Save Energy in Your Home
Concerned about energy suppliers’ consumption of fossil fuels? Want to see a few more bucks in the bank at the end of every month? Regardless of your reasons, cutting back on your energy usage at home has very few downsides. To save energy in your home, try these methods and techniques.
Reduce Your Consumption
- Turn down the thermostat. Turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree can reduce your energy consumption by over 5%. You won't even notice the difference in room temperature. On the same note, don't heat rooms when you are not using them.
- Decrease the hot water temperature. Your hot water thermostat needn't be higher than 60 degrees centigrade (140 degrees Fahrenheit). Any higher and you will only be mixing it with cold water to cool it back down for use.
- Give your boiler regular checkups, especially if you have had it for a few years.
- Wash economically. Only use the washing machine when you have collected a full load. If you must wash a partial load, use the economy or half load setting. Also, modern washers work just as effectively at 40 degrees Centigrade (100 F) as they do at 60 (140 F), but the reduced temperature will make a difference in terms of energy used.
- Tumble dryers use up a huge amount of energy. If possible, hang your clothes on a line instead. This is better for your clothes as well.
- Washing economically doesn't just apply to your clothes. Taking a shower instead of a bath uses around 50 percent less energy.
- Reuse water coming out of the tap that would drain otherwise. When you turn on the tap to wait for hot water, for example, put a container under the tap until the water is warm enough and then use the water in the container to water plants or use for other purposes.
Prevent Energy Loss
- Prevent drafts. In an average house, up to 50 percent of heat is lost through drafts. To test an area, simply hold the palm of your hand up against a door or window. If you feel cold air coming through, warm air is escaping. This is simple to fix and can save you hundreds on your yearly heating bill.
- Fit draft excluders around all exterior doors and interior if needed.
- Fill in any cracks or crevices on window frames, skirting boards or floors with a filler or sealant.
- Close the curtains or shutters after dark fall to trap in the warm air and prevent drafts.
- If your door has a large crack under it, consider covering it with something (some stores sell cute 'door-crack blockers').
- Turn off appliances and lighting. Turn off any appliances you are not using, especially by switching off lights when you leave the room. Don't leave fridge or freezer doors open for longer than necessary, and don't forget that your freezer needs to be defrosted regularly for it to run efficiently.
- Turn off your computer. Leaving the screen saver on will not save any energy. Screen savers can use more energy than when you are using the computer yourself and can reduce the life of your monitor. Instead, enable the display blanking feature to automatically turn off the monitor when your computer is idle. You can save $50-$100 per year by enabling your computer to 'sleep' automatically when you are not using.
- Insulate. Up to a third of your home heating escapes through the roof. Prevent this by insulating. Not only is it simple to do, but it's also the most cost efficient energy saving measure you can make. If you don't already have it, invest in cavity-wall insulation. This will prevent another third of your heat escaping.
Take Advantage of Energy-Saving Programs and Technologies
- Look for grants available to help make your home energy efficient. Saving energy is such a vital issue that grants are now becoming more readily available to help you make the necessary home improvements.
- Use energy-efficient appliances. From light bulbs to kitchen goods to home entertainment equipment, there are a plethora of energy-efficient appliances now on the market. Amazingly, they can use 50 percent less than other models, and up to a quarter less for light bulbs.
- Switch to eco-friendly energy. Many energy suppliers are now offering power from renewable sources rather than polluting fossil fuels. Do your research to find out which company in your area is offering green energy.
- Be creative. You lead a unique lifestyle, which means there will be many unique ways you can save energy. For example, if you're a fanatic tea drinker, only boil as much water as you need in a kettle.
- Do your part to save our planet! Use renewable sources of energy instead of non-renewable ones. Examples of renewable sources of energy:
- Solar energy
- Wind energy
- Waves energy
- Plug multiple electronic devices that consume energy when off into a power strip so you can turn them all off easily when you are not using them.
- Following these steps will not only save you hundreds in bills, but also help restore equilibrium to your life and to the planet. Almost all of the energy supplied to our homes comes from burning fossil fuels . This releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to the greenhouse effect.
- Examples of non-renewable sources of energy:
- Fossil fuels
- Nuclear energy
- Use greenhouse or fan heaters instead of radiators (central heating). They throw out a lot of heat at a fraction of the cost. Also radiators give out formaldehyde when on so you'll be contributing to a cleaner atmosphere in your home and on the planet. You can get greenhouse tube heaters to use on window sills and they prevent frost on windows. Fan heaters heat a whole room quickly and most can be used as cooling fans in the summer.
- On especially warm days, taking heatless showers help too. This feels wonderful particularly after sweating and exercise.
- Save Energy Automatically With Your Computers
- Measure for Weather Stripping
- Reduce Your Energy Consumption
- Lower Electricity Bills in the Summer
- Save Water
- Use Solar Energy to Heat a Pool
- Heat Water Using Solar Energy
- Save Money on Gas
- Reduce Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Save the Environment at Home
- Go Green
- Save Energy With a Personal Computer
- Save Water Around the House
Sources and Citations
- "Pulling the plug on standby power" - The Economist, March 2006
- "Tips for saving energy around the home" - A page with tips for saving energy around the home