There are many different ways to reduce your home’s energy use, ranging from extensive home improvements to simple behavioural adjustments. The two primary motives for conserving energy are to protect the environment and save on electricity bills.
Here are the six most common ways to reduce energy cost in your home.
Replace your light bulbs and ceiling fans
Conventional incandescent light bulbs and ceiling fans consume an exorbitant amount of electricity and should be replaced with their energy efficient alternatives. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) consume anywhere from 25-80% less electricity and last a lot longer than conventional bulbs.
Although energy efficient ceiling fans and bulbs are more expensive, their energy efficient energy use and longer service lives means they’ll cost less in the long run. Energy efficient bulbs and ceiling fans are the clear winners in term of their financial and environmental benefits.
Install a smart programmable thermostat
A smart programmable thermostat can be set automatically to switch off or reduce cooling and heating during the times when you are away or asleep. When you install a smart thermostat, you eliminate wasteful energy use from cooling and heating without updating your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system or sacrificing your comfort.
A smart thermostat comes in various models that can be set to suit your weekly schedule. Extra features of smart thermostats can include sensors and indicators for when to replace air filters or fix any HVAC system issue, which also improves the efficiency of your cooling and heating system.
Use smart power strips
Electricity used by electronics when they are in standby mode or when they are turned off, also called as phantom loads constitute a significant source of energy waste. Almost 75% of the energy used to provide electricity to household appliances is consumed when they are turned off. Also known as advanced power strips, smart power strips eliminate the problem of phantom loads by turning off the electricity to electronics when they are not in use. Smart power strips can be set to turn off at an assigned time during a phase of inactivity through remote switches, smartphones, or based on the command of the master device.
Purchase energy efficient appliances
On an average, an appliance uses approximately 13% of your total household energy use. While purchasing an appliance, pay attention to two things: the annual operating cost and the initial purchase price. Even though energy efficient appliances have higher purchase value, their operation cost is 9-25% lower than traditional models.
When you purchase an energy efficient appliance, look for appliances with Energy Star label which is a governmental guarantee that the appliance will consume less power during use and standby mode than conventional non-energy efficient models.
Reduce your water heating expenses
Water heating in one of the major contributors to your total energy expenditure. Other than purchasing a smart energy efficient water heater, you can reduce your water heating expenses with three methods; turn down the thermostat on your water heater, use less hot water or insulate your water heater.
If you are thinking to replace your water heater with an energy efficient model, keep in mind two things; the type of water heater that fits your needs and the type of fuel it will use. For instance, tankless water heaters are energy efficient, but also a poor choice for large families as they cannot handle simultaneous and multiple use of hot water. An energy efficient water heater is between 8-300% more energy efficient than a traditional storage water heater.
Install energy efficient windows
Windows are a substantial source of energy wastage, which can amount to 10-25% of the total heating bill. To reduce heat loss through your windows, simply replace single-pane windows with double-pane ones. For houses in colder areas, gas-filled windows with “low-emissivity” layer can reduce your heating expenses.
In warmer regions, heat gain through windows may be an issue. To minimise heat loss, low-emissivity layer on windows can reduce heat gain by bouncing back more light and lessening the amount of thermal energy dispensed into your home. Window shades and shutters can also give an extra layer of insulation between external temperatures and your home.
Weatherise your home
Weatherising or sealing air leaks around your house is a smart way to reduce your cooling and heating expenses on your energy bill. One of the most frequent causes of air leaks into your house are windows, vents, and doors. To avoid these air leaks, ensure that there are no openings or cracks between the vent and wall, door frame, or window.
To deter the leaks between stationary objects like window frames and walls, apply caulk, and for cracks between moving objects like doors and operable windows, apply weather stripping. Caulking and weather stripping are simple air sealing methods that offer a good return on investment in less than a year. Air leaks can also occur through openings in the ceiling from plumbing, floor, wall, electrical wiring, or ducting.
Air leaks in your house occur from the home’s interiors to the attic through small openings. Be it through light fixtures or ducts; hot air will rise and escape through small openings. As and when the natural flow of heat is from warmer to cooler areas, these openings can make your bill higher if your attic is not insulated. To get the full advantage of savings from weatherising, consider insulating your house fully.
With the cost of electricity rising every day, decreasing wastage in the house is important if you want to save money. These aforementioned tips can cut your energy use and also reduce CO2 emissions and save the planet.
Arindam Paul is a founding member of Atomberg Technologies, a startup working towards manufacturing unique energy efficient fans and tech savvy products. He is currently heading the Marketing and Long term strategy division at Atomberg and is aiming to disrupt the world of household appliances.
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