Turning Off Lights Is Not the Best Way to Save Energy in Your Home

If you wanted to reduce energy consumption in your home, what would you do first? If you are like most people, you would start by turning off the lights or maybe the TV. However, you rarely think about the appliances that will save you the most energy.

Of course, turning off the lights will save some energy. However, things like a water heater or air conditioner use a lot of energy. Much more than what your bulbs use. We tend to focus on turning off light switches because that’s something we can control without sacrificing any comfort and minimal effort. As doctoral student of psychology Dan Schley suggests, this is due to the fact that we are inherently biased towards the things with which we interact and control much more than those that are buried in the basement:

Because they often use light, they tend to assume that light uses a lot of energy. On the other hand, consumers usually do not think about heating the water (except when they run out of hot water) or very often interact with their water heater.

There’s another energy drain near your home: your car. Between your car, home heating and air conditioning, and your water heater, most of the energy your home uses can be attributed to something other than light bulbs. That doesn’t mean you can’t save money and energy by turning off your lights or TV. However, if you want to reduce your bill (or just help the environment a little), you will need to look elsewhere.

If you really want to save energy at home, forget about the switches | Vox


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