5 Best Ways to Save Energy at Home
In this article we are taking a closer look at the most important energy saving/conservation techniques and tips that you can implement in your house to increase energy efficiency and cut costs.
Some of the techniques are simple and can be implemented straight away – others require more carefully planning and can have high initial costs (these usually have the highest gains in the long run).
1. Get rid of incadescent light bulbs
Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulbs have been on the market since the 19th century. The quality of light is close to ideal, however, they are incredible inefficient – only 10% of the electricity is converted into light while the rest ends up as heat. It’s about time they are replaced with light bulbs that are more environmentally friendly.
Some places in the world, the old incandescent light bulbs have been banned (the U.S has planned their phase-out to start in 2014), leaving you only to pick from a range of energy efficient light bulbs.
2. Seal air leaks
Is your house uncomfortable when it gets cold outside despite the fact that all the heating is switched on? If you think it is due to poor insulation you may need to think again. Air leaks are often the main culprit in cold houses and sealing them can make a big difference!
2. Turn off electrical devices
This is a no-brainer. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Don’t let the TV run in the background if nobody is watching it. This also applies to all other electrical devices that you are not using.
3. Use energy-efficient windows, doors and skylights
Even though the windows in an average house only covers about 5-10% of the outer surface, it is not uncommon that they are responsible for over 40% of the heat loss.
A building’s heating costs can therefore be drastically lowered if old windows are with poor energy ratings are replaced with energy-efficient alternatives. The same goes for doors and skylights as well.
Reduced energy bills is not the only thing that people who have replaced old fenestration report of, but also increased indoor comfort.
The lower the U-value, the better. Old windows have an average U-value (or U-factor) of around 2.7. As a comparison, today’s modern energy-efficient windows with triple layer designs can have U-values of 1.0 or lower.
4. Lower the room temperature
If you can handle it, lowering room temperature by only a degree or two, can result in big energy savings. The greater the difference between outdoor and indoor temperature is the more energy is used to maintain room temperature. You can always put on more clothes!
There are smarter and more comfortable ways of doing this. If you set your thermostat lower at night and at times when you are not home, you can still end up saving a lot of money. Get a programmable thermostat that allows you to do these things.
5. Get an energy audit
Before you start optimizing your house with ways to conserve energy you might want a consultation on where your house is leaking energy. This is exactly what an energy audit is.
An expert performs a comprehensive home energy checkup: A series of tests to find out where your money is best spent to make your house more energy efficient.