There are many ways to reduce energy consumption. Many require little or no investment. Others entail radical lifestyle changes. Regardless of the measure, conserving energy leads to a better quality of life. It allows us all to reduce expenses, help the environment and stay healthy.
Here’s how you can get started.
Check Your AC
Is your AC’s air filter clean? They should be. Check your system regularly to ensure that it’s running efficiently as it should. Otherwise, you will have to pay an unnecessarily higher amount every month for cooling expenses.
Give your AC a tune-up at least 6 months. Maintaining it or having it repaired is much cheaper than buying a new one. Also make sure that it has a SEER of 15 for optimal performance.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts temperature in a given place according to your schedule.
Using this technology can save you as much as 15 percent on heating and cooling costs.
Use Energy Efficient Appliances
Utility costs can add up quickly if you’re using inefficient appliances. Every home appliance or workplace machine comes with an energy rating. Look for one or ask the vendor. That rating will tell you the cost of running an appliance in a year and over a lifetime.
Reduce Phantom Loads
Have you ever dreamed of installing a solar or wind system to power up your home? Sure, go ahead. But you’re likely ignoring a ton of energy waste due to phantom loads.
A phantom load is, quite simply, the energy an electronic device or gadget consumes while it’s turned off and in standby or low power mode. That’s why it’s also called vampire power or leaking electricity.
You can easily avoid or minimize phantom loads by unplugging all electronics when not using them.
Search Your Place for Energy Leaks
Both your cooling and heating systems are regularly checked. You have located the most obvious leaks, from large openings to gaps between your window and door frames. What could possibly go wrong? Small and less obvious leaks could gradually and silently waste precious energy resources.
Change Your Bulbs
Lighting usually accounts for about 15 percent of energy use at home. And if you’re using incandescent bulbs, you’re likely paying more money than you ought to. Save on lighting by using a more efficient and longer-lasting alternative: compact fluorescent.
Compact fluorescents last 10 times longer than incandescent. What’s more, they also consume about a third of the energy old bulbs use and yet give off the same steady light.
They may be expensive, true, but they can save you up to 60 bucks a month on electricity.
Install Proper Insulation
Insulating your home properly can make your home much more comfortable and keep your heating and cooling costs down. Most homes are able to save 20 to 35 percent on energy expenses as soon as installing proper insulation.
Start with an energy rating. Ask a certified energy rater through Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) to identify areas where you can improve in terms of energy efficiency. A rater will guide you in setting up the best type of insulation for your home.
Use Natural Lighting or Day lighting
This is cheaper than turning on your light bulbs. Besides its economic and ecological benefits, day lighting also brings psychological and aesthetic benefits. It can warm your home’s interior without causing heating problems. It can lighten your mood and enhance your productivity as well.
Make sure to use light-colored wall paints to reflect more daylight and reduce the need for bulbs and other light fixtures.
Reduce Water Consumption
Water heating bills are one of the biggest home expenses but also one of the easiest to cut. Start by picking an energy-efficient water heater such as a solar hot water heater or heat pump. There are also small and easy steps you can make to reduce water heater costs. Here are some:
- Turn your water heater down to 120 ºF. You can save between 3% and 5% in energy costs for every 10 ºF temperature reduction.
- Use less hot water or consider cold water when washing your clothes. This can save you about 90% of energy use.
Conserving energy doesn’t mean skimping on the essentials. It means creating and living a sustainable lifestyle for you, your family and everyone—all without paying more and using unnecessary energy.