Energy Conservation: Myths and Facts

Posted in: Recent News

October 21, 2022 by Tammy Proulx, Energy Project Coordinator

Being energy efficient can seem straightforward, but there may be a better way for you to conserve energy and save money on your next power bill. Check out the list below on what energy professionals consider myths or facts.

Myth: It’s more efficient to leave a room at a constant temperature than turning the heat down overnight (or when you’re not home).

Fact: It takes less energy to warm up a cold room in the morning than it does to maintain a constant temperature throughout the night. If you have baseboard heaters, know that they supply heat to each room individually. If you have thermostats in separate rooms, you can use the concept of “zones” to heat certain areas of your home more than others, which saves up to 20% in heating usage compared to heating both occupied and unoccupied areas. Be sure not to vary the temperature between rooms by more than 2C.


Myth: Turning the thermostat up higher than the desired temperature makes the room heat up faster.

Fact: It takes the same amount of time for the temperature to reach 20 degrees whether the thermostat is set at 20 or 30 degrees.


Myth: Changing my energy use will not result in worthwhile savings.

Fact: You can save hundreds of dollars each year by turning off lights, TVs, and computers when they’re not in use, lowering thermostat settings when away and washing clothes in cold water.


Myth: Insulating my attic or basement will cause more heat to leak out of the windows.

Fact: Adding insulation to one part of a home saves energy and will not increase heat loss elsewhere.


Myth: Leaving a ceiling fan on will cool the room even when you’re not there.

Fact: Fans work by cooling the skin, not the air in a room. Fans move the air which helps to evaporate moisture on the surface of the skin, making you feel cooler. Since fans don’t change the air temperature there is no need to have them running if you aren’t in the room.


Myth: It’s more efficient to leave lights on rather than turning them off because flicking the switch uses so much energy.

Fact: It’s always more efficient to turn the lights off when the room is not being used.


Myth: It’s better to leave your computer running all the time because turning it on uses so much energy.

Fact: You always save energy when you turn your computer off when it’s not in use. Enable the sleep function to conserve energy during brief periods of inactivity.


Myth: Food will cook faster on the stove if you leave the setting on ‘high’.

Fact: Leaving the setting on ‘high’ does not cook food any faster. Using a lid however will bring the water to a boil faster. Once water is boiling, save energy by turning the heat down and maintaining the boil with the pot covered.


Myth: When my TV, DVD player, stereo and computer are turned off, they are not using any electricity.

Fact: These electronic devices use standby power even when turned off. Over a year, this could cost you more than $100. Use a power bar to turn them off completely when they’re not in use.

(Source: Nova Scotia Power, 2020)


Tammy Proulx is the Energy Project Coordinator for the Department of Community Services & Infrastructure. To learn more about this article, Tammy can be reached at or 902-324-3826 

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