Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 4
| C O O P E R AT I O N
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.
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
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
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
2. Setting your thermostat higher
or lower than where you actually
want it will make it heat up or cool
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
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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
9. Leaving fans on in the summer after you leave the house is
a good way to keep rooms cool.
"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.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - August 2018
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
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