6 Simple Tips to Saving Energy at Home
Whether you’re looking to save a few dollars on your electricity bill or want do your part in keeping the planet green, There are a few fundamental steps you can take to save energy at home.
The main thing to recognize is saving energy doesn’t require massive sacrifice. It’s all about being conscious of how Valuable a resource energy is, and taking practical steps to use what you need but only what you need .
As well as learning about how to save energy, it’s a great idea to do a five minute home energy audit every couple of years.
Saving energy and doing your part for the planet can be as simple as taking a few steps here and there to cut back on what you don’t need. Below are six simple but effective tips that you can use to start reducing your energy consumption today.
1. Energy Efficient Appliances
Choose energy efficient appliances that have the Energy Star stamp of approval, and turn off appliances when they are not being used.
Energy Star is a joint program between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Its mandate is to increase access to, and awareness of, energy efficient technology for homes and businesses. This system has been implemented in several countries around the world.
If it’s as cold as Siberia outside, you don’t need to make it a tropical paradise inside.
Keep the thermostat set to a temperature that you are comfortable with in a few layers of warm clothing.
Turn down the thermostat before you retire to bed and compensate by snuggling under a warm blanket.
3. Hot Showers
As a general rule, water heating accounts for around 30% of household power consumption.
Insulate your hot water cylinder with a cylinder wrap. Just like wall and roof insulation, cylinder wraps give huge benefits in blocking heat-radiation, meaning your cylinder element doesn’t have to work as hard and doesn’t use as much electricity.
Also, turn your water temperature down a notch to save energy. Not only does too-hot water take extra energy to heat, it can be detrimental to the health of your skin and hair. It can be dehydrating in cold weather, when most people are already prone to having dry skin.
4. Alternative Heating
Instead of using traditional home heating methods, you could go with other options.
If you live in an area that’s sunny during the day and chilly at night, consider investing in a solar water heater.
Solar water heating is the most cost-effective (and lowest capital investment) form of residential green energy.
Also, use a traditional fireplace with real wood during the winter. Not only will you save on electricity, but the authenticity of a real fireplace gives a cozy atmosphere during winter.
Using a fireplace can be much less environmentally abusive than relying on coal-produced energy sources if you choose a clean-burning local wood and make sure it’s been adequately dried.
If you’re building a new home or commercial building, consider a design that incorporates passive heating and cooling. This basically involves designing the structure to retain heat in winter, and stay cool in summer.
Passively heated buildings often actually cost less to construct as they don’t require expensive appliances such as air conditioners and heat pumps – not to mention the enormous power bill reductions.
Although many people feel far more comfortable in a well-lit home, don’t forget that the more lights you have on, the more energy you are burning.
Only have the lights that you need on, and switch off lights if you are the last to leave a room.
Switch to energy efficient bulbs, which consume less energy and provide brighter light.
Consider installing sensor activated lights in your hallway. You don’t have to remind yourself to turn them off, because they automatically turn on as you walk up the hallway, and turn off five minutes later.
As well as automated energy savings, sensor lights are a very cool feature, especially if you choose something like wall mounted splash lights. Plus you won’t have to fumble around for the switch in the middle of the night – particularly good if you’ve got young children.
If you’re building, research lighting design and “daylighting.” This is building that makes use of natural light flows, as well as things like placing lighting at the optimal height (to get sufficient light with less lighting fixtures) or in the optimal proximity to walls.
6. Washing Clothes And Dishes
Make a conscious effort to start the dishwasher only when it’s full – more work gets done using the same amount of energy.
When washing clothes, use cold water whenever possible – particularly for things like towels.
Most of the energy it takes to run a washing machine goes to heating the water.
7. Fix Drafts
Install caulking to make sure there are no air leaks within the home.
This will simply result in you spending less on heating and air conditioning.
Most older homes have some level of draft gaps, which means heating has to run continuously in order to compensate for outgoing hot air and incoming cold drafts during winter, and vice versa during summer.
Learn more about finding energy-drain areas of your home and complete your own home energy audit checklist.
Now You Have The Power
By implementing the above energy saving tips in your home, you will not only cut down your electricity bill, you will also reduce your carbon footprint, and in so doing, contribute to a greener planet.
Sustainable energy supplies have recently become a hot-topic and have garnered alot of public and political awareness and support.
Up until this urgency became windspread, the common focus was solely economics and growth. The great developments of the Industrial Revolution introduced a not-so-great belief that energy resources would be infinitely provided by the earth – void of any consequences.
Today we have a much more indepth understanding of literally everything under the sun, including the knowledge of how to live more harmoniously with the environment. The pieces of the puzzle to solving global problems can come down to many individual choices, which aren’t limited to but include taking a look around your home or office to identify small areas for energy improvement.