Conserving energy is one of the most important things a homeowner can do to save money and positively affect the environment. Two ways homeowners can reduce their energy output is by cutting back on their water and electricity use. Today we’re focusing on electricity.
There are plenty of ways in which homeowners can be more efficient with their energy use. So, let’s cover some energy conservation measures or EMS’s that you can start using today!
USE MORE EFFICIENT LIGHTBULBS
It’s difficult to avoid using lightbulbs in your home. After all, you need to be able to see. However, there are two energy-efficient techniques surrounding lightbulbs to reduce your energy use. First, make sure to leave the lights off when you aren’t in that room or have natural light to take advantage of. Second, swap out outdated light bulbs for more efficient ones.
Leaving the lights off is a great way to ensure that you use less electricity. It’s as simple as opening your shades or ensuring that the lights are off before you leave home. Finding more efficient lightbulbs isn’t too difficult either. All you have to do is visit your local Walmart and stroll into the lightbulb section. You’ll find all sorts of options that you can use to light your house and use way less electricity.
REDUCE HOT WATER USE
Your hot water isn’t free. In fact, homes with electric water heaters can spend $500 or more a year just heating water for 3 hours a day. That adds up to a lot of electricity and money over the years. In only five years of owning a home, you could spend $2,500 on hot water. In places where electricity is more expensive, you might spend 2x or 3x more than that.
You won’t be able to entirely prevent this expense unless you want to take cold showers, but there are at least two things you can do to spend less. First, you can turn your water heater down. By doing this, your water heater won’t have to heat the water to quite as high of a temperature, meaning it will run less often. Secondly, you can update your old water heater and purchase a more efficient one.
An HVAC system or heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system will be one of the primary electricity uses in your home. To save a significant amount of electricity, you should consider updating any systems that are more than 10 years old. Ten years is a great cut off point because newer HVAC systems are all built to higher energy use standards, and a ten-year-old system will be nearing the end of its life.
One other thing you can do is open up the windows. While the temperature outdoors can be inconsistent, it’s a smart way to reduce energy consumption and allow some fresh air to flow through your house.
UPDATE OLD WINDOWS
The majority of your home’s hot and cool air escapes out of poor windows. Whether you bought cheaper windows when installing or just haven’t had them replaced in a while, good windows will save energy. Ways to test the efficiency of your windows include infrared laser thermometers and makeshift blower door tests. If you think your windows aren’t cutting it, be sure to get them replaced as quickly as possible!
USE SMART POWER STRIPS
These sweet little gadgets pay off in abundant energy savings. Ever wonder how much power your TV, cable box, or other electronics pull from an outlet while you’re not using it? Well, up to 10% of your energy consumption comes from devices being plugged in whether or not they are being used. This is called phantom power.
A smart power strip works by monitoring how much electricity an outlet is taking. When that amount dips down for a certain amount of time, the power strip stops sending power to that outlet. Check out this list to see more power strips and how they work.
HANG DRY CLOTHES
One of our favorite energy conservation techniques is to hang dry clothes. You’ll be able to boost your energy savings by not using a dryer, and you’ll be saving a ton of money. You might not be able to hang dry clothes all year round, especially if you live in colder climates. But, because most dryers don’t offer very good energy performance options, it costs around $.46 to dry one load of laundry. That’s going to add up over the years for sure. So, take advantage of the sun and some energy savings by hanging your clothes out on the line.
SEAL AIR LEAKS AND ENSURE GOOD INSULATION
Most homes don’t go through any standard testing when they are built. In fact, many homes have huge air leaks that can go unnoticed for years and years. A blower door test is a great way to identify where the air is escaping and how you can stop it. Energy conservation measures can only be taken if you know that there’s a problem. Blower door tests are often very inexpensive. Don’t be afraid to look into it and learn how well insulated and sealed your home is.
We hope you enjoyed these energy efficiency examples and that you’ll able to take some energy conservation measures into your own hands. There are savings to be had and a planet to be protected!