Energy conservation is becoming an increasingly important issue. Not only are the current methods of generating energy harmful to our planet, but they’re also becoming progressively more expensive with the gas and electricity prices being on a seemingly never-ending rise. Instead of turning a deaf ear every time someone mentions the words “global warming” or “saving the planet”, we should consider the issue at hand and rethink our energy-consumption habits, from the way we build our houses and the materials we use, to turning our old energy-guzzling house into a modern, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly home.
The first rule of saving energy and the one that people tend to forget or simply ‒ overlook is to unplug any appliances you’re not using at that moment. Although ‒ appliances may be powered off, they still draw a lot of energy even when sitting idle, and the best example of this behavior is the clock on your microwave oven that’s constantly showing the time even when you’re not using it.
Unplug everything you’re not using, including your desktop computers, TV’s and sound systems and even the smaller appliances such as coffee makers, hair dryers, toasters and phone chargers. If you hate the hassle of turning every single device individually, use a power strip and simply flip the switch when leaving the house.
Furthermore, most of the older appliances and devices weren’t made with energyefficiency in mind, so it might be a good idea to switch to newer, energy-conserving models. If replacing all your appliances is out of the question, then you should reconsider the way you use them. Instead of filling the dishwasher or washing machine with a couple of smaller loads, wait until you have enough dishes or laundry to do full loads. Lastly, and this is something we’re all guilty of doing, you should really stop standing in front of the open fridge for 10 minutes deciding on what you’re going to eat or drink.
Heating and cooling
One of the best ways to lower your electricity bill is to make sure that the seals on the doors and windows are still functional. These seals are the only thing that prevents your house from leaking cold air during summer and warm air during winter. Another very important aspect is the insulation of your home. Insulation can deteriorate over time, and if you’re living in an old house, chances are that the insulation inside does not meet the current standards regarding the choice of insulating materials and their thickness.
You can hire a contractor and have them perform a full energy audit of your home. This can help you locate the problem spots and work out a way to deal with them. Additionally, try to use less hot water, as heating it requires a significant amount of electricity. You can take showers instead of baths and use cold water to wash your clothes. Another enormous energy-guzzler is the air conditioning and although using it is sometimes simply unavoidable, don’t leave it running all day.
When it comes to lighting, there are two options to choose from more natural light ‒ or energy-efficient light bulbs. The first one is pretty much self-explanatory, but the second one requires some explanation. CFL and LED bulbs last significantly longer while spending a quarter of the energy required to power the traditional, incandescent light bulbs. This makes custom lights a rather necessary investment if you want to reduce your energy expenditure.
As the cost of energy rises, people are starting to reconsider the way they use energy in their everyday life. Plugging off the old appliances and shifting towards the more energy-efficient ones, performing energy-expenditure audits and using more advanced lighting systems are just some the ideas.