When you think about green living, or “going green,” what first comes to mind? Now more than ever, people are looking for ways to save energy and live sustainably. Living in a time where resources are blown through at record highs, and new developments in technology are being released almost every day, it feels necessary to be conscious of our environmental footprint. Here are a few popular myths about green living.

Myth 1: Leaving Your Lights on Is More Energy-efficient Than Turning Them on and Off

Room full of bulbs with lights on

Image via Flickr by dimtryelj

This is a common misconception, mainly because this rule does not apply to all types of light bulbs. The amount of energy one saves really depends on the type of light bulb. For your traditional incandescent or halogen light bulbs, however, you want to make sure you turn them OFF whenever you don’t need them. If you do choose to invest in more energy efficient choices, like the LED or CFL (fluorescent) lighting, you have a little more flexibility.

Myth 2: Closing the Vent Saves Energy

Naturally, one might think that if the air conditioning is blowing, lots of electricity is being expended. You may want the rest of the house to stay cool, but decide to close the vent in your room to save that air. This is actually forcing your system to exert more energy, because with the vent closed, the air is being restricted and forced to other parts of the house. Closing the vent also adds extra pressure on the fan in your system.

Myth 3: Being Energy Efficient Means Using Less Energy

One might think that flying around the house turning off every electrical appliance and closing every window is what energy efficiency entails. But, being efficient means ” achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.” So, green living doesn’t simply mean not using ANY energy; instead, it involves making the best use of the energy you do need to use.

Myth 4: It’s Better to Replace Central Heat With a Space Heater

Central heating is heating the whole house, and even parts of the home you aren’t using. But a small space heater, right next to your bed does the trick even with the heating system turned off, doesn’t it? Or does it? Although your home’s heating system might be saving energy, the amount of energy that is being exerted to power the space heater often equals the energy saved by turning off the heating system.

Myth 5: Green Living and Energy Efficient Cost Too Much Money

As you can see from this list, reducing your environmental footprint doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Choosing an energy efficient light bulb can often cost you less than having to buy so many cheap, energy-devouring bulbs throughout the year. Small changes in your habits can make a huge difference.

Taking into consideration even one of these debunked myths is a great step in the right direction towards green living and using energy efficiently. Living green doesn’t have to be hard, and now that you’ve read this article, you may find yourself living green without even realizing it.