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There are many ways to reduce your household’s energy use, ranging from simple behavioral adjustments to major home improvements. The two main reasons for conserving energy are reducing energy bills and protecting the environment. Here are the ten most common ways to save energy and electricity in your home, from the simplest to the most intensive.
Adjust your daily behaviors
To reduce your home’s energy use, you don’t necessarily need to buy energy efficient products. Saving energy can be as easy as turning off lights or appliances when you don’t need them. You can also use less energy-intensive household appliances by doing household chores manually, such as drying your clothes instead of putting them in the dryer or washing dishes by hand.
The behavioral adjustments that offer the greatest potential for energy savings are to reduce the heat of your thermostat in the winter and use less air conditioning in the summer. Heating and cooling costs account for almost half of the bills for an average home. These reductions in the intensity and frequency of heating and air conditioning therefore allow the greatest savings to be made.
There are tools you can use to determine where most of your electricity is going in your home. A home energy monitor can help you understand which devices use the most electricity on a daily basis.
Replace your bulbs
Traditional incandescent bulbs consume an excessive amount of electricity and need to be replaced more often than their energy-efficient alternatives. Halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs use 25 to 80% less electricity and last 3 to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.
Although energy-efficient light bulbs are more expensive, their efficient energy use and longer lifespan means they cost less in the long run. Energy-efficient bulbs are clear winners in terms of environmental and financial benefits.
Use smart power strips
“Phantom loads,” or the electricity used by electronic devices when they are turned off or in sleep mode, are a major source of wasted energy. In fact, it’s estimated that 75% of the energy used to power home electronics is consumed when they are turned off, which can cost you as much as $ 220 per year.
Smart power strips, also known as advanced power strips, eliminate the problem of phantom loads by removing power to electronic components when not in use. Smart Power Strips can be configured to turn off at a specified time, during a period of inactivity, through remote switches, or based on the status of a “master” device.
Install a programmable or smart thermostat
A programmable or smart thermostat can be configured to automatically turn off or reduce heating and air conditioning during the hours you are asleep or away. When you install a programmable thermostat, you eliminate wasted energy from heating and cooling without sacrificing comfort.
On average, a programmable thermostat can save you $ 160 per year. Programmable thermostats are available in different models which can be set to match your weekly schedule. Additional features of programmable thermostats can include indicators that show when to replace air filters or HVAC system issues, which also improves the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.
Purchase of energy efficient appliances
On average, household appliances account for around 13% of your household’s total energy consumption. When buying a device, you should pay attention to two figures: the initial purchase price and the annual running cost. Although the prices of energy-efficient home appliances are generally higher, their operating costs are 9-25% lower than conventional models.
When purchasing an energy efficient appliance, you should look for appliances that bear the specially designed energy label with a rating, which is a federal guarantee that the appliance will consume less energy while in use and on standby than standard non-energy efficient models. Energy savings differ depending on the device.
Reduce your water heating expenses
Heating water contributes a lot to your total energy consumption. Besides purchasing an energy efficient water heater, there are three methods you can use to reduce your water heating expenses: you can simply use less hot water, lower your water heater thermostat, or isolate your water heater. water heater.
If you are considering replacing your water heater with an efficient one, keep two factors in mind: the type of water heater that meets your needs and the type of fuel it will use. For example, tankless water heaters consume little energy, but they are also a poor choice for large families, as they cannot use multiple uses of hot water at the same time. Efficient water heaters can be 8% to 300% more energy efficient than a conventional storage water heater. Also be sure to take into account its long lifespan, 10 to 15 years, during which hot water savings can be accumulated.
Install energy efficient windows
Windows are a major source of wasted energy, which can account for 10-25% of your total heating bill. To prevent heat loss from your windows, you can replace single-glazed windows with double-glazed windows.
For homes in colder regions, foam-filled windows with a low-emissivity coating can significantly reduce your heating costs. Plus, interior or exterior storm windows can reduce unnecessary heat loss by 10-20%. You should especially consider storm windows if your area experiences frequent extreme weather events.
In warmer climates, heat gain through windows can be a problem. In addition to minimizing heat loss, low-emissivity coatings on windows can reduce heat gains by reflecting more light and decreasing the amount of thermal energy released into your home. Shades, shutters, mosquito nets, and curtains can also provide an extra layer of insulation between your home and outside temperatures.
Upgrade your HVAC system
An HVAC system is made up of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. Heating alone is responsible for over 40% of household energy consumption. Since homes located in northern regions are exposed to much colder temperatures throughout the year.
In comparison, air conditioning does not contribute significantly to the energy bill. On average, it only represents 6% of your home’s total energy consumption. Air conditioning systems are usually integrated with heating systems, which means that you need to purchase your new heating system and your new air conditioner at the same time, in order to ensure that the air conditioner is operating at its maximum energy efficiency.
Upgrading the third component of an HVAC system, ventilation, can also improve your energy efficiency. A ventilation system is made up of a network of ducts, which distributes hot and cold air throughout the house. If these ducts are not properly sealed or insulated, the resulting wasted energy can add hundreds of dollars to your annual heating and cooling expenses. Correct insulation and maintenance of your ventilation system can reduce your heating and cooling expenses by 20%.
The waterproofing of your home
Bad weather, or sealing air leaks around your home, is a great way to reduce your heating and cooling expenses. The most common sources of air leaks in your home are vents, windows, and doors. To avoid these leaks, you need to make sure that there are no cracks or openings between the wall and the vent, window or door frame.
You can apply caulk to seal air leaks between stationary objects, such as the wall and window frame. For cracks between moving objects, such as windows and maneuverable doors, you can apply weather stripping. Stripping and caulking are simple air sealing techniques that typically provide a return on investment in less than a year. Air leaks can also occur through openings in the wall, floor, and ceiling from plumbing, ductwork, or electrical cables.
Insulate your home properly
Insulation plays a key role in lowering your energy bills by retaining heat in the winter and keeping the heat out of your home in the summer. The recommended level of heat resistance of your insulation depends on where you live. In warmer climates, the recommended value is much lower than in buildings located in cooler regions like the northeast.
The level of insulation to install depends on the size of your house. The attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawl space are the top five areas you should consider adding insulation.
Conserving energy is important and beneficial for several reasons. You can save money, increase the value of your property and protect the environment with simple energy saving measures. These are great benefits that you can gain by saving energy, regardless of your exact motivation for conservation. By simply taking a small step forward in adopting a more energy efficient lifestyle, you can begin to reap all the benefits of being energy efficient.