Energy-proofing your house not only benefits the environment but the economy too. Here are a few ideas on how to save energy & reduce utility bills.
When your house becomes energy-efficient, you can save on annual utility bills by half. You’ll also be doing the environment a great favor as it reduces our impact on climate change. Researchers believe that consuming excessive energy greatly contributes to global warming and pollution.
Transforming your house to become more energy-efficient not only involves using less energy, but also makes you aware of where the energy is being wasted, how the energy is being used, and how to use it more effectively and efficiently in our daily lives. Some of these adjustments can be done by us which involves simple changes in how we use heating and cooling systems.
Run An Energy Audit
An energy audit will show whether you need to upgrade or replace your heating or cooling systems. Replacing these systems may become heavy on your wallet, but you’ll be saving more in the future; moreover, it’ll increase the value of your home.
Many utility companies conduct audits for free or for a minimal charge so that you can figure out which heating or cooling system is costing you money and energy. A professional contractor will examine your home’s energy systems using various tools such as infrared cameras, surface thermometers, and many others, to find out the inefficiencies that cannot be detected visually. After a detailed analysis, they’ll send you a report of the malfunctioned system and recommendations on ways to improve it cost-effectively.
Seal The Gaps
Inspect your house for any cracks, gaps, or a leak in the network of ducts that carry hot and cold air throughout your home.
Insulate Your Roof
Insulating the roof and tubes that carry air will save you up to 10% of energy costs. Energy-efficient roofing your house blocks the heat from the sun rather than absorbing it. You can also place a big warm rug on the floor that is uninsulated which will make a significant impact on the amount of energy used to heat a room.
Invest In Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans use less energy than air conditioners, which consumes a lot of energy and increases your monthly electric bill. However, the energy costs depend on how many fans are in use in each room and other variables like size, construction, and the layout of the house and rooms. Likewise, the size of your AC will not make a difference when it comes to cooling the room. Therefore, if you buy a bigger size AC for a small room you’ll find yourself turning it on and off a number of times as it quickly cools the room. Major cooling systems like air conditioners will work better and more efficiently when it runs for a relatively long period of time. So make sure to buy an AC that is the right size according to your room’s layout.
During summer, if your AC has malfunctioned, or you realize that your AC fan is not spinning, you can rely on ceiling fans to blow air all over the room. Though warm, it’ll at least keep you from being sweaty!
Energy Star Appliances
Larger appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers are the major culprit when it comes to energy wastage. If any of these appliances have serious damage issues, it’s best to replace rather than repair them from time to time which would eventually lead you to spend more.
When shopping for appliances, look out for an Energy Star label on them. These appliances have been certified to be energy-efficient and will save you thousands of dollars every year during their 10 to 15 years life of the unit.
However, if replacing your appliance doesn’t seem possible you can always adjust the energy accordingly. For instance, for washing clothes, a lot of energy goes into heating water. Instead, you can use warm or cold water in less quantity to wash clothes. This way your energy usage will be cut in half.
When you leave a room, switch off the lights and fans.
Shut down your computer completely when you’re not using it as the monitor itself takes up half the energy load.
Unplug your battery, laptop, and mobile chargers. These chargers consume energy even when they are not charging any devices.
Use Shades, Drapes, or Blinds
During the summer months, close blinds, shades, and drapes on the sunny side of your house to keep the rooms’ temperature cooler and reduce the pressure on your air conditioner. Open them during winter to let the sun warm up your home.
Clean the filters of your appliances regularly or replace them when needed. Dirty filters make your appliances work harder than usual and use more energy than required.
Turn Off Ventilation Fans
Turn off the bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans instead of letting them run unnecessarily for a long period. They circulate the inside air outside.
Install An Automated Thermostat
An automated thermostat is one of the smart gadgets that will automatically adjust your house temperature according to your schedule. It’ll ensure that your home stays energy-efficient and you, as a consumer, can save on heating costs an average of 10% or more.
Saving energy can be cost-effective and also environmentally friendly. What better way than to use nature and the environment to keep your house cool during the summer and warm in winter! You can plant trees around the perimeter of your home, ensuring they are carefully positioned, and save up to 25% of your household energy. For instance, you can plant trees that lose their leaves in the fall, on the south and west side of the house which will keep your home cool in the summer, and also allow the sun to shine on the windows during winter.