Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 4

RM

| C O O P E R AT I O N

Energy myths
What you think
you know about
energy may be costing you

6. Older refrigerators are still energy efficient if
they are full of beer (or diet soda).
After the water heater, refrigerators are the next
costliest appliance to operate. New models are much
more efficient, but many homeowners move the old
one to the garage or basement where it continues
to gobble kilowatts. Avoid placing a refrigerator or
freezer in a garage or on your patio. During the summer, an older model refrigerator in these places can
add $15-25 a month to your electric bill. It's best to
recycle that old fridge and use a cooler to ice down
those beverages when needed.
7. Homes need to breathe, so it is a mistake to
add insulation and shut things up too tight.
To reduce heating and cooling costs, you should
first make sure your home is as airtight as possible. To find air leaks, schedule a blower door test
or a complete home energy audit. Then caulk, add
weatherstrip and insulate as directed to keep that
conditioned air inside where it belongs.

I

n his career at Boone Electric Cooperative, Manager of Member Services Chris Rohlfing has
helped many members cut their electric bill down
to size. Over time he has helped bust many energy myths for those asking for help.
Here's 10 energy myths you may think are good
practices but are actually costing you money.
1. Hand washing dishes uses less energy than an
automatic dishwasher.

frequent on/off cycles on a lamp's life. This does
shorten the lifespan somewhat; however leaving the
lights on all the time also reduces the lamp's life.
4. When my appliance is turned off, it's off.
Most devices continue to use energy when they're
switched off - sometimes as much power
as when they're turned
on. These

A fully loaded dishwasher uses less hot
water than hand washing because
less energy is needed to heat the
water. This can be significant
because 70 to 80 percent of the
energy used to wash dishes goes to
heating water.
2. Setting your thermostat higher
or lower than where you actually
want it will make it heat up or cool
down faster.
A thermostat is a switch. Setting the temperature
on the thermostat gets the heating/cooling system
to start. It will stop when it gets to that temperature.
Setting the temperature higher or lower than the
desired temperature will not speed up the process,
and could cost you money if you forget to reset it.
3. Turning something on and off will waste more
energy and is worse for your equipment.
With today's technology it is much more energy efficient to turn off your appliances when you are not
using them. You should turn off fluorescent lights if
the space is not going to be occupied for more than
a few minutes. Three to five minutes is a good rule
of thumb. A bigger concern may be the impact of

Volume 71

|

AUGUST 2018

|

Number 8

"Devoted to the rural way of life"
Rural Missouri is published monthly by the Association of
Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Barry Hart, CEO/executive vice
president. Individual subscription rate: $10 per year or $22 for
three years, taxes and postage included. Group rate for members
of participating RECs $2.22, plus taxes and postage. Delivery
as specified by subscriber. If not specified, delivery will be by
periodical class mail at subscriber's expense. Periodical Class
postage paid at Jefferson City, MO, and additional mailing offices.
Copyright 2018, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
Call for reprint rights.

4

same amount of money) is used whether you use hot
or cold water. If you use hot water, you've already
paid to heat the water in the water heater.

RURAL MISSOURI | AUGUST 2018

8. Fireplaces save money from the heat they produce and they don't add cost if they aren't used.
Fireplaces may make you feel good, but they often
suck heat right up the chimney. Traditional castiron dampers do not seal well and can
allow heat - and cooled air - to escape
even when they are closed. Recent lab
studies have shown that even a new
throat damper can leak up to $200 of
heating and cooling a year. Imagine
how much energy an old, rusted out
damper leaks.
9. Leaving fans on in the summer after you leave the house is
a good way to keep rooms cool.

are called
"phantom loads." According to the U.S. Department of Energy,
phantom loads equal 4 to 5 percent of the energy
used in an average home, or the output of about 26
power plants. The top 5 phantom loads are:
* Computers and computer-related equipment
such as modems, routers, printers, fax machines
and chargers including phone chargers.
* Instant-on TVs, such as plasma, LCD and rearprojection models. In most instances, the larger the
screen, the more energy the TV uses.
* Surround sound systems.
* Cable or TV boxes.
* Any items in your home that maintain a clock.
5. It takes less energy to boil water if you start
with hot water from the tap.
The same amount of energy (and essentially the

Fans move air but do nothing to cool it. For this
reason, they cool people but not rooms. Leaving
them on when no one is in the room or at home is
a waste of money. If you will be away from home for
more than 24 hours, raise the temperature 5 to 10
degrees but do not let the humidity from outdoors
in. Half, or more, of the energy used by air conditioners is to remove humidity.
10. Replacing old windows with new energy-saving ones will cut 30 to 40 percent off of bills.
New windows are expensive, and installation will
cost even more. So unless your windows are in really
bad shape or you already are doing other remodeling projects, you are better off taking other energyefficiency measures such as adding insulation or
installing insulating drapes to block heat gain or
loss. The percentage of heat loss or gain through
even the most inefficient windows is likely to be no
more than 8 percent.

EDITORIAL STAFF: Jim McCarty, editor, jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop
Paul Newton, managing editor, pnewton@ruralmissouri.coop | Heather Berry, associate editor, hberry@ruralmissouri.coop
Megan Backes, creative director, mbackes@ruralmissouri.coop | Zach Smith, field editor, zsmith@ruralmissouri.coop |
Libby Moeller, intern, lmoeller@ruralmissouri.coop | Angie Jones-Wheeler, co-op page designer
ADVERTISING: Mary Davis, production manager, mdavis@ruralmissouri.coop
Postmasters: Send address changes to Rural Missouri, P.O. Box 1645, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
Subscribers: Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Rural Missouri.
Advertising standards: Advertising published in Rural Missouri is accepted on the premise that the merchandise and services offered are
accurately described and sold to customers at the advertised price. Rural Missouri and Missouri's electric cooperatives do not endorse
any products or services advertised herein. Advertising that does not conform to these standards or that is deceptive or misleading is
never knowingly accepted by this publication.

Editorial: Rural Missouri, P.O. Box 1645, Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-659-3423 | info@ruralmissouri.coop | www.ruralmissouri.coop
Advertising: mdavis@ruralmissouri.coop | 573-659-3400
National Advertising Representative: American MainStreet Publications;
611 S. Congress St., Suite 504; Austin, TX 78704 | 573-659-3400

USPS 473-000 ISSN 0164-8578

Circulation of this issue: 541,114


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - August 2018

Contents
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Intro
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Contents
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 4
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 5
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 6
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 7
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 8
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 9
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 10
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 11
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Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Cover4
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