We all have a responsibility for the energy we consume in our homes. Making minor adjustments can help us both save money and decrease our carbon footprint. Taking simple measures to reduce energy consumption at home on a daily basis can have a positive effect on the environment and help reduce the amount of energy consumed by our community.
Buying smart energy-saving appliances is a great thing to do, but you can still reduce energy consumption at home by using whatever appliances you have in a smart way.
You can save a lot yearly by turning appliances off standby mode. Take into consideration that even when off, some appliances like TVs, microwaves, scanners, and printers use standby power. In fact, “Phantom loads,” or the electricity used by electronics when they are turned off or in standby mode, is one of the major sources of energy waste.
Check the instructions for any appliances you aren’t sure about like digital TV recorders, and of course, don’t unplug your fridge. Still, almost all other electrical appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming.
For instance, don’t forget to shut down your computer at night. Computers consume a lot of energy to charge and they can be turned on and off over 40,000 times without affecting their lifespan, so turn them off.
And also unplug chargers when you’re done charging. People often leave them for convenience but some chargers still pull small amounts of energy when left plugged in. If it feels warm even when not charging a device, it’s using energy.
You can use Smart power strips that can be set to turn off at an assigned time, during periods of disuse, through remote switches.
Mind your lighting
Lights consume more energy than most people think, that’s why they are some of the best places to start saving energy.
First, if you haven’t yet, switch to LED bulbs as they are the most energy efficient. They use 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer.
Second, turn off lights when you don’t need them. Turn off the light when you leave a room, turn off hallways lights when no one is using them, and also turn off the light when it’s a sunny day and you can use natural light (not in hot weather though).
Third, Install automatic light sensors or timed sensors on outdoor lighting, and install solar-powered devices for landscape lighting.
Be responsible with your ACs
Heating and cooling consume the most energy in the house. However, we can’t stop using them but we can be more responsible about our consumption.
Clean or replace AC filters regularly as recommended and never neglect periodic AC maintenance. Adjust the temperature so the house is pleasant but not ice cold, each degree increase saves about 10% energy use.
In addition to that, keep the window coverings closed during the day in summer to block the sun’s heat. And Seal leaky windows that let out the cool in summer.
During spring and autumn when the weather is not too hot, use fans whenever possible instead of turning on the AC.
Be nice to your fridge
Open the refrigerator door only when necessary so the cold air doesn’t escape. Don’t make it extra hard for it to do its job!
To keep the fridge cold, thaw frozen foods in it and not on the counter. And wait until hot foods cool before placing them in the fridge. Reducing the amount of power your fridge needs to keep everything cool goes a long way in reducing your overall energy consumption at home.
Wash clothes with care
The majority of energy used during the washing process is consumed for warming water. You can save a lot of energy by reducing the temperature of the washing water by 15 degrees. Your washing machine and your clothes will thank you for it as reports state that washing in cold water can increase the lifespan of clothes without damaging heat.
Also, try to wash full loads instead of turning the machine on for washing very small loads numerous times.
Install solar panels
Solar panels are the most widespread alternative sources of energy used in homes. Power your house with a few solar panels if you’re looking for a leap in energy efficiency. Not only will you reduce energy consumption at home but you will also be optimizing renewable energy.
Solar energy is a good way to start consuming a better source of electricity. Because the costs of investing in solar PV went down in recent years, many people are considering opting for solar panels on their roofs to generate their own clean and renewable electricity.