The energy sources should be used judiciously. We should focus on increasing energy efficiency i.e. using less energy to do the same work. If you are energy efficient you would be able to reduce the energy wastage at home and save money. Therefore, it is very important to understand how you are using energy, where the energy is being wasted and what are the ways which can be used to reduce wastage and increase energy efficiency.
Fortunately we are living today in a technology driven era. We have smart techniques, efficient transportation and many useful apps to help us to live more efficiently. In this article we have summarized some of the energy-saving home improvements to help your home save energy and be more efficient.
1. Make a compost pile
The organic waste produced at home can be piled up into compost which decomposes over time to become valuable fertilizer. The fruit and vegetable waste produced at home can be converted into manure to be used for the lawn or garden. Also the amount of trash produced on a daily basis is reduced.
2. Install low flow showerheads
The flow rate of the conventional showerheads is 5 gpm (gallons per minute) whereas that of low flow showerheads is less than 2.5 gpm. This improves the home’s water efficiency.
3. Replace the incandescent bulbs
The manufacture of 60W and 40W incandescent light bulbs was stopped in 2014. The halogen bulbs, light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are much energy efficient than the earlier incandescent bulbs. An average home uses around 40 bulbs, so you can save on your electricity bill by switching over to greener ones.
4. Turning off unnecessary water usage
We can save on our water usage by adapting to some small changes in our habits. Don’t keep water running out of the tap while brushing or shaving. Bathing typically uses 75 gallons of water whereas shower uses about 17.2 gallons on an average. Avoid running half loads of laundry in your washer. Running full load means more clothes are washed at once which helps in water conservation.
5. Unplug the chargers when not in use
The average charger consumes 0.26 W of energy when not in use and 2.24 W when connected to the phone. One charger alone doesn’t make much difference but a number of them collectively are responsible for 10% of the energy bill. Therefore, always remember to unplug the chargers when not in use.
6. Installing solar panels
Other useful energy-saving home improvements can be the use of solar panels. Installing a solar panel system is not cheap but it can really help us in saving money on energy bills in the long run. Solar panels help in lowering our dependence on fossil fuels for our energy needs and can also help us qualify for the annual tax incentives.
7. Buying energy star products
Energy star products meet the energy-efficient specifications set by the EPA. Products like refrigerators, televisions, stoves, washers and air conditioners are the energy star products using 10-50% less energy than standard appliances. These also help in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.
8. Using cold water for washing and rinsing clothes
It has been estimated that roughly 90% of a washing machine’s energy use is used in heating water. So you can save a substantial amount of energy and money if you use cold water for washing and rinsing clothes. Hang the clothes to sundry rather than using gas or an electric dryer to save energy.
9. Use of reusable water bottles for drinking
The use of excessive plastic bottles poses a huge threat to our natural environment. The Guardian reported that by 2021, the yearly consumption of water bottles is expected to surpass half a trillion which is far more than the recycling plants can process. The production of plastic bottles utilizes a good amount of energy and mostly uses the sources that impact the environment negatively. Therefore, go for reusable water bottles and reduce the use of plastic bottles to save our environment.
10. Energy audit
You can perform an energy audit by hiring a professional energy auditor for your home. The auditor will evaluate the inefficiencies in the use of energy and the energy wastage at your home. A trained and certified auditor inspects in and around the home and pinpoints the savings opportunities and identifies the areas that need improvements. Auditors usually charge on the hour basis or by the square footage of your house.