What are some of the best energy myths you have ever heard? I think this could be good for a couple of laughs. I will start:
  • Incandescent light bulbs give off more heat than light and because of this they help heat my house in the winter. I don't want to switch to CFLs or LEDs because my heating bills will increase.
  • My system is running pretty cost effectively right now because 2 of my 3 HVAC units broke down, so I am only using 1 for the whole building. That's like cutting my costs by 2/3.
What are some good ones you have heard?

Tags: myths

Views: 1618

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I also agree because of its ability to float in the air much more easily than other Insulations of today. Because it is a fiber or rod shaped it is hard for the microphage to absorb around it. This is very similar to the problem with asbestos.

Enjoy reading if you want more info.

http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCN...

The most common one we hear is HVAC contractors telling customers to turn their heat pumps to "Aux" or "Electric Resistance" if the autside temperature is less than 25 F.  They tell them it is bad for the heat pump to run at low temperatures and the heat pump can't keep up at those temperatures. 

We respond by telling customers that while the heat pump will run longer, a properly installed heat pump system is designed to run at cold temperatures and the supplemental heat will come on automatically to provide any additional heat that the home needs.  We see a 40% increase in heating energy usage from homes that turn off their heat pump and run only on electric resistance. 

Thanks James!  It's really helpful to have others give examples where "stupid human thermostat tricks" hurt people.  Heat pumps are a great example.  Not much horsepower, but if you leave them on the highway they're really efficient. 

Why do these bad, dogmatic recommendations persist?  

People love the idea that controlling the thermostat gives them Godlike control over energy consumption.  Since almost nobody tracks, a good part is not knowing, just having faith it must be saving.  

Sounds pretty silly, eh?  "I must be saving lots" as a basis for financial and operational decision making?  Imagine showing up at the bank with your savings, your deposit ticket total reading "lots".  The teller would look at you like you are nuts, yet that's the answer I get when I ask people what they are saving.  Nobody knows.  

Besides not knowing, some is not caring.  And some is "I don't want these people complaining anymore, they want heat not efficiency.  And anyway, its NMEB, and their calls are eating into my profits." 

In any case, if it IS our job to help people improve efficiency and save energy, we must do the diagnostics FIRST.  

First rule of OUR fight club?  "Do no harm".  We must avoid blanket recommendations that are known to hurt people.  You want to make a recommendation, know that it fits the situation.  And make sure people are comfortable, because if you don't at some point it'll be "I want heat at any cost". 

Here are few of my favorites:

1. Tankless water heaters are instantaneous.

2. Tankless water heaters save energy.  (Although this is only a myth in about 1/2 of the cases to which people try to apply tankless water heaters.)

3. Radiant heat is old fashioned and less efficient than heating air.

4. Heating is the largest energy load for a household. [reality is that it depends upon climate and many other factors]

5. If you just tell people how they are using energy, they will become more conservative.  {actually true, IF you agree with the Supreme Court that money is speech - i.e., if you tell them by raising their bills]

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Richard L. Sanderson replied to Bud Poll's discussion Inconsistant Local Authority
"Bud: I like the idea of a third party review board. My own experience in local government is that…"
5 hours ago
Matthew Lutz commented on Kaplan Clean Tech's blog post The Difference Between Home Inspection and Energy Auditing [Infographic]
"I would have to agree with Steve on this.  I am a Certified Energy Manager and have performed…"
10 hours ago
Matthew Lutz joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Hall of Shame

In this group, members share an array of images from the field, showing the kinds of issues…See More
10 hours ago
Matthew Lutz replied to Kari Sauder's discussion Easy Water Heater Venting in the group Hall of Shame
"I have been in the HVAC trade since 1986. I have recently completed a Home or Real Estate…"
10 hours ago
Susan E. Buchan posted an event

EEBA Houses That Work at Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park

November 3, 2014 from 8am to 4:30pm
Registration: 8:00 amSession: 8:30 am to 4:30 pmWorkshop Covers:Introduction to EEBA and its…See More
14 hours ago
Susan E. Buchan posted a status
"EEBA has scholarships to our Houses That Work Sessionsfor Vets! Contact info@eeba.org for more info"
15 hours ago
EnergyLogic Academy posted events
15 hours ago
Andrew Peel posted an event

Using PHPP in Building Design and Certification at Queen's Quay

November 24, 2014 at 9am to November 25, 2014 at 5pm
In this two-day course, participants will learn how to use the PHPP for residential building design…See More
16 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service