Five myths about saving energy: What’s really true?
Don’t overfill the refrigerator, always turn off the lights, wash dishes by hand. There are many tips on saving energy – some of them are misleading.
Every day we are inundated with information on the subject of saving energy. Not all of this is correct, often half-truths or myths are propagated. Here are five tips for saving energy – and advice on what not to do.
Five tips for saving energy
Myth 1: Always switch off the light immediately?
For example, should you turn off the lights in a room even if you’re only leaving it for a few minutes?? This consumes more power than leaving the lamp on, and also shortens its life, we sometimes hear. However, this cannot be said so sweepingly.
A Incandescent lamp actually consumes up to seven times more electricity when it is switched on for a very short period than when it is in continuous operation. However, this period is so short that the effect does not matter.
Different for Energy-saving lamps: Depending on the type, the lamp draws as much energy during the power-on cycle as it subsequently consumes in about three to five minutes of operation. Fluorescent lighting requires even more energy to turn on, although the exact numbers depend on the age of the lighting system.
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LED lights Show virtually no increased power consumption when switched on. In terms of lifespan, switching on and off frequently is most likely to be a real problem for incandescent lamps. An LED lamp, on the other hand, can consume 50.Put away 000 or even more switching cycles.
Conclusion: As a rule, you save energy by turning off the lights. If the room is only left for a few minutes, however, the effect is extremely small. The most energy can be saved by using only LED lamps.
Myth 2: Dishwasher or washing by hand?
Opinions differ on the question of whether washing by hand or with a machine is more energy-efficient. According to a research team at the University of Bonn, the dishwasher uses on average 50 percent less water and almost a third less energy. Other experts, however, found that "energy-conscious washing" by hand uses up to 70 percent less energy and about the same amount of water. Individual habits, such as the amount of dishes cleaned with a full sink or the replacement of rinse water in between, strongly influence consumption data.
However, both teams of experts conclude that in most households, the dishwasher is more beneficial to the environment than washing dishes by hand – especially if the dishwasher is not turned on until it is full.
Myth 3: Who needs more energy: a full or an empty refrigerator? ?
There is a widespread opinion that the fuller a refrigerator is, the more energy it requires. Wrong. Although every food item that is placed in the refrigerator must be cooled and brings in warm ambient temperature. In practice, however, another effect is greater. Food acts as a cold accumulator. If you open the door of an empty refrigerator, the air inside will warm up quickly.
A full refrigerator, on the other hand, stores the cold in the food. Overall, a full refrigerator therefore consumes slightly less energy than an empty one.
Myth 4: Washing machine: 30, 60 or 90 degrees?
Along with refrigerators and freezers, washing machines are among the biggest power guzzlers in the home – especially when washing is done at high temperatures. "Laundry only gets really clean at 60 degrees and above," is still heard. But the times are over. Modern detergents allow significantly lower washing temperatures. Normally, 30 or 40 degrees is sufficient.
Even at a washing temperature of 30 instead of 40 degrees, electricity consumption drops by 30 percent, at 40 instead of 60 degrees by over 40 percent. Cooking wash programs at 90 degrees are no longer necessary. Even with heavily soiled or light-colored laundry, 60 degrees is usually enough to get it hygienically clean.
Myth 5: Always turn down the heating when you are away?
The question remains whether it makes sense to turn off the heating every time you leave the house during the cold season. In general, it can be said that the more leaky and less insulated a house is, the more advisable it is to lower the heating – at night, but also during the day when all the occupants are out of the house. You should not turn the thermostatic valves completely to zero, however, but reduce the room temperature by one to three degrees – even with an absence of three to four hours.
In energy-optimized, well-insulated houses, on the other hand, it is advisable to heat through constantly, but with comparatively low temperatures. The heat stays inside.
More helpful tips and information can be found here in our guide to energy and energy saving.
The author Martin Sambale is managing director of the Allgau Energy and Environment Center , eza for short!.
Editor’s note: This article is from our online archive.