Did you know that most homes in the US are classed as energy hogs? Older homes are not designed with energy efficiency in mind, and while more modern designs have become somewhat miraculous when it comes to energy efficiency, the average home has a long way to go before it can be recognized in this manner.
But just because it was not structurally designed to conserve energy, it does not mean you should abandon all attempts to reduce how much energy is used and wasted in your home. This post has some tips on how to increase efficiency within your home.
New Windows And Doors
The average home can lose up to 30% of its heat via windows and doors. Older doors and windows that let air escape can contribute to higher-than-average bills and be a significant source of inefficiency. By upgrading to newer, more energy-efficient windows and doors here, you can reduce your home heating and cooling bills and regulate your home’s internal temperature easier.
Turn Electrical Appliances Off
A simple but massively effective tip is to make sure you turn off all electrical appliances that you are not using. The simple flip of a switch can be costing you hundreds per year. TVs left on standby, for example, can use up to 10 kilowatts per hour. With the average cost of a kilowatt being 23 cents, this adds up to $2.30 per hour maximum. A TV left on standby at this rate for 10 hours per week is $23; over a year, this can equate to an extra $1,196 on your bills. While the actual figure is likely to be lower with modern TVs, it is still worth thinking about how much electricity you are wasting by leaving appliances on standby.
Use Off-Peak Hours
Using energy-heavy appliances during peak hours can be less efficient as you will be charged more; typically, peak hours are between 3 pm and 8 pm, and using things like a washing machine or dishwasher outside these hours can help you to improve your efficiency and reduce your energy bills.
Choose Energy Star Rated Products
Much like with windows and doors, older appliances will be less energy efficient than newer ones. Products with the Energy Star Validation can save you anywhere from 10-50% on the energy used. A general rule of thumb is that if your appliance is over 10 years old, the technology used to make said product will have changed drastically, and newer technologies will have enabled a more efficient model to be designed. You can check the Energy Star rating of products in over 60 categories for all areas of the home.
Set Your Thermostat
Every degree you set your thermostat to uses more or less energy. It is as cute as that. And setting your thermostat to a regular temperature and keeping your home’s temperature comfortable can reduce bills and increase energy efficiency. It is recommended that you keep your thermostat at 78F in the summer and 68F in the winter. Turning it up just one degree can increase energy consumption by 6-8%.
Using natural lighting where possible will reduce the need for switching lights on and increasing energy consumption. For darker homes, you need to be switching over to LED light bulbs where possible, as these are more energy-efficient lighting options and can still adequately light up your home without increasing consumption.
Wash In Lower Temperatures
What temperature do you wash your clothes on? Avoid using hot water settings where possible and switch the warmer temperatures of 90 to 110 F or even colder cycles running at 60 to 80 F. Modern washing machines and laundry detergents are capable of cleaning clothing at lower temperatures meaning you can further reduce how much it costs to run a load of laundry.
Regulate The Home’s Temperature
Use your accessories to keep your home cooler in warmer temperatures and when the mercury drops too. Close curtains, drapes, and blinds in the summer during the hotter periods of the day to avoid your home heating up in the midday sun, placing extra pressure on your cooling system. In the winter, open the curtains during warmer times to help you keep the room warm, primarily if sunlight floods the room. Remember to close them when the sun sets to retain the heat and regulate the temperature.
It is the little consistent steps you make that can make all the difference when it comes to increasing energy efficiency. By implementing these tips and booking further options, you can reduce your heating bills and make the mascot of what you have at home for a more efficient use of resources.