Debunking Myths in Home Power Saving Tips
Power saving at home is something every household should try doing. It’s not just a matter of lowering household expenses but also a contribution to environmental conservation. Most of the world still use fossil fuels for energy so it would be commendable to actively reduce your carbon footprint.
However, not every attempt at saving power at home is effective or correct. Some of these so-called DIT power saving tips are just a waste of time and could even be impairing your other efforts in conserving electricity. Know what these myths in DIY home power saving are and correct whatever wrong you are doing as you try to save on power.
Not turning off the heater, just setting it low
-There’s a misconception among some that it is more efficient to just put the heater on low setting throughout the day regardless of whether or not you are at home. This is supposedly because the heater tends to consume more power when it’s starting from zero as it heats up a cold room or home, as compared to just letting it continuously heat the house at a low setting. The better thing to do is to use a timer and just set the timer to turn the heater on around half an hour before you get home.
(For those in Economy 7 or 10 tariff) storing electricity in batteries at night to be used in the day
– In other words, using batteries charged when the electricity rates are lower (at night) and using these batteries for AM consumption. This is a rather complicated setup seemingly designed by paranoid extreme frugality enthusiasts. This has no palpable benefits. It’s important to note that charging batteries involves some of the electricity wasted into heat. There’s electricity lost during the charging process so not all of what has been drawn from the outlet can be stored in a battery and extracted when needed to power devices. No competent power service provider would advise doing something like this.
Painting radiators black
– According to Richard Kay of the Energy Saving Trust (as featured on The Telegraph), there’s no solid proof that painting radiators black makes yields energy savings. Kay says that even if a radiator emits slightly more heat, the boiler consequently uses more gas so the possible efficiency gain is just offset.
Screensavers saving energy
– In the advent of LCD displays, the myth of screensavers being a power saver should have already gone extinct. However, for the sake of those who are still stuck with the belief in the screensaver myth, let this be the time to finally thrash this misconception.
Only those with roofs that face south can use solar panels
– While it is true that those who install solar panels for homes take into account the direction to which the roofs are facing, it is wrong to believe that solar panels are only for those whose roofs are facing a particular direction. Besides, roofs are not the only place for installing solar panels. There’s always the option to use a special contraption to ensure the optimum sun exposure of the panel.
Using electric heaters to save on heating expenses
– Electric heating systems are actually more expensive. It would be better to go for an efficient gas central heating system that comes with a room thermostat, timer, as well as a complete set of thermostatic radiator valves.
Regular DIY duct cleaning for efficient home heating/cooling
– This is a case of good intentions yielding possibly unfavorable consequences. There are those who think that they need to regularly clean ducts to ensure the efficient operation of heating/cooling systems. However, most homes don’t really require or very seldom need duct cleaning. Ducts only need to be cleaned when they are infested by vermin and molds. The problem with regular DIY duct cleaning is that there’s the possibility that you may cause some unnoticeable damage on your ducts. These inconspicuous damage may ironically become the cause of your heating/cooling system’s inefficiency. You may just be the one bringing about the inefficiency you are trying to avoid.
These are just some of the misconceptions or myths surrounding home power savings. Examine if you are guilty of committing any of them. Remember that if you want to implement power conservation measures, you have to do it the right way. Otherwise, you will just be wasting your efforts or you may just introduce problems into your current setup.