Saving energy in the home is becoming more and more important in today’s world. With the cost of energy going up and the potential effects of global warming looming overhead, it makes sense for every home to try and save energy. Fortunately, you do not have to take extreme measures to make your home more energy efficient; there are many things that you can do that will save both energy and money. Here is a list of things that you can do easily to your home to make it more energy efficient.
Check your insulation
While most homes will have insulation in the walls, it probably has not been updated in many years. Having good quality, efficient insulation will help with both heating and cooling costs. It will keep the warm air in on cold days and the hot air out when the temperate rises. But the walls are not the only place that air can pass through. Make sure that the rubber sealing around all of your doors and windows is in good condition. If you can feel a draft coming through, it needs to be replaced. Also be sure to insulate your attic. The attic is often overlooked when checking insulation efficiency, but it is an important place to secure. If all your insulation is up-to-date, another method to keep the heat out of your house is to put dark, heavy-weight curtains on your windows. This will block the sunlight from coming into your house during the warm months. Covering all your bare floors with rugs will help to keep the cold out during the winter as well. Keeping your house at a consistent temperature through insulation will save energy you would otherwise have wasted heating and cooling your home. For more tips on how to better insulate your home, go to http://energy.gov/.
Switch to fluorescent lighting
Using fluorescent light bulbs in your home is much more energy efficient than using incandescent lighting. While the bulbs are initially slightly more expensive, they will last 10 to 20 times longer than incandescent lights. They also require substantially less energy to run, meaning that your electric bill will be nearly cut in half if you change all the light fixtures in your home over to fluorescent bulbs. Remembering to turn the lights off whenever you leave a room is obviously a good way to save energy, but there will always be times when this is forgotten. This is why it is also a good idea to install motion sensors in your light fixtures. If no one is moving about in the room for a certain period of time, then the lights will automatically shut off.
Unplug when not in use
One thing that many people do not realize is even if you have something turned off, it is still using electricity if it is plugged in. Whenever an electronic device is plugged into an outlet, it has to complete a circuit with the electricity, even if the device is not in use. Many things even have an ‘off light’ that stays lit once it has been turned off. This is why you should unplug everything you are not using, from your cellphone charge to your computer. An easy way to do this is to plug multiple items into a power strip. This way you can turn the entire strip off without having to unplug each thing individually.
Replace outdated appliances
Some of the biggest energy suckers in modern homes are appliances that are upwards of ten, or even twenty years old. If you have a refrigerator or another appliance that falls into this category, consider replacing it with a new ENERGY STAR® model. This will drastically cut the amount of energy it uses. Another way to save energy with your appliances is to run them on ‘low’ or ‘energy-saver’ modes and avoid over-using them. Turn off the ‘steam-dry’ option on your dishwasher and dry them by hand instead. For more tips on how to save energy with your appliances, visit https://www.progress-energy.com/.
Install solar panels
While this is a large step to make, switching to solar energy in your home is probably the best way to save energy. You can literally gather the energy on the sun during the day to power all of your electric needs. If you cannot do this, you can purchase individual items that are solar powered, like a solar water heater. Even having just one appliance in your home running on solar power will save energy and decrease your electric bill. For additional information on solar panels and how they can benefit your home, go to http://www.solarcity.com/residential/solar-panels.aspx
Jacob Pettit is a student and writer who has always been concerned about the environment. Because of this, he offers a unique perspective on different methods of conserving energy. He values businesses, such as Hot Water Sydney, Solarcentury and SunWize, who offer solar-powered options to their clients.