Thanks to advances in technology over the past 150 years, it is now possible to heat the house, light the room when the sun goes down, cook food with a turn of a knob, and enjoy the warmth of the shower all because of the natural resources we’ve tapped into that are delivered right to our homes.
Throughout the industrialized world, people take for granted just how lucky they are in terms of energy. In the United States, 903 kilowatts of electricity are used annually in the average household. Though Americans enjoy the convenience of having many electrical functions a switch away, it doesn’t come without a cost.
In an effort to help consumers become more efficient, The U.S. Department of Energy compiled the following stats on how energy is used in the average household:
- Cooling, Refrigeration, and lighting: 5%
- Water Heating: 18%
- Home electronics: 25%
- Heating 42%
While some of these seem high, they can be reduced with just a few simple adjustments made throughout the home.
Seal off leaks
Homes have a number of leaks that are hardly noticed. If a home is more than three decades old, there’s a great possibility that the living areas are not equipped with the level of air tightness that was intended at the time of construction. These leaks can be very taxing on energy efficiency and heating costs, because the heating system is forced to exert more energy just to keep the rooms sufficiently warm.
In many homes, refrigeration temperatures are set at very cold levels. This can be a needless drain on the energy bill. Even though refrigerators with ENERGY STAR ratings are more efficient than older models, it’s still wise to manually adjust the temperature to about 38 degrees, with the freezer set at zero.
Change the bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs were widely known to be energy drainers long before developed countries took measures to phase them out completely. Because there were no other light bulbs available that were similarly priced, the ‘regular’ light bulb was found in homes everywhere.
Now, there are alternatives. LED’s (light emitting diode) for instance, last 25 times longer and saves the average user 25% on electrical costs over incandescent bulbs. CFL’s (compact fluorescent lamp), used 75% less energy than the traditional bulb.
Cover, insulate and reinforce the windows
Either in extreme cold, or heat, air leaks around your windows could make temperatures in the home rise or fall to uncomfortable levels. The older the home, the more likely this is to be the case. Heating bills can be reduced by insulating the windows to make them more airtight.
Dry clothing the old-fashioned way
Even in the winter, you can still use the time-tested method of drying clothing. String a line in the basement, or use a drying rack for clothing. Even in the winter months, it’s possible to use the sun to get clothing dry outside.
In order to lower energy bills, save money, conserve energy, and help the environment, it’s important to cultivate economical, eco-friendly habits around the home. These home energy hacks are simple, and can be implemented into any lifestyle.