4 energy conservation myths that cost you money

You hear a lot about energy conservation today, and some of it's worthy advice. Some of it, however, is flat wrong. Here are four widely touted energy-saving myths that you should know the full facts about.

4 energy conservation myths that cost you money

1. Programmable thermostats save money

  • Programmable thermostats only save you money if you program them for savings.
  • Many people mistakenly think that these computer-chip-driven electronic devices automatically calculate efficient temperatures. But they don't.
  • You must program them to lower the thermostat temperature at night or during the day when you're at work. Do that, and you'll save an average of 15 percent on your monthly bills.

2. Ceiling fans cool a room

  • Ceiling fans don't cool the room, but they do cool the people in it by creating a windchill effect on the skin.
  • That's a good thing, allowing you to raise the temperature of your air conditioner thermostat or turn the AC off altogether.
  • But where people go wrong is leaving those fans on when they leave the room. Instead, treat the fan like a light and turn it off. Otherwise, it'll waste electricity.

3. Computer screen savers save energy

  • Screen savers prolong the life of your monitor by displaying a moving image to prevent an image from being burned into the screen.
  • They do nothing to save power. Instead, they burn up electricity.
  • Your computer may have an energy-saving mode. To activate it, go into your operating system's control panel and find your computer's power management options.

4. It takes more energy to turn a computer on than to let it idle

  • This may or may not be true with a car (depends on how long you idle it), but it's certainly not true with a computer.
  • Shut your computer off at night or when you'll be away from it for a long period of time.

When it comes to your monthly power bill, there are plenty of things you can do to save money. These four things, however, won't. Instead, stick to tactics that are proven to work.

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