How To Save Energy In Your Home

There are a variety of approaches to lowering your household's energy use, ranging from modest behavioral changes to substantial home renovations.
How To Save Energy In Your Home

Saving money on electricity bills and protecting the environment are the two main reasons for saving energy. Learn about the 10 most popular techniques to save energy in your house, from the most basic to the most complex.

What Is Energy Conservation?

Energy conservation, at its most basic level, is the practice of utilizing less energy in order to save money and decrease the environmental effects. This might imply consuming less electricity, gas, or any other kind of energy that you pay for and receive from your utility. With finite energy resources in our world, it is important to both individuals and larger energy systems to actively save energy wherever feasible.

1. Make changes to your day-to-day habits

You don't have to go out and buy energy-efficient goods to cut down on your home's energy use. Turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use is a simple way to save energy. You may also save energy by doing household activities by hand, such as hanging your clothes to dry instead of putting them in the dryer or hand-washing your dishes.

Turning down the heat on your thermostat in the winter and using your air conditioner less in the summer are the behavior changes with the biggest potential for utility savings. Heating and cooling expenditures account for over half of a typical household's utility bills, thus lowering the intensity and frequency of heating and cooling will save the most money. Using tools like PowerX will help you find out where the majority of your power goes in your house and which appliances consume the most electricity on a daily basis.

2. Replace the bulbs in your light fixtures

Traditional incandescent light bulbs use a lot of energy and need to be replaced more frequently than their energy-efficient counterparts. Traditional bulbs consume 25-80 percent less power and last 3 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs). Although energy-efficient bulbs are initially more expensive, their efficient consumption and longer lives result in lower long-term costs.

3. Make use of power strips

The electricity used by electronics when they are turned off or in standby mode, known as "phantom loads," is a major cause of energy waste. In fact, it's believed that 75% of the energy required to power household gadgets is used while they're turned off, costing you up to $200 a year. Smart power strips, also known as advanced power strips, reduce phantom loads by turning off the power to gadgets while not in use. Smart power strips can be programmed to turn off at a certain time, after a period of inactivity, through remote switches, or in response to the status of a "master" device.

4. Install a smart or programmed thermostat

When you are sleeping or gone, a programmable thermostat may be configured to automatically turn off or reduce heating and cooling. You can minimize excessive energy usage from heating and cooling by installing a programmable thermostat without having to upgrade your HVAC system. A programmable thermostat may save you an average of $180 each year. Different kinds of programmable thermostats are available, and they may be customized to match your weekly routine. Additional features of programmable thermostats may include indicators for air filter replacement or HVAC system issues, which may help your heating and cooling system run more efficiently.

5. Invest in energy-saving appliances

Appliances account for about 13% of total household energy use on average. When buying an appliance, keep two numbers in mind: the initial purchase price and the yearly running cost. Although energy-efficient appliances may cost more upfront, their running expenses are typically 9 to 25% cheaper than traditional ones. When looking for an energy-efficient appliance, seek for one that has the Energy Star certification, which is a federal assurance that the appliance will use less energy while in use and when it is turned off than regular models. The amount of energy saved varies depending on the appliance.

6. Lower your water heating costs

Water heating accounts for a significant portion of your total energy use. You may save money on water heating by simply using less hot water, turning down the thermostat on your water heater, or insulating your water heater and the first six feet of hot and cold water pipes, in addition to getting an energy-efficient water heater.

If you're thinking about replacing your old water heater with a more energy-efficient one, keep two things in mind: the type of water heater you want and the type of fuel it will use. Tankless water heaters, for example, are energy-efficient, but they're not a good solution for large households since they can't handle numerous and simultaneous hot water needs. Efficient water heaters may save you anywhere from 8% to 300 percent more energy than a traditional storage water heater.

7. Install windows that are energy efficient

Windows are a major source of energy waste, accounting for 10 to 25% of your overall heating expenditure. You may replace single-pane windows with double-pane goods to decrease heat loss via your windows.

Gas-filled windows with "low-e" coatings can considerably cut heating costs in homes in colder climates. Furthermore, interior or exterior storm windows can cut heat loss by 10 to 20 percent. Storm windows are especially important if your area is subjected to regular severe weather.

Heat gain via windows may be an issue in hotter regions. Low-E window coatings minimize heat gain by reflecting more light and limiting the amount of thermal energy that enters your home, in addition to reducing heat loss. Window shades, shutters, screens, and awnings may add an extra layer of insulation between your home and the outside world, allowing you to save even more energy.

8. Upgrade your HVAC system

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment make up an HVAC system. Heating accounts for more than 40% of total residential energy consumption. Because residences in Northern areas are subjected to considerably colder temperatures throughout the year, gas furnaces in the northern and southern half of the United States have distinct standards. Upgrades to the third component of an HVAC system, ventilation, can also help you save money on your utility bills. A ventilation system is a system of ducts that distributes hot and cold air around your house. The ensuing energy waste can add hundreds of dollars to your annual heating and cooling expenditures if these ducts are not properly sealed or insulated. Your heating and cooling costs can be cut by up to 20% with proper insulation and ventilation system maintenance.

9. Weather-proof your home

Weatherizing, or closing air leaks around your house, is an excellent method to save money on heating and cooling. Vents, windows, and doors are the most frequent sources of air leaks into your house. Make sure there are no gaps or openings between the wall and the vent, window, or doorframe to avoid leaks.

Caulk can be used to seal air leaks between stationary objects such as the wall and window frame. Weatherstripping can be used to seal breaches between moving items, such as movable windows and doors. Simple air-sealing procedures such as weatherstripping and caulking generally yield a return on investment in less than a year. Plumbing, ductwork, and electrical wiring may all cause air leaks via holes in the wall, floor, and ceiling. The most common source of air leakage into your attic is through tiny holes in the home's interior. Hot air rises and escapes through small holes, whether through ducts, light fixtures, or the attic hatch. Because heat flows naturally from warmer to colder locations, these small gaps can increase your heating expense if your attic is not well insulated. If you want to get the most out of weatherization, you should consider thoroughly insulating your home.

10. Insulate your home

Insulation helps you save money on your power costs by holding heat in the winter and preventing heat from entering your house in the summer. Where you reside determines the required degree of heat resistance, or "R-value," for your insulation. The acceptable R-value for buildings in warmer climes is significantly lower than for structures in colder locations like the Northeast. The amount of insulation you need depends on the size of your home. The five primary locations where you should consider installing insulation are your attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawlspace.

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