Fact and Fiction: Energy Conservation

Fact or Fiction

In today's world, energy conservation has become a concern of the masses, the reality of wasted resources and the impact man can have on the earth becoming unavoidably obvious. Of course, even if saving the world is not on your to do list, knowing the best energy conservation ideas can greatly lower your power bill. The question is: which stories about energy conservation are fact, and which are fiction?

General Conservation

Fact: In the United States, duct efficiency can be as low as 50%.

For many home owners, this is a frightening concept. This means that as much as half of the air or heat that you are using in your home is being lost due to inefficiencies in design. The good news is that this can be improved upon in a variety of ways. Whether you are a do it yourselfer or seek the help of a professional, it's an investment worth making. You'll be helping to protect Mother Nature too.

Fiction: The lower the R-rating is on insulation, the better it insolates.

In fact, the opposite is true. When looking to keep the home well insulated, it is always best to get insulation with a higher R-rating. An R-rating is simply a measure of how well the insulation will keep heat from going through it. In effect, this will help keep the warmth in when its winter, and the warmth out in the summer.

Fact: Light color roofs use less energy than dark roofs for cooling.

You ever notice that a sidewalk is much cooler than the blacktop, even though they are right next to one-another? The fact is, darker colors trap in the heat and effectively make everything inside warmer. In fact, lighter colored roofs use up to 40% less energy in the summer due to this effect. If you live in a warmer area, this is definitely something to consider when looking to buy a new home or to replace the roof on an existing home.

Fiction: Properly sealing your home can lower your energy bills by as much as 50%.

As much as you might wish that this myth were true, the reality is that properly sealing a home only lowers by the bills by about 10%. Though this may not sound like much, it can still be a worthwhile investment for homeowners, as the costs are usually low. If the monetary savings aren't incentive enough, consider how much less emissions you'd produce if everyone decided to cut back 10% on energy consumption.

Light Bulbs

Fact: A 13-watt fluorescent bulb produces the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent.

As strange as this sounds, it is actually accurate. The energy consumption of a light bulb generates both heat and light. The truth is, most of the energy used by incandescent light bulbs is lost in heat rather than light output, which brings about another myth about light bulbs.

Fiction: Incandescent bulbs convert only 30% of their energy to light.

In fact, the truth is much worse than this. These bulbs only convert 10% of their energy to light. This means that 90% of the energy you are using is being completely wasted. Fortunately, these type of light bulbs have recently ceased production, and, in this case, you should be happy to embrace the next step and stick with fluorescents.


Fact: Front loading washer machines are more energy efficient than top loaders.

In fact, front loaders are certainly more energy efficient. Needing only a third amount of the water that top loaders do, they can certainly put a dent in your water bill. Additionally, the added efficiency from these front loaders will save you money on your energy bill, so if you're looking to get a new washing machine, spend the extra money and go with a front loader.

Fiction: Energy Star appliances are not worth the extra price tag, because the difference in efficiency is negligible.

In fact, new Energy Star devices can be anywhere from 20-70% more efficient than appliances were 20 years ago. Refrigerators specifically are up to 40% more efficient than 2001 models. Washers and dryers are up to 50% more efficient than they had been previously and dishwashers must be at least 40% more efficient to pass energy star standards. Overall, the savings from energy star appliances will add up quickly and save you money.

Going Forward

Hopefully this has inspired you to take some action in energy conservation. So, whether you are looking to save the world or just save a few bucks on your energy bill, these truths about energy conservation should help you on your journey.

Posted by: Ahmed Muztaba
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