locations that you can to maximize savings on electric bills.
Practecol- save and sustain, simply