An article by Bella Robinson.
Statistics released by the United States Energy Information Administration in 2018 showed that, on average, a single household in the U.S. uses 867-kilowatt hours per month. The biggest culprits of excessive energy consumption in a home tend to be lighting, cooling, and heating. If you can reduce your household energy consumption, you will save money, improve comfort levels, and significantly reduce the effects of global warming. Unfortunately, most energy-draining appliances provide your home with basic utilities that you cannot wish away. So how can you successfully make your house more energy efficient?
Luckily, there are basic household changes you can make, coupled with the emergence of new smart home tech, that can drastically reduce energy usage. Read on to find out the 5 top tips to improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce those dreaded utility bills.
1. Adopt better kitchen practices
Your cooking habits make a significant contribution to your home’s overall electricity costs. If you cook meals in the kitchen every day and have not been living a green lifestyle, then a lot of your home’s electricity has been going to waste. Using ceramic or glass dishes as opposed to metallic dishes can make a surprising difference. Some ceramic materials such as porcelain can cook most meals in the oven at a temperature 25 degrees Fahrenheit lower than other dishes, without needing more time. If you are a regular baker, acquiring these dishes would be a great place to start.
Kitchen remodeling can also make for a more energy-efficient home. You can, for example, add an extra kitchen window or enlarge the existing ones in order to allow more natural light in. As for heating, developing a habit of unplugging appliances whenever they are not in use is paramount. The coffee machine, toaster oven, blender, and most kitchen appliances are notorious for wasting energy even when their power buttons are off.
2. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs
Energy efficient bulbs are particularly ideal for areas where people tend to hover around at night, such as the kitchen and bedroom. The exteriors, on the other hand, often require constant lighting throughout the night for security reasons. Using standard model bulbs can increase your bill by up to 75% compared to when using more modern energy efficient options.
3. Upgrade your heating systems
Heating and cooling are among the biggest energy-gobblers in most homes. But did you know that you can reduce your bills without needing to turn down the heat in winter? Queue the smart thermostat, equipped with motion sensors that adjust it automatically. Yes, when no one is in the room, the sensors do turn off the HVAC system.
4. Energy proof your home
This includes switching off your computer monitor when you know you will spend a long period away from it. Leaving battery chargers plugged, be it laptop, phones, or tablets ones, is a big no-no. As we mentioned earlier, leaving devices plugged-in wastes a lot of energy, whether or not they are on/charging. Energy proofing your home also means turning off the lights whenever you step out of a room!
5. Seal and insulate your home
This is probably the best option because it is both affordable and convenient. Assessing the extent to which energy leaks, and sealing all outflows tightly can make a big difference. If the windows close tightly, for example, the amount of warm air that enters your home from the outdoors is reduced significantly and the risk of the cooling system being overworked is also limited.