Energy conservation is a popular topic nowadays, with more people seeking ways to save on energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. In the United States, residential energy use accounts for about 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions. While this may seem small compared to the emissions produced by major corporations, it is still significant.
Reducing energy consumption is one of the best ways to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By demanding less electricity at home, individuals can create more demand for sustainable energy solutions. This article will explore some of the best ways to conserve energy at home, providing practical tips and advice for everyday people looking to make a difference.
How To Save Energy In The Home
Conserving energy at home is not only good for the environment but also for your wallet. By making a few simple changes to your daily habits and performing regular maintenance, you can save money on energy bills. Here are some tips on how to save energy in the home:
1. Turn Down The Thermostat
One of the best ways to conserve energy is to turn down your heating thermostat. Heating and cooling costs are the biggest outlay for homes. According to British Gas, by turning your thermostat down just one degree, you could cut your heating costs by around 10%. This could save up to £145 per year for an average 3-bedroom house in the UK.
2. Use Air Conditioning Equipment Less
Minimizing or doing away with the use of your air conditioning during the warmer months is another solid way to significantly cut your home energy costs. Air conditioners account for approximately 6% of all electricity generated in the United States. As with heating, installing a programmable thermostat helps to ensure the AC is only running when you need it to. Planting trees and shrubs around your home can also cut costs by up to 25% and is a great way to increase biodiversity.
3. Check Fridges and Freezers
Fridges and freezers are two of the most energy-intensive appliances, accounting for approximately 12% of total energy bills. To conserve energy, check what temperature they are set at, keep them in a cool place, carry out regular maintenance, and make sure the door seals are airtight.
4. Replace Air Filters
Carrying out regular maintenance checks on your air conditioning and heating equipment and replacing the filter regularly helps ensure that your system is running efficiently. You can reduce the energy consumption of your A/C unit by 5% to 15% simply by keeping the filter clean.
5. Dial Down The Water Heater
Dialing down the temperature of your water heater from 140ºF to 120ºF can save up to $461 a year. Make sure to invest in an energy-efficient water heater when your old one needs replacing. In the meantime, use an insulating jacket for your old water heater to help reduce costs.
6. Beware The Phantom Load
Appliances left on stand-by use energy, which can add up to $200 a year. Unplugging something after use is easily one of the best ways to reduce energy consumption. The use of smart power strips is a handy way to ensure that your tech is only switched on when it needs to be.
7. Insulation Over Heating
Investing in increased insulation and energy-efficient windows do require an initial outlay, but there are also ways to save energy that needn’t cost you any extra. For instance, closing the curtains when it gets dark results in a 15% reduction in heat loss. In winter, keeping the curtains open on south-facing windows during the day allows passive solar energy to heat up your home.
8. Deal With Drafts
Weatherstripping is a low-cost solution for doors and windows. For a completely free, eco-solution, have a go at making your own draft stoppers.
9. Wash Laundry On Cold
Lowering the temperature on your eco-friendly washing machine is an easy way to save electricity. According to tests run by Which, changing the temperature from 40°C (104°F) to 30°C (86°F) saved 38% of the energy, and dropping to 20°C (68°F) saved 62%.
10. Line Dry Instead Of Dryer
Tumble dryers are one of the most expensive appliances to run. Make use of the sun and line dry your clothes instead of using a dryer.
11. Use Full Loads
Using full loads in your washing machine, dishwasher, and dryer can help save energy and water.
12. Take Shorter Showers
Taking shorter showers can help save water and energy. Installing a low-flow showerhead can also help reduce water use.
13. Go Old School & Do Chores Manually
Doing chores manually can help save energy. For example, sweeping instead of using a vacuum cleaner.
14. Use A Dishwasher
Using a dishwasher can help save water and energy. Make sure to use it only when it’s full.
15. Turn Things Off Or Down When Going Away
Turning off or down appliances, heating, and cooling systems when going away can help save energy.
16. Be Savvy In The Kitchen
Using lids on pots and pans, cooking with the right size of burner, and using a pressure cooker can help save energy.
17. Get An Energy Monitor
An energy monitor can help you keep track of your energy usage and identify areas where you can save energy
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Why Should We Conserve Energy
Conserving energy is essential for various reasons. It helps to reduce the impact on the environment, save money on electric bills, and decrease dependence on finite resources like natural gas, oil, and coal. In the US, fossil fuels remain the primary source of energy for generating electricity, so conserving energy at home can help conserve coal and other dirty, non-renewable resources.
Final Thoughts On How To Conserve Energy
There are several ways to conserve energy at home, from simple everyday tweaks to more significant changes. Here are some final thoughts on how to conserve energy:
Design for Energy Efficiency
Designing for energy efficiency can help maximize the use of natural light, choose energy-efficient products and appliances, and consider insulation in the form of floor coverings and window dressings. It is an important part of sustainable interior design and can help reduce heating and cooling costs.
Simple Everyday Tweaks
Simple everyday tweaks like turning down thermostats, washing laundry on cold, and taking shorter showers can also help conserve energy. These small changes can add up and make a significant impact on the environment and save money on electric bills.
Switch to a Renewable Energy Provider
Switching to a renewable energy provider is another way to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydroelectric power are clean energy sources that can help reduce carbon footprints and mitigate the effects of global warming.
Energy Audits and Rebates
Energy audits can help identify areas in the home that are wasting energy and provide solutions to fix them. Many utility companies offer rebates for energy-efficient upgrades like insulation, energy-efficient appliances, and LED light bulbs. Taking advantage of these rebates can save money and conserve energy.
In conclusion, conserving energy is crucial for the environment, reducing dependence on finite resources, and saving money on electric bills. By implementing simple everyday tweaks, switching to renewable energy providers, and considering energy-efficient design, individuals can make a significant impact on the environment and their wallets.