10 Ways To Save Energy In Your Home
Why would you want to make your home more energy efficient? Here are a few compelling arguments:
- In most regions of the United States, financial incentives from the federal, state, utility, and municipal governments, such as tax cuts, are particularly beneficial to homeowners.
- It is cost-effective. A home that has been modified to be more energy efficient costs less to run.
- It raises the level of interior comfort.
- It lessens our contribution to global warming. Excessive energy usage, according to many experts, contributes greatly to global warming.
- It helps to minimize pollutants. Pollutants are released into the air, land, and water systems as a result of conventional power generation.
1. Improve your home’s heating and cooling systems.
Heating and cooling use up to half of the energy consumed in homes. The following are a few strategies to save money on energy costs by making changes to your heating and cooling systems:
- Install a ceiling fan in your room. Ceiling fans may be used instead of air conditioners, which consume a lot of electricity.
- Replace air filters in air conditioners and heaters on a regular basis.
- Set the thermostats to a comfortable setting. They should be turned down at night and when no one is at home, in particular. In most houses, each degree that the thermostat is lowered for at least eight hours each day saves roughly 2% of the heating expenditure.
- Install a thermostat that can be programmed. A programmable thermostat saves money by automatically turning down heating and cooling appliances when no one is home, such as at night. Programmable thermostats contain no mercury and can save up to $150 per year in energy expenses in various climatic zones.
- Install a pellet stove or a wood stove. These are more energy-efficient heat sources than furnaces.
- The room will be more insulated at night if curtains are pulled over the windows.
2. Purchase a tankless water heater and install it.
Tankless or instantaneous water heaters deliver hot water just when it is required. They don’t have the same standby energy losses as standard storage water heaters, therefore they’ll save you money on electricity. Without the use of a storage tank, tankless water heaters heat water immediately. When a hot water tap is switched on, cold water enters the unit via a pipe. The water is heated by a gas burner or an electric element. Demand water heaters provide a steady supply of hot water as a consequence. There’s no need to wait for a hot water storage tank to fill up.
3. Get rid of the incandescent lights.
The average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Traditional incandescent lights convert only about 10% of the energy they consume into light, with the remainder being converted to heat. New lighting technologies such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can lower the amount of energy used by lighting by 50% to 75%. Lighting controls have improved, allowing for even more energy savings by minimizing the amount of time that lights are turned on but not in use. Some facts concerning CFLs and LEDs are as follows:
- CFLs use 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- LEDs last even longer than CFLs and consume less energy.
- LEDs have no moving parts and, unlike CFLs, they contain no mercury.
4. Insulate and seal your home.
You can seal and insulate your house yourself, which is one of the most cost-effective methods to make it more comfortable and energy-efficient. A house that is properly sealed can increase comfort and indoor air quality while also lowering utility expenses. An InterNACHI energy inspector can detect leaks in the building envelope and provide recommendations for repairs that would significantly improve comfort and reduce energy use.
Leakage can occur in a variety of areas, including the following:
- electrical receptacles/outlets;
- mail slots;
- around pipes and wires;
- wall- or window-mounted air conditioners;
- attic hatches;
- fireplace dampers;
- inadequate weatherstripping around doors;
- window frames; and
- switch plates.
Air leaks are particularly likely to develop in the attic because heated air rises. Homeowners may save money on cooling and heating by doing a range of repairs and upkeep in their attics, such as:
- Plug the large holes. Where walls meet the attic floor, behind and beneath attic knee walls, and in dropped-ceiling sections are the places in the attic where leakage is most likely.
- Fill in the little gaps. Looking for locations where the insulation is darker is a simple way to achieve this. Dusty inside air is filtered by insulation before seeping through tiny gaps in the building shell, resulting in darkened insulation. In cold weather, frosty spots in the insulation can form as warm, moist air condenses and then freezes when it comes into contact with the cold attic air. In the summer, you’ll see water stains in the same places. Use expanding foam or caulk to seal the openings around plumbing vent pipes and electrical wires. Cover the areas with insulation after the caulk is dry.
- Weatherstripping the attic access panel is a good idea. You can glue a piece of fiberglass or rigid foam board insulation to the back of the attic access panel in the same size as the attic hatch. If you have pull-down attic steps or an attic door, you should seal them in the same way.
5. Use water-saving showerheads and toilets.
To save water in the home, the following systems can be installed:
- Showerheads with a modest flow rate. They come in a variety of flow rates, and some even feature a pause button that turns off the water while the bather is lathering up.
- Toilets with a low flow rate. Toilets utilize 30 to 40 percent of the total water consumed in households, making them the most water-intensive appliances. A modern, low-flow 1.6-gallon toilet can save 12,000 gallons of water per year by replacing an older 3.5-gallon toilet with a modern, low-flow 1.6-gallon toilet. “1.6 GPF” is frequently written on the bowl beneath the seat or within the tank of low-flow toilets.
- Toilets with vacuum-assisted flushing. This toilet contains a vacuum chamber that uses a siphon motion to remove air from the trap beneath the bowl, allowing it to swiftly fill with water and flush waste. Toilets with vacuum-assisted flushing are relatively silent; and
- Toilets with two flushes. Dual-flush toilets have long been popular in Europe and Australia, and are now gaining traction in the United States. Dual-flush toilets allow you to choose between a 1-gallon (or less) liquid waste flush and a 1.6-gallon solid waste flush. Toilets with dual-flush 1.6-GPF minimize water consumption by an additional 30%.
6. Be responsible with your appliances and electronics.
In a typical U.S. home, appliances and gadgets account for roughly 20% of household energy expenses. The following are some suggestions for reducing the amount of energy consumed by devices and appliances:
- Refrigerators and freezers should not be near the stove, dishwasher, or heat vents, nor should they be exposed to direct sunlight. They will have to expend more energy to stay cool if they are exposed to hot environments.
- When not in use, computers should be turned off. If computers must be left on unattended, their monitors should be turned off. Computers account for about 3% of all energy usage in the United States, according to some surveys.
- Use energy-efficient appliances and electronics with the ENERGY STAR label. TVs, home theater systems, DVD players, CD players, receivers, speakers, and other devices that have been authorized by the US Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Program include TVs, home theater systems, DVD players, CD players, receivers, speakers, and more. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if just 10% of homes adopted energy-efficient appliances, carbon emissions would be reduced by the equivalent of 1.7 million acres of trees.
- Chargers for computers and cell phones, for example, use energy when they are plugged in. When they are not connected to electronics, chargers should be unplugged.
- Laptop PCs use significantly less power than desktop computers.
7. Use daylighting as a substitute for artificial illumination.
The use of natural light to illuminate the interior of a home is known as daylighting. The following methods can be used to accomplish this:
- skylights. It’s critical that they’re double-paned; otherwise, they won’t be cost-effective. To avoid leaks, skylights must be flashed correctly.
- Shelves that are light. Light shelves are passive devices that reflect light deep into a structure. They could be on the inside or outside. Light shelves can bring in light up to 212 times the distance between the floor and the top of the window, and advanced light shelves can bring in four times that amount.
- Clerestory windows are a type of window that may be found in many buildings. Clerestory windows are small, broad windows that are placed high on the wall. They are shaded from the summer sun by the roof overhang, yet they enable the winter sun to stream through for natural lighting and warmth; and they are protected from the summer sun by the roof overhang.
- tube of light A unique lens is used in light tubes to intensify low-level light while reducing the intensity of sunlight throughout the day. Sunlight enters the living room through a diffuser designed to spread light evenly, after passing through a tube covered with a highly reflecting substance.
8. Make sure your windows and doors are properly insulated.
Windows and doors typically account for around one-third of a home’s overall heat loss. There are a few things you can do to cut down on energy loss through windows and doors:
- Rope caulk should be used to seal all window edges and cracks. This is the most cost-effective and straightforward solution.
- A specific liner that is installed between the window and the frame can be used to weatherstrip windows. Apply weatherstripping around the whole perimeter of doors to maintain a tight seal when closed. If they aren’t already there, install excellent door sweeps on the bottom of the doors.
- Install storm windows over single-paned windows. An existing window can be covered with a detachable glass frame.
- Existing windows should be fixed or replaced if they have rotten or damaged wood, cracked glass, missing putty, poorly fitting sashes, or broken locks.
9. Be a smart cook.
Cooking wastes a significant amount of energy. The following suggestions and facts show how to cook more efficiently:
- Convection ovens are more energy efficient than standard ovens. They employ fans to distribute hot air more evenly, allowing food to be cooked at a lower temperature. Convection ovens use around 20% less energy than traditional ovens.
- Microwave ovens use around 80% less energy than traditional ovens.
- Pans should be put on a heating source or flame that is the same size as the pan.
- Cooking in covered pots and pans heats food faster than cooking in open pots and pans.
- Cooking time is drastically reduced when using a pressure cooker.
- Food should be put on the top shelf of conventional ovens. Because the top rack is hotter, food will cook faster.
10. Alter your laundry routine.
- Use the high setting on your washer instead of the medium setting. Wait until you have a full load of clothing before using the medium option, as it only saves around half the water and energy that a full load does.
- When your garments aren’t too dirty, don’t use high-temperature settings. Water heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit consumes significantly more energy than water heated to 103 degrees Fahrenheit for the warm-water setting, yet 140 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t that much more effective at cleaning clothes.
- Before using the dryer, make sure the lint trap is clean. Excess lint is not only a fire danger, but it also extends the time it takes for your garments to dry.
- Air-dry your items on lines and racks if feasible.
- Before placing clothing in the dryer, spin dry or wring them out.