How To Save Energy at Home

Utility costs keep rising by the day, and the situation may persist in the coming years. There are small things that can be done, such as sourcing environmentally friendly trash disposal or turning off gadgets when they’re not being used – but, if left unchecked, utility bills can add up significantly and eat into your home budget. Thankfully, there are small actions you can take to save energy and ultimately lower your utility costs. Here are simple tips to save energy at home:

How Energy-Efficient Technologies Can Contribute to Sustainability

1. Turn Gadgets Off

The gadgets you leave on all day long consume a lot of energy. So, make sure your TV, PC, video game consoles, video recorders, and cable boxes get turned off or completely unplugged when not in use. Chargers for tablets, cell phones, and other cordless devices consume electricity even when not in use.

Over time, the consumption will add up and balloon your energy costs. The devices you use should get plugged into a power strip so that you can switch them off at once. You may also want to set your computers in sleep mode when taking breaks in-between work.

2. Install Smarter Bulbs

Your home’s light bulbs stay on for hours on end. As such, they use a lot of electricity. Having your lights on is sometimes inevitable, so consider installing smart, energy-efficient bulbs. For instance, an LED light bulb, which costs around $5 at a home improvement store can save you over $100 over its lifetime.

LED bulbs use up to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs to deliver a similar amount of light. They also come in different colors, shapes, and intensities and reach full brightness immediately. LED light bulbs are compatible with dimmer switches, so it’s easy to set lower illumination levels and save energy.

Energy-Saving Tips for Small Businesses

3. Only Use the Energy You Need

Your energy consumption could be high because you use more than you need. For instance, it’s needless to run a half-full dishwasher because it will consume the same energy required to do the dishes when it’s full. Set the washing machine to the recommended water level when doing your laundry. Unless you’re handling a dirty load, always use cold water.

The refrigerator is another heavy energy consumer in your home, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The refrigerator temperature should always be set at 28 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit, while the fridge needs to be set at 0 to 5 degrees. Avoid opening them regularly and keep them sealed tightly.

If you have a clothes dryer at home, only use it when you have to. When running at full capacity, clothes dryers consume as much energy as a dishwasher, washing machine, and refrigerator combined. For this reason, air-dry your clothes when possible. If you must use the clothes dryer, clean the lint filter after each session. Also, use the moisture-sensor or auto-dry setting and avoid adding wet items to partially-dry loads.

4. Monitor How Much Energy You Consume

You won’t know how much energy you consume until you monitor your consumption. Electricity monitor meters measure the energy consumption of each gadget in your home when on and turned off. Most electricity monitor meters cost less than $30 and will provide an insight into your home energy use. For instance, it could reveal that your video game console is drawing 20W even though you’re not gaming.

5. Seal the Cracks

Adding up all the cracks around doors and windows in an average American house leaves you with a nine ft² sq hole in the wall. It shows just how much heat escapes from your home. When checking out homes for sale in San Antonio, energy efficiency is often a key priority. That should be the case even after moving into the house, and there’s no better way to ensure that than sealing cracks that cause draughts.

In this regard, weather-strip and seal off cracks that cause air to escape from your home. If there are gaps around your window panes, use putty to seal them. Attaching shoes or sweeps to the bottom of your doors can also prevent cooled or heated air from escaping.

Better insulation in the attic, around the hot water pipes and heater, in crawl spaces, and under your floors can help you save energy. You can benefit from something as simple as covering care floors using rugs or replacing old windows. Undertake an energy audit regularly so that potential areas of energy loss get identified and fixed.

6. Keep Your Curtains Closed at Night

It’s a no-brainer that drawing the curtains during daytime allows natural light and heat into the home. This will light and warm your home naturally without requiring you to switch on the bulbs or AC. When dusk falls, it’s advisable to close the curtains since it helps retain the heat in your home. You won’t need to keep the heater on for long hours. Nonetheless, avoid draping the curtains over the radiators.

7. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances

Your energy consumption could be high because you use old and outdated appliances in your home. Newer appliances have energy star ratings and considerably lower energy consumption. Although they are somewhat costly, they help you to save costs in the long run. Appliances with a high energy star rating use up to 50% less energy than older appliances. Over time, the energy savings will make up for the initial cost.

how to make your home energy efficient

8. Turn Down the Thermostat

During the colder months of the year, we like to keep the thermostat on for far too long. Likewise, we tend to overcool during the hot months. Keeping the room temperature at 19 degrees may be pleasant. However, many people still find themselves turning the heat up to 25 degrees, translating into higher energy costs. Turning your thermostat down by as little as one degree can cut your energy consumption by 5%. You may also want to install a solar cooling and heating unit to save energy.

eco friendly business practices

9. Reduce Your Water Consumption

You can save energy and reduce your water bill by minimizing water consumption. For instance, taking shorter showers or only washing clothes and dishes when you have a full load reduces your electricity and gas bill. You should also consider investing in a solar hot water system since it provides many energy-saving benefits.

6 Tips to Save Money On Your Electricity Bill

Utilizing energy more efficiently not only saves you money on your electricity bill, but also helps meet the ever-growing energy demand. High energy efficiency reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants and water usage. It also stabilizes electricity volatility and prices. Here’s how you can save big on your electricity bill.

tips to reduce electricity bill

1. Switch your provider

Switching your energy supplier can help you cut your electricity bills significantly. Shop around to find the cheapest rates for your business and home to save money each month. You can use a price comparison site to find the fairest offers in the market. You may also shift to retail energy providers such as Energy Texas for affordable green energy options. Consider managing your electricity bills online because sending paper bills may attract additional costs.

2. Conduct an energy audit

An energy audit gives you a clear picture of your home’s energy usage, safety, and comfort. It helps you determine how much energy you’re using, what part of your home is inefficient, and what you can improve. It helps know the changes and improvements you can make to become more energy-efficient, so consider conducting your energy audit before finding ways to reduce energy usage to identify cost-saving opportunities.

3. Use programmable thermostats

A programmable thermostat allows you to control your home’s temperature regardless of your location, helping you save money on your heating and cooling costs. Your thermostat settings will differ depending on seasons, local climate, and your home’s condition. With a programmable thermostat, you can use a pre-set schedule to regulate the times your heating and cooling system turns on.

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Don’t set your thermostat at settings colder than usual when turning your AC to unnecessary energy expenses. Place your thermostat far from windows, doors, direct sunlight, kitchen, drafts, and hallways to prevent it from changing the temperature unnecessarily.

4. Insulate your roof

If your home is adequately insulated, less warm air will escape during the winter and summer, reducing the amount of heating and cooling energy. Insulation reduces heat exchange through walls, attic, roof, and ducts. Well insulated walls, ceilings, and floors require less energy to heat and cool your home. Seal and insulate your ducts to heat and cool your home. Warm or cool air can escape through gaps and cracks, so consider weather stripping and caulking to prevent air leaks, saving energy.

5. Be careful with lighting

While switching off your lights when not in use can save energy, changing your lighting can yield more energy savings. Consider replacing your bulbs with energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to make your home more energy-efficient. Place lamps in corners and use daylighting techniques and automatic dimmers for improved energy efficiency. You can also use task lighting, including reading lamps, bedside and desk lights, to meet specific needs.

Reasons to Convert to LED Lighting

6. Use energy-efficient appliances

Using energy-efficient appliances reduces home energy bills, saving you money. When shopping for energy-efficient appliances, consider available space to ensure ventilation clearance. Look for the Energy Star logo to ensure your appliances are energy-efficient. Consider replacing your clothes dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances in your home with Energy Star labels to save electricity.

Endnote

If not controlled, your monthly energy costs can be very high. Use these tips to save big on your electricity bill.

5 Money-Saving Upgrades To Make Your Home Energy-Efficient

Did you know the average American household spends about $2,000 annually for utilities? What’s more, $200 to $400 is money wasted due to drafts, air leakage, and outdated HVAC systems. That’s a lot of money, right? You can save that money by making energy efficient upgrades to your home.

Let’s take a look at these money-saving upgrades, shall we?

1. Insulation

A very cost effective way to save on energy is by adding more insulation in the attic, or switching out the typical blanket insulation for either cellulose loose-fill insulation or spray foam insulation. The spray foam insulation is the most effective type of insulation for energy efficiency.

home-insulation

With that in mind, installing spray foam insulation requires professional installation and it can range anywhere from $1 to $1.50 per square foot.

2. Energy efficient appliances and HVAC system

Older appliances tend to use a of energy and are nowhere near as energy efficient as newer models. Look for appliances and electronics that are ENERGY STAR approved products. By replacing the refrigerator, washer and dryer and even the ranges, you can save 15% on how much energy your home uses.

The same with heating and cooling. When you upgrade your HVAC system, you can save up to 20% to 50% on your energy bills – providing you make some of the other upgrades on this list.

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3. Programmable thermostat

It seems like everything is a smart device doesn’t it? Smart thermostats are an excellent way to reduce the amount of heating and cooling is used, especially when you’re not home. In the winter, you can decrease the temperature when you’re not at home and increase it to a comfortable temperature about 30 minutes before you get home, and vice versa.

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If you don’t want to go the smart thermostat route, there are programmable thermostats where you can change the settings so the temperature is where it’s set to at the desired time.

4. Eliminating air leaks

One of the biggest culprits of wasted energy is air leakages. A whopping 40% of a home’s heating or cooling is lost due to drafty doors and windows and ill-fitted air ducts. You can prevent this by upgrading your doors and windows to high energy options. Not only are the new doors and windows themselves energy efficient, but the new seals will prevent air leakage.

If you cannot afford new windows or doors, you can always use exterior-grade caulking and new weatherstripping to seal up cracks or gaps you may find.

5. Install ceiling fans

Ceiling fans are a great way to add a bit of style to a room, but they can also help circulate the air, regardless of the season. Most fans have a switch that allows you to change the direction the fan moves. In the summer, it should rotate counterclockwise to push the cooler air down, therefore making the air feel cooler than it actually is. In the winter, it should rotate clockwise to pull the cool air upward and push the warm air downward.

Keeping your home’s energy costs as low as possible isn’t just smart as a homeowner, it’s also a good way to increase the value of your home. And, according to HomeLight’s Q2 2020 survey, we are in a seller’s market! 60% of agents who participated in the survey said there were 60% more bidding wars in June 2020 and the market doesn’t seem to be slowing.

That means if you’re looking to sell, these energy efficient upgrades are a great way to pique a buyer’s interest – maybe even more than one!

Top 7 Tips To Make Your Home Energy Efficient During Summer

Your home is a full-fledged system. And you’re the person who decides how to run its operations. This goes for the appliances you choose, and the equipment you install. So naturally, when you implement cost-effective measures, you’re able to save money, energy, and improve performance. As a homeowner, there are two particular seasons in which you wish your home to be the most energy efficient. Those are summer and winter. So how do you keep cool in the hot weather without overworking your AC? Here are our top 7 tips to make your home energy efficient in summer.

Importance of energy efficient appliances and equipment

Energy efficient appliances and equipment use the least amount of energy to perform their required tasks by default. So if you get energy efficient appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, dishwashers, and laundry machines, you’ll be conserving energy. This automatically translates into reduced utility bills. You will be saving money and protecting the environment.

Energy efficiency in home appliances is extremely important. Especially when you consider how the energy and money you saved could be used for something else. So, you get a discounted bill with minimum exploitation of natural resources.

how to make your home energy efficient

How to Make Your Home Energy-Efficient in Summer

1. Check your home insulation

A good insulation system will keep your home well protected against the elements. One of the main places that people tend to ignore is the attic. When your attic is poorly insulated you’ll notice that during the cold months, snow on your roof will melt faster. This means that a substantial amount of warm air is leaking from your home. Similarly, during summer, poor insulation will allow cool air out. This will automatically make your heating and cooling system work harder to compensate for the air leaking.

home-insulation

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s research, proper insulation will help you save 15% on heating and cooling costs. So, if you want to make your home more energy-efficient, you need to seal any crack and openings. Inspect your floors for any possible crawl spaces and your doors and windows for caulking that could have degraded.

2. Optimize your thermostat settings

If you’re looking to save up on energy bills during summer, you need to tackle the source of the issue. That is your cooling system. It might feel really nice to blast your AC when it’s unbearably hot outside. However, you don’t want the temperature inside your home to be so cold that you need to use a blanket. In fact, you can be comfortable enough with your thermostat set at 78 degrees.

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For every degree below 78, your energy increases by 6 to 8%. Accordingly, your energy bill increases as well. For instance, if you raise your thermostat from 74 to 78, you save 24% in energy usage. Keep the thermostat as high as possible before you leave the house, or turn it off altogether. The bigger the difference between the temperature outside and inside, the higher your energy bill will be.

3. Replace your air filters

When your air filters are dirty and deteriorating, your HVAC is going to overwork itself to keep your house cool. This will result in poor energy efficiency and higher utility costs. Cleaning your air filters might not be enough since you’re supposed to replace them every three months. The same goes for your air vents.

You need to clean those as well on a regular basis. And if you have pets, you will need to clean them more frequently. Not to mention the allergens and dust that circulate through your ventilation system. If you don’t have much experience in home maintenance, you need to call a professional to check them for you.

4. Use fans strategically

You might be reluctant to exclusively rely on fans to cool your home in summer, especially during heatwaves. After all, fans don’t do much except move the existing air in a particular space around over and over again. However, you can place fans throughout your home in a strategic manner so that they work more efficiently.

One great way to increase energy efficiency is to work both your cooling system and fans at the same time. The thing is that you only need to put your AC on at a higher degree than you normally would. Then, plug a fan and direct it towards the AC so that it propagates cool air throughout the whole room.\

You may think that in a place like your garage an air conditioner might be the right choice, but unless it’s insulated, it’ll only run up your energy bill. It’s wise to install a garage ceiling fan instead to avoid this issue.

5. Install double glazed windows

Upgrading your windows is the best thing you can do to enhance your home’s energy efficiency, both during summer and winter. The gap between the two glass panes in double glazed windows acts as an additional layer of insulation. Like so, this layer creates thermal resistance that obstructs the outdoors air from coming in and indoor air from escaping. This means that in winter, warm air won’t leak outside of your home. The double glazing will also prevent the harsh cold from infiltrating your living space.

On the other hand, when the weather is really hot, your double glazed windows have the reverse effect. They hinder warm air from creeping in, and they block the cool air inside your home from seeping outside. Double glazed windows also have the added benefit of minimizing the outside noise, limiting UV damage, and increasing security.

6. Upgrade your light bulbs

If you’re still using incandescent lighting then it’s time to make the switch to LED light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs actually generate way more heat than their LED counterpart. This gives your HVAC system one more thing it has to contend with. Not just that, incandescent lights only last for 1,000 hours. They convert a mere 5% of the energy they receive to light, while the rest 95% gets lost as heat.

energy efficient home

On the other hand, LED bulbs last 25 times longer, they consume 75% less energy, and they run cooler. If buying LED light bulbs seems a bit out of your budget, you could consider compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Their lifespan is 10 times longer than that of incandescent bulbs. And you’ll still be saving about 67% in electricity usage.

7. Unplug energy-sucking appliances

Consider this a rule of thumb to energy efficiency in summer: if you’re not using it, then unplug it! Think of it this way: any appliances that use electricity will also generate heat. If you want to keep your home cool and comfortable enough during the hot weather, unplug electronics you’re not using. That goes for anything from your coffee machine and toaster, to your phone chargers and computers.