Understanding and Improving Your Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of everyday items has been improving steadily for the last few decades and continues to be an essential part of cultural conversations. To determine how efficient your home electrical system is, you first need to understand what it means to be efficient and which factors affect home power consumption. You can then take steps to improve your energy efficiency and conservation efforts in your daily life by upgrading systems as needed and developing conservation habits.

Factors Affecting Energy Efficiency

The factors affecting your home’s energy efficiency start with the power box connecting you to the grid and the circuit breakers acting as a safety valve for your wiring and outlets. It is essential to keep these things clear of debris and easily accessed when needed. Regularly tidying your power boxes can save wear and tear to the units to a minimum and reduce shorts or sparks from the system.

From there, the age and condition of your home, systems and appliances are also significant factors, with personal habits such as turning off lights and unplugging electronics rounding out the set. You must know the transformer rating and capabilities for larger equipment or appliances so you can distribute them across different circuits and better avoid overloading them.

Improve Efficiency Through Home Upgrades

One of the best investments you can make to improve your energy efficiency and reduce your power bill is upgrading some key features and systems in your home. You can get evaluations of your windows, doors and insulation. That will make sure your HVAC system is running as little as possible. You can even schedule yearly inspections to check for leaks in your ducting. Changing your filters and keeping vents clean can also improve the efficiency of this system.

The electrical system itself may need an upgrade to change out less efficient wiring for newer and safer materials. Also consider installing better light fixtures, or replace damaged outlets and switches. You can also add solar panels to your home for better efficiency and reduce the stress on the power grid in your area. Be sure to have your breaker box regularly inspected to ensure that it is efficient and up to code.

Buy Efficient Tech

More and more electronics and appliances come with an efficiency rating these days. Still, it is essential to remember that newer items will have different standards than older ones because technology has changed. If you are trying to decide whether to upgrade your fridge or television, for example, a newer and more efficient model’s impact on your power bill can be an incentive to make the change. Desktop computers use more energy than laptops and are harder to unplug when not in use. Still, even the most efficient computer should be shut down regularly to conserve power and allow for updates.

Develop Conservation Habits

Most tips for improving the energy efficiency in your home have to do with developing the proper habits. Some advice is to turn the lights off when you leave the room. Also, unplug items when not in use and adjust your thermostat each season. Embracing natural lighting or task lighting can also help your energy costs. Also consider taking colder showers, hanging laundry to dry, and using your oven less in the summer. The more of these habits you develop, the easier it will be to see savings on your power bills.

In broad terms, your home and electronics are more energy efficient now than ten years ago. However, it will help if you still understand what it means to be energy efficient. You can develop valuable habits. For example, keeping power boxes clean and clear of debris, turning off lights when leaving the room and unplugging electronics and appliances when not in use. These habits can help conserve energy, reduce demand on the power grid and lower your electricity bills.

Author: Finnegan Pierson