Energy efficiency in homes is often surrounded by myths and misconceptions, especially when it comes to how best to save power and reduce costs. Let’s debunk some common home energy myths, ensuring Philadelphia homeowners are well-informed about how to effectively manage their home energy use.

Myth 1: Leaving Lights On Uses Less Energy Than Turning Them Off and On This is false. The surge of power needed to turn on a light is significantly less than the energy used when leaving it on. Always turn off lights when they are not needed.

Myth 2: Energy Efficient Appliances Don’t Really Save Money Not true. Energy-efficient appliances use less electricity and water than older models, which means they cost less to operate. Over time, the savings can be significant.

Myth 3: Setting Thermostat Higher Heats the Home Faster Your furnace delivers heat at a constant rate regardless of the temperature setting. Setting the thermostat higher than needed doesn’t heat your home faster; it just leads to overheating and wasted energy.

Myth 4: Keeping a Ceiling Fan On Cools a Room Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. They create a wind chill effect that helps you feel cooler, but leaving them on in an empty room wastes energy.

Myth 5: Dishwashers Use More Water and Energy Than Hand Washing Actually, efficient dishwashers often use less water and energy than washing dishes by hand, especially if you’re running full loads and not pre-rinsing dishes.

Myth 6: Electronic Devices Don’t Use Energy When Turned Off Many gadgets and appliances draw power even when switched off, a phenomenon known as phantom load. Use power strips to truly cut power to devices not in use.

Myth 7: HVAC Air Filters Need Changing Only Once a Year For peak efficiency and air quality, most HVAC filters should be checked monthly and changed at least every three months—more if you have pets or allergies.

Myth 8: Solar Panels Only Work in Constant Sunlight Solar panels need light, not heat, so they can still generate electricity on cloudy days, albeit at a lower rate than under full sun.

Myth 9: Homes Should Be Airtight While it’s important to seal leaks to prevent energy loss, homes also need some airflow for ventilation to ensure good indoor air quality.

Myth 10: Manual Thermostats Save More Energy Than Programmable Ones Programmable thermostats can automatically adjust your home’s temperature based on your schedule, potentially saving energy and money when you’re away or asleep.

Myth 11: Older Windows Need Replacement for Energy Efficiency Installing new windows can be costly. Often, improving seals or using thermal curtains can be just as effective for boosting energy efficiency.

Myth 12: Insulation is Only for Keeping Heat In Insulation helps maintain your home’s temperature, keeping it warm in winter and cool in summer, thereby reducing heating and cooling needs.

Myth 13: You Can’t Save Energy in an Apartment Apartment dwellers can save energy through numerous ways like using energy-efficient light bulbs, smart power strips, and efficient appliances.


Debunking these myths is the first step towards smarter, more energy-efficient home management. As technology advances and more products enter the market, staying informed is key to making the best choices for your home and wallet. For personalized advice tailored to Philadelphia’s unique climate, consider consulting local energy experts.