Being environmentally conscious is not just about plastic bags; it requires you to make crucial choices that will determine the success or failure of the human species. You can choose to be more conscious about conserving energy and natural resources, curtailing pollution, and taking other actions that will help diminish the rate of climate change. Here are the top five ways to save energy and become more eco-friendly.
Ease Up on the AC
Air conditioning accounts for up to 18 percent of the annual electricity costs of the average household, and that figure increases during summer. If you spend most of your summer weekdays in an air-conditioned office, the energy consumption in your home may escalate in a few weeks. But you don't need to keep your home as cold as your office. If you are working from home, you can wear your shorts and flip-flops. To save up to 10 percent of your cooling bills, the US Energy Department advises setting your AC to 85 degrees Fahrenheit when you are away and 78 when you are home.
You can also cool down the temperature the old-fashioned way. If it comes down to 70 degrees or lower at night, open some windows to allow the cool night air to get in, then close the windows in the morning and draw the curtains on the south and east sides of the house to keep the cool air in the house and prevent the sun from raising the temperatures too fast.
Remember to keep your AC in top condition by checking the air filters and replacing or cleaning them as required so your HVAC system does not struggle to circulate air. Also, find and seal leaks around the doors and windows and in the air ducts so you lose little of the cold air.
Use Major Appliances Only During Off-Peak Hours
Wash your dishes and do your laundry either late at night or in the early morning hours. In most cities, peak hours are between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. The electric company charges you the most and expects you to use the least amount of energy at this time. So during these hours, try to avoid using major appliances. You can even decide to cook outdoors on the grill because this will save you lots of money and keep your house from heating too much after using the oven to prepare dinner. You can also join energy demand response programs where you can receive money for not using energy during specific time periods.
Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
Appliances account for about 15 percent of the total household energy use on average. When shopping for an appliance, consider two crucial things: the purchase price and the yearly operating cost. Despite energy-efficient appliances having higher upfront purchase prices, the total operating costs range from 10 to 25 percent lower than the conventional models.
When scouting for energy-efficient appliances, look for those with an Energy Star label; this is a federal assurance that the appliance consumes less energy during use and when on standby compared to the standard models. Remember, the energy savings vary depending on the specific appliance. For instance, Energy Star washing machines use 45 percent less water and 25 percent less energy than conventional ones, while Energy Star-rated refrigerators use 10 percent less energy.
Switch To LED Bulbs
Replacing the traditional incandescent bulbs with more eco-friendly alternatives will help you spare a lot of money on your energy bills. If you've not done so already, purchase a pack of LED light bulbs and switch them with the old incandescent bulbs as they burn out. LED bulbs are about 7 times more efficient than traditional bulbs, and they last up to 25 times longer. This means you will buy fewer bulbs in the end and save more money.
Use Smart Power Strips
Phantom loads, which refer to the electricity consumed by electronics when they are in standby mode or turned off, are a primary source of energy waste. It is estimated that 75 percent of the energy household electronics use is consumed when they are powered off, which can amount to up to $200 annually. Smart power strips, commonly referred to as advanced power strips, eradicate the problem of phantom loads by turning off the power to the electronics when they're not in use. You can set the smart power strips to turn off during a period of inactivity, at a designated time, or based on the status of the master device.
Energy conservation is beneficial and crucial for many reasons. You will save money, protect the ecosystem, and increase the value of your property by following the above energy-saving measures. Just by taking small steps towards living a more energy-conscious life, you will enjoy all the advantages of being energy-efficient.
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