For a homeowner, reducing energy usage at home not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it also greatly reduces your energy bill. If you’re looking for ways you can start living a more “green” lifestyle or you just want to save more money, here are four tips to help you get started.
When you think energy-efficient appliances, ENERGY STAR is the trusted label that comes to mind. Widely recognized, ENERGY STAR appliances meet the strict energy-efficient requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). When you choose ENERGY STAR appliances, you’re saving money and saving energy, all without sacrificing quality. For example, choosing an ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher is 10 percent more energy efficient, 20 percent more water efficient and will cost you $35 less annually compared to a standard dishwasher. It doesn’t stop at dishwashers, ENERGY STAR offers over 65 different products for your home ranging from lighting and appliances to consumer electronics.
There are a few choice when it comes to energy-efficient lighting, but light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are the way to go! Although these bulbs cost you more upfront than traditional incandcscent bulbs, they save you money in the long run, and most importantly, use less energy. Most people are aware of LED light bulbs, however, there are several other appliances and electronics that use light, like your refrigerator, microwave, security camera and television, to name a few. By choosing energy-efficient options, specifically LED, you will reduce your energy usage. For example, Lorex Technology offers several security cameras with LED lights and LED screens that are energy efficient and high quality. In addition, previously discussed ENERGY STAR appliances also utilize LED lights that are more efficient than their counterparts.
Even after shutting down the computers for the night, turning off the TV and switching off all of the lights, your electricity meter is still working hard. Nearly one-quarter of home energy use is consumed by vampires, not blood-sucking vampires, but rather devices and appliances that are still plugged in, wasting electricity even after they are switched off. The Natural Resources Defense Council and affiliates partnered to asses the impact of these vampire electronics and found that inactive devices waste about $165 per U.S. household on average, translating to approximately 50 large (500-megawatt) power plants’ worth of electricity nationwide. Unplugging these vampire electronics, or at least reducing their affects, starts with purchasing power strips that are easily flipped on and off, timers that shut down electronics when they’re not in use and turning off “quick start” options on your TV or gaming consoles so the energy grid isn’t being utilized on stand-by.
Properly and efficiently insulating your home, including windows and the ceiling, cannot be emphasized enough. This will keep your home cool in the summer when you have the air conditioner on and warm in the winter with the heater running. Although you should leave insulation to professionals, the U.S. Department of Energy has great resources for where you should start if you’d like to make your home more energy efficient, while reducing energy bills. First, you need to find out how much insulation you’ll need and where it will go. This includes hiring a qualified home energy auditor to conduct an insulation check which identifies areas of your home that need to be sealed before you begin insulating.
Also, consider geothermal energy too from people like my buddies at Dandelion Energy!