7 Great Energy Saving Tips for Your Home
We have become a lot more eco-conscious as a society and people are truly striving to do their part in conserving energy – from alternate modes of transportation to generally rethinking our consumption. However, it’s clear by now that the greatest energy savings lie in our homes. Besides being better for the environment, energy-efficient homes also save money in the long run – something that’s especially useful considering that gas and electric bill prices increase year after year.
The absolute best way to conserve energy in a home is by improving its complete insulation, considering that proper insulation is something most homes still lack. That is a larger project (and investment) but there are so many other things that can be done in the home to achieve this goal, every day. Here are some easy tips that will save a lot of resources and money.
Half-loaded dishwashers and laundry machines are a huge waste of energy, as they use the same amount of resources to do less. Wait until you can load them completely and check out the settings to see if there is a half-load option (most newer machines should have it).
Whenever you can, avoid using laundry driers or the dishwasher’s drying cycle. Once you wash your dishes or laundry, let Mother Nature do the drying part, and you’ll save plenty throughout the year. Additionally, air-drying clothes leaves the crispy smell of fabric softener lingering on them nicely and the fabric looks new much longer. It’s a win-win situation.
If you don’t have an outside space to hang clothes or the weather is not adequate for drying, considering getting a drying rack for indoors, and you can fold it away whenever you’re not using it.
Many of us leave our battery chargers and other appliances plugged in when we’re not using them, and this draws power continuously. Even on standby mode, laptops and many appliances draw power – remember, if a light is blinking, energy is being used.
Unplug gadgets and appliances when they’re not in use and these small savings will accumulate over the year, which you will be able to calculate on your electric bill. Better yet, invest in power strips that you can turn off whenever you want without having to unplug each cable (for example, right before going to bed).
On to some more significant investments that bring significant energy savings throughout the year! LED lights are proven to be absolutely the most energy efficient form of lighting there is. They use almost all of the drawn electricity to emit light, as opposed to traditional incandescent bulbs (which use almost 90% of it to emit heat) and even CFLs.
By replacing all your current lights with Light Emitting Diodes, you can cut your annual lighting costs by as much as 50%. This is a rather significant change, considering that lighting takes up to 15% of the electricity bill.
Be Smart With Appliances
Technology is relentlessly improving and these innovations are making energy efficient appliances widespread and easily accessible. Even though they might cost somewhat more, Energy-star certified appliances (that carry the HE logo) are a smart investment that will bring you notable savings in the long run.
For some things, such as air conditioners, a unit with a high energy efficiency rating is just part of the work. Climacool emphasizes the important factors to consider regarding AC:
Control The Climate
An insurmountable amount of energy is wasted in many households because the climate is not controlled at all – a lot of homes are overheated and overcooled, or simply letting energy drain away. Invest in a programmable thermostat, which you can use to control the heating or cooling of your home with adjusted settings even when you’re not there.
That way, you can set the heating or cooling to start moments before you come home from work, so you come to a pleasant environment and no energy is wasted while the home is unoccupied. Additionally, use draft blockers on windows and doors to prevent warm air escaping and make sure your radiators are not blocked by furniture.
Also, if you tend to overheat or overcool your home, remember this: the recommended temperature is 18-21oC for adults and 21oC for children. Turn the thermostat down by just 1 degree gradually to get used to a normal environment. There’s no reason to be wearing a tank top inside in the winter and a sweater during the summer – that is just pure waste.
Turn Down Your Water Heater
Similar to the previous statement about waste, consider adjusting the thermostat on your water heater. Sure, you want a warm and comfy shower, but there is no use whatsoever for scalding hot water. Turn the temperature down by just a bit so you still always have warm water to save a great amount of energy – and at least 6% on your bills.
As you can see, all these tips are fairly simple and not too demanding. You don’t have to tackle them all at once if that seems overwhelming – consider introducing small changes one by one, to gradually get used to an energy-efficient home. Being mindful of energy use becomes a habit, and one that pays off enormously in the long run.