Your home wastes energy every single day. Whether you are trying to cut back on your energy bill or save the environment, there are many things you can do to save energy at home.
Some of the ways you can save energy at home are simple changes. Unplugging appliances and electronics when not in use is an excellent example. Others ways include upgrading appliances and properly insulating your home.
Regardless of your budget, you will find several ways that you can save energy at home, right now!
Where Does Your Home’s Energy Go?
To understand how to save energy, you must first understand where your energy is going. The following infographic displays where the energy is used in the average home.
As you can see, heating is the largest area of energy consumption in most homes. Unless you live in the extreme South, you likely spend nearly half of your energy expenses to heat your home. Considering that your home’s heating is only used four to six months per year, that is an astounding number.
Your second highest energy use is another heat source. It is your water heater. This is closely followed by “Other” uncategorized expenses. Rounding up your home’s energy consumption areas are; appliances, cooling, lighting, and electronics with less than 10 percent each.
Easy, Inexpensive Ways to Save Energy at Home
Saving energy at home doesn’t have to be a major expense. First, lets look at some inexpensive or free ways that you can save on energy at home.
If your cellphone charger is plugged up while your cellphone is not attached, it drains energy. This energy has nothing to power, so it is completely wasted. When your cellphone is fully charged, unplug the charger.
Other devices such as battery chargers, small appliances, and laptop computers are examples of devices that should be unplugged when not in use.
If electronics are difficult to unplug after each use, such as your television, blu ray player, or sound system, use a power strip to plug up the device. Keep the power strip in an easily accessible location and turn the switch off when the devices are not in use.
Prevent Air from Escaping Your Home
Check for drafts under doors, around windows, and electric outlets. Drafts are gaps in your home’s energy efficiency. Repairing them is easy for anyone to do. For windows, purchase a window insulation kit, for doors use weather stripping and replace the sweep on the bottom of the door, if necessary.
If outlets have drafts, purchase outlet insulation foam covers or buy spray foam insulation to use in the gaps around the outlet. Most of these items are inexpensive, readily available, and easy to use.
Home Energy Analysis
A home energy analysis is a great way to identify where energy in your home is being wasted. If you are on a tight budget, Energy.gov has advice on how to perform one yourself.
For best results, a professional audit will provide you with the most in-depth analysis. A professional audit will use statistical data from your energy bills along with other data collected during the audit.
A trained professional will perform a blower door test to check for difficult to locate drafts around doors. They may also use an infrared scanning device to detect cold spots or hot spots and trace them to the source.
Once you know exactly what causes energy loss in your home, you can better plan for energy efficient upgrades.
Pricier Upgrades and Changes
Some of the best ways to save money will cost you money. However, your return on investment will be substantial. New, efficient upgrades often pay for itself over time and make your home more comfortable.
One of the quickest ways to save energy at home is to replace outdated and inefficient appliances. If your appliances are 10 years-old or older, consider upgrading to current Energy Star appliances. For example, today’s Energy Star refrigerators use half the energy of older models.
Choosing a refrigerator with a top-mount freezer instead of a side-by-side will also save you 25 percent in energy costs. Review an appliance’s energy costs carefully to determine the best one for you.
Dishwashers, washers, and dryers are examples of other appliances that you should consider upgrading for substantial savings.
Heating and Cooling
Have your heating and cooling systems maintained annually to keep them running efficiently. If the model is over 10 years old, consider upgrading to more efficient models.
In addition to servicing the units, have your duct work inspected and any drafts sealed by a professional. This can save you up to 40 percent on your home’s heating costs.
Make sure that your attic has enough insulation to prevent hot air from escaping through the ceiling. For maximum results, you should have 11 inches of fiberglass insulation or 8 inches of blown cellulose to prevent energy loss.
Old windows should have storm windows installed. If you choose to upgrade windows, choose double-pane glass windows with Low-E coating to prevent losing heat through the glass.
Your Water Heater
Keep a standard water heater no warmer than 120 degrees. The hotter the heater is, the more electricity it uses to sustain that temperature at all times. You may also consider changing to a tankless water heater.
Tankless water heaters can be installed as a whole-house water heater or installed near the point of use, depending on the model. These on-demand heaters don’t need to heat water constantly. Instead, as you use the water, it runs through heated coils that heat the water instantly.
An on-demand water heater can save you between 27 and 50 percent over a traditional water heater with a tank.
Enjoy Comfort and Savings
Improving your home’s energy efficiency will not only save on energy at home, it will keep more money in your pocket for years to come. Do you have your own tips for saving energy at home? If so, please comment.
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