Energy-efficiency is not just about cutting down your monthly bills. It’s mostly about treating the planet we are living on with responsibility and respect it deserves.
About 80 percent of people around the globe have access to electricity, and that number keeps on growing. The ways those people are using energy and the amounts of energy they utilize largely differ. Still, the general number of kWh/year spent in countries such as France, UK, Australia, US and Canada, ranges from 4,648 to 11,879. The question that arises is do we really have to use so much energy for our daily needs? The answer is no. You pay for hundreds of dollars more because your house has some energy issues that can be addressed with careful assessment and smart solutions. Here’s a short guide through energy hogs in your home, and some tips on how to tame them.
Heating and Cooling
According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for almost half of your energy expenses. This makes them the largest energy cost for most households. This, of course, depends whether we’re talking about heating with electricity, gas or oil. An easy fix for the heating issue is to turn down your thermostat for a couple of degrees, but if you want to solve this problem in the long run, get a smart/programmable thermostat. You can also go with an alternative source of energy, such as geothermal system. As for the cooling, solve it by using fans instead of air-conditioners or by getting an Energy Star rated air-conditioner. Proper home insulation and double or triple glazed windows will help you prevent heat and cool from getting out of your house.
Lighting takes about 5 percent of the energy budget of an average household, but this number can vary greatly depending how you use (abuse) the lights in and outside your house. Changing your habits is the first step to cutting down the lighting costs. Turn off the lights whenever you are not using the room, and switch to fluorescents lights wherever the ambience isn’t your priority. Installing dimmers will help you to save some energy with each light bulb. Long term solution is investing in LED lamps or even smart light bulbs.
The percentage of energy appliances are using will depend on their capacity and frequency of use. That is why this number can vary from 11 percent to 34 percent. Nevertheless, the energy expenses of appliances can be decreased by responsible usage (plug off when not using them, running the dishwasher and the washing machine only when they’re full), and replacing the old and non-energy efficient with new kitchen appliances, preferably Energy Star rated.
Electronics may not use too much energy, when compared to other hogs, but its consumption can be significantly lowered. One of the greatest issues here can be a set-top box device, because it operates even when you are not watching your TV, which means it’s never powered down. Going with the energy efficient variety of this device can solve this issue. Investing in a new, high-efficiency television is also a good idea.
Other Energy Vampires
Your home is filled with energy hogs that can easily be tamed if you know where they lie. Look for the least obvious suspects and “attack” them with energy-efficiency. Go through trustworthy solar generator reviews to find a device which can help you have a stable power supply for some of the electricity vampires in your home. For example, many battery chargers are using outdated technologies which consume much more energy than they should. Devices like game consoles, pool pumps and furnace fans are maybe the last places where you would start your vampire hunt, but they shouldn’t be left out.
Energy-efficiency is not just about cutting down your monthly bills. It’s mostly about treating the planet we are living on with responsibility and respect it deserves.So start greening up your home as of today.
Zoe Clark, the author of this article, is a proud mom of one baby girl and a miniature schnauzer. When not obsessing about designing perfect homes, Zoe is spending time with her family.
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