Energy saving is significant for many reasons. By incorporating different energy conserving measures into your everyday life, you can make a positive impact on your budget, protect the environment, and increase your property value. If you are not sure where to start, we present to you the top seven ways to save energy at home.
If you are wondering how to lower utility bills, insulating your house may be the answer. Insulation helps you save money by retaining the heat during the winter and keeping it out of the house during the summer. The recommended level of R-value (heat resistance) depends on where you live.
For instance, in warmer climates, the recommended heat resistance is lower, unlike the colder areas where buildings should have a higher level of R-value. Also, different parts of your house require different levels of insulation. However, it’s good to know walls, floors, attic, basement, and crawlspace are the five main parts of your living space you should insulate.
Once you look for ways to save energy at your home, consider installing a programmable thermostat. Smart thermostats can be set to reduce heating and cooling automatically or turn off every time you are asleep or not in the house. A programmable thermostat eliminates wasteful energy use and, on average, saves you around $200 per year.
Traditional light bulbs don’t last long and consume more energy than their energy-efficient alternatives. LEDs (light-emitting diode bulbs) and CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) last 3 to 25 times longer and use between 25 and 80 percent less than traditional bulbs. Even though LEDs and CFLs are expensive, their long lifetime and efficient energy use mean they cost less in the long run.
By adding up to 25 percent of the total heating bill, windows are a significant source of energy waste. Therefore, if you want to prevent heat loss through windows, including awning-windows, consider installing energy-efficient models.
For those who live in colder climates, the installation of gas-filled windows could be the best solution. Also, by installing exterior or interior storm windows, households can reduce heat loss by 20 percent. On the other hand, low-E coatings on windows should be the number one option for those who live in warmer climates. The low-E coating reduces heat gain by reflecting more light and decreasing the amount of external thermal energy.
Installing energy-efficient windows does not mean you have to give up on having a nice view and a lot of light. Different models of bi-fold windows, bi-fold doors, and hinged entry doors are designed to be energy efficient and contribute to the house’s aesthetics.
The electricity used by electronics when they are in standby mode or switched off—phantom loads—is one of the most common sources of energy waste. Estimates show that 75 percent of the energy used to power household electronics is consumed when they are turned off, which can cost households up to 200 dollars per year.
Advanced power strips/smart power strips shut off the power to electronics when no one is using them. Advanced power strips can be set up to turn off during a period of inactivity, at an assigned time, based on the status of a ‘’master’’ device, or through remote switches.
With no doubt, water heating significantly contributes to the overall energy consumption. Fortunately, there are methods to lower water heating bills. You can turn down the thermometer on the water heater, insulate a water heater and the first six feet of cold and hot-water pipes, or use less hot-water.
Another option is to purchase an energy-efficient water heater. An efficient water heater can be up to 300 percent more energy efficient than a traditional one. In case you consider buying it, bear in mind two factors: the heater suitable for your needs and the fuel you’re planning to use. For instance, a tankless water heater, aside from being energy-efficient, is not an ideal choice for a large family because it is not designed to handle multiple uses of hot-water.
Appliances approximately use 13 percent of total household energy. Therefore, once you decide to buy a household device, look for two numbers—the appliance’s purchase price and the annual operating expenses. Even though energy-efficient appliances usually have higher initial purchasing prices, their operating costs are between 9 and 25 percent lower than the costs of using traditional models.
To make significant changes, all you need is goodwill. Minor adjustments could make a positive impact on your life. Energy-conserving, for instance, is as simple as turning off lights or appliances when you don’t use them. Doing some household tasks manually, such as hang-drying clothes or washing the dishes, can reduce energy waste. There are so many ways to save energy, and it’s up to you to decide when/how you will incorporate those methods into your everyday life.