There are various ways of reducing your home's energy use, ranging from extensive home upgrades to simple behavioral changes. The primary reasons for conserving energy are protecting the environment and saving on utility bills. Here are seven ways to help you reduce your home's energy consumption.
Switch Off Your Appliances When You Are Not Using Them
Your microwave, TV, washing machine, computer, and many other appliances have a standby mode, so they still use energy even when you are not using them. Switch them off at their PowerPoint to prevent them from consuming energy in this state. The total amount of electricity consumed by idle appliances in the US equals the annual power output of 12 power plants.
Choose the Right Light
The most energy-efficient lighting option is light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. LED bulbs use 75 percent less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs. They last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and don't contain mercury, an element that is harmful to the environment.
Switch to Efficient Appliances
Refrigerators and dryers are the most notorious energy hogs in a home. So replacing these with energy-efficient models will cut down your electricity consumption by up to 50 percent, thus reducing your energy bills. Ensuring your appliances are well maintained and replacing them every few years will reduce the burden on your pockets in terms of electricity usage.
Install an Automatic Thermostat
You can reduce your annual cooling and heating costs by up to 10 percent by dialing back your thermostat 8 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit from its usual setting for 8 hours daily. If you live in extremely cold or hot climates, setting up an automatic thermostat can make a significant difference in reducing your home’s energy use without making you uncomfortable.
A programmable thermostat can cost you about $20. Advanced smart thermostats can even learn your preferences and settings, automatically shutting down the system when you are out of the home or away on vacation.
Install Electric Floor Heating
Electric floor heating is an energy-efficient and dynamic way of heating rooms in your home without spiking your energy costs. You can fix electric floor heating systems in your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. You can even deploy these systems in your basement to add extra warmth. Installing electric floor heating systems is easy and different floor heating systems are suitable for every type of floor, including nailed hardwood, tile, and vinyl.
Install Energy-Efficient Windows
Windows contribute to the loss of a significant amount of energy, and these losses can amount to up to 25 percent of your total heating costs. To prevent your windows from losing excess heat, install double-pane windows rather than their single-pane counterparts.
If you live in a colder region, gas-filled windows with 'Low-E' coats will help lower your heating costs significantly. Besides, exterior or interior storm windows will reduce unnecessary heat loss by up to 20 percent. So, consider storm windows, especially if your area often experiences extreme weather.
In warmer climatic conditions, you are bound to suffer extreme heat gains through your windows. Apart from preventing the loss of heat, Low-E coatings on windows help to reduce the amount of heat entering your house by reflecting more light, and this reduces the amount of thermal energy that gets into your home.
Window screens, shades, shutters, and awnings can also offer an additional layer of insulation from the outside temperatures, giving you even greater energy conservation.
Reduce Your Water Heating Costs
Water heating contributes significantly to your total household energy consumption. Alongside procuring an energy-efficient water heater, you can trim your water heating costs by:
- Using less hot water.
- Insulating your water heater.
- Turn down the thermostat on your water heater.
- Insulating the first six feet of the cold and hot-water pipes attached to the water heater.
Before switching your water heater with an energy-efficient one, consider two things: the type of water heater that suits your needs, and the type of fuel it uses. For instance, a tankless water heater is energy efficient; however, it may not be the right choice for large families because they can't handle simultaneous and multiple uses of hot water. Remember, an efficient water heater can be up to 300 percent more energy efficient than the traditional storage water heater.
Not only does energy conservation save you money, but it also conserves your environment. Use these tips to help you reduce the energy consumption of your household and experience your savings increase exponentially.
Written by Lizzie Howard
About the Author
Lizzie Howard is a Colorado native who after graduating from the University of Colorado spends her time as a freelance writer. When Lizzie isn’t writing, she enjoys going on hikes, baking for her friends and family, and spending time with her beloved yellow lab, Sparky.
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