The consistent and continuing rise in price of everyday commodities have given birth to countless top secret techniques and remedies that supposedly help the average Joe to save up on costs. Many of these so-called techniques, however, bear very little truth and are in fact merely rumors that make people feel good about themselves. One particular commodity that has sparked a thousand myths is electricity. People just don’t want to pay as much as they do for toasters it seems. Here are 4 of the greatest electricity-saving myths debunked!
1. Screensavers and standby modes for computers save energy.
An old myth – especially regarding screensavers. It was though long ago in the age of CRT monitors and standard definition resolutions that in order to preserve the energy consumption of your 24MB RAM computer a screensaver must be activated. Evidence of this claim, however, is harder to find than fake UFO footages. A screensaver is actually a file that the computer has to run in order for you to see the very ingeniously created marquee of your name. This in turn means that the computer’s processors are running just as hard as it would if you were playing call of duty – oh and so is your electric bill. Your best bet for saving energy when leaving your computer unattended for some time would be to deactivate screensavers and set your monitor to sleep after 10-15 minutes of being idle.
Laptops are popular for their portability, maneuverability and click-to-start capabilities. Many of us don’t always have to luxury of waiting for our computer systems to boot up so what we do is activate the option to sleep. What the sleep mode in our laptops actually does is to put all our work and the monitor as well into a suspended mode. It is ready to resume all processes at any given time and at one click of a button. What this means in terms of energy is that your laptop is constantly draining or consuming power to be able to keep the data ready for access. The monitor also contributes a lot to energy consumption as it is also in a suspended state.
Hibernation is a better alternative to standby as it actually saves the data currently active on the RAM and stores it on the hard drive for fast access later on before completely shutting off all systems. However, nothing will ever beat shutting down of your computer and laptop to significantly reduce your electric bill.
2. Switching lights on and off uses more energy than leaving them on.
The ‘fact’ that switching lights on and off creates a surge in electricity that affects your electric bill positively and your wallet negatively has been circling homes all over the world. Many of us believed it too. Sadly however, we were all wrong and what we believed to be a fact was in fact a myth. The act of switching lights on and off does not trigger a surge that spikes your monthly electricity bill. Even if it did, it would be so miniscule that you wouldn’t even bother. So start up the good habit of switching off lights in your bedroom, living room and every other room whenever you head out.
3. Turning appliances and electronics off saves energy.
Yes, there is truth to this. Turning off appliances and electronics stops its energy consumption as both logic and common sense dictates. But not anymore. Gone are the days when toasters did not function until you decided to make it work. Today’s appliances are mostly built in with standby systems that keeps on running even though they are not being used. American companies believe that their citizens crave for as much comfort and convenience as possible. This led them to creating machines that microwaves that activate in one press of a button – which is pretty cool no doubt. However, come the time to pay your bills, these appliances that make life so much easier (or so they say) can double what you have to pay for. There are studies that show modern appliances and electronics that are not being used but still on standby mode are likely to consume up to 50% and a 100% of the energy they would have used if say – in action. So I guess now would be safe to say that unplugging is still your best bet to save on electricity!
4. Brand new homes are more energy efficient.
Not necessarily, no. New homes are thought to be more energy efficient because they supposedly have better equipment inspired by more modern technology. However, this is not always true. A newly built house does not automatically indicate that it was structured, designed and executed well. When it comes to the effeciency of a house’s electrical systems, age is not a very significant factor. Design and construction is the key.