Let’s dispel many of the energy saving myths that are costing us all money.
Like it or not, we love our old wives’ tales, superstitions and myths. We espouse them all the time, knowingly or not. Mostly they are harmless. Many are useful. However sometimes they are neither.
In our business of energy saving heating and lighting, we have more than our fair share of the ‘neither.’
Our Energy Saving Myths
Turning computer monitors off when the PC is on is bad for them, WRONG.
Switching off the monitor does no harm, so switching off your screen when leaving your desk saves energy.
Screensavers save energy, WRONG.
Screensavers were used earlier to protect against ‘Image Burn.’ Newer screen technologies means this is no longer the case. They do not save energy, so when not used, switch off your monitor.
Photocopiers should be left on, since switching on and off all the time can damage them, WRONG.
Switching photocopiers off and on at the machine (not at the wall) causes no damage.
Adjusting a thermostat to a high setting heats the room faster (vice-versa for air conditioning units), WRONG.
There is NO difference. This energy saving myth can cost you a lot, since a high setting has big a downside. People forget and then the room can overheat and you waste energy. If the windows are then opened for cooling, you can just watch your £s float out of the window with the warm air. Even worse is the continual cycle of fluctuating temperatures and staff discomfort.
It is more energy efficient to leave the hot water on all the time, WRONG.
The hotter the environment the quicker the heat will dissipate (good explanation here). Example; a boiler with water at 40o degrees above the ambient temperature will drop 10o faster than at 20o degrees above ambient.
It is more energy efficient to leave the heating on overnight than let it cool down and waste extra energy in heating it up again. WRONG.
In the same vein as above, heating a building when vacant is a waste; it uses less energy to re-heat the building in the morning. This holds true except when you have a well insulated building and cheaper overnight Off-Peak electric heating.
It takes more energy to turn lights off and on again than to leave them on. WRONG.
This is probably one of the most common energy saving myths and a reason for so many people wasting money. Baseline principle, lights should always be switched off when leaving a room. Now saying that, this one deserves some explanation (here’s a useful link for more detail):
- Incandescent lights must be switched off when you don’t need them. They are highly inefficient, only 10% of energy use is for lighting. Since 90% of their energy use is heat, turning lights off in summer will also keep a room cooler.
- Halogen lighting is more efficient than incandescent, even though it uses the same technology. Same applies, turn these off when not needed.
- Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) does consume a small amount of extra energy (‘inrush’ current) on start-up; older ‘Switch-Start’ CFLs use more. However, this equates to only a few seconds of normal operation. So, the myth that a mass if energy is wasted on startup is untrue. You save energy by turning CFLs off even for several moments. Saying that, switching CFLs on and off reduces their life. So taking these together, if your room is unused for more than a few minutes, switch them off.
- Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting should always be switched off when not needed.
It’s not worth turning things off at the plug. WRONG.
Vampire Power is sucking your power when devices are on standby. If the device or charger is warm, it’s using energy! Some appliances cost up to £10 to keep on all year when not used and if you have many devices, this can add up. Others are just a few pence/year, so you have to decide.
Turning the temperature down just a little won’t impact your costs. WRONG.
Actually, turning down by 1oC can save up to 10% of your heating costs.
Painting radiators black saves heat. WRONG.
Setting heating and lighting very low saves money, RIGHT and WRONG.
While this is correct for energy consumption, you need to remember that any loss in staff productivity can more than offset any energy saving gains.
Small organisations have no impact on the environment. Large factories, transport and other large energy consumers far exceed their usage, WRONG.
Energy saving is Chalmor’s DNA, so this myth is close to our heart. There are 5.5 million small businesses in the UK with 60% of all private sector employment. So, all small organisations can have a BIG impact.
If my heating is on, it is best I keep all doors open within the office, WRONG.
It is more energy efficient to keep doors closed for the area you want heated. Closed doors means that convection currents remains effective within their designed space.
My central thermostat means I don’t need Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs), WRONG.
Central thermostats typically control your pump. Radiator valves control the water flow through each radiator. Once the temperature hits the level you set on the thermostat, the pump will go off. Ideally the central thermostat should be an upper limit and the individual TRVs give local control of each room. This means you can set some rooms at different levels according to usage and occupancy. This saves energy and money.
Then we have……..
Energy Saving Myth 15 and Arguably the Most Costly
TRVs are very effective in local heating control. This is both RIGHT and WRONG.
Traditional TRVs offer some local control over heating, albeit very limited.
It is only the newer SMART heating compensating TRVs that offer consistent heat levels for comfort and energy efficiency. These are essential for all commercial applications.
And finally, here’s one of our favourite Energy Saving Myths!
I am one person, I cannot make a difference. Oh, sooooo WRONG.
Everyone of us who makes an effort, becomes part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
If you want to hear more:
Contact us at: https://www.chalmor.co.uk/contact/
Tel: 01582 748700