Huge monthly energy bills are always a nightmare for any homeowner. When settling in my new home, I had the same issues of soaring energy and gas bills. It seemed like appliances, and every added comfort drained my pockets in terms of bills. It wasn’t until I made vital changes that my home became energy efficient. Here are the tips I used to transform my home’s energy use.
Insulating My Home
The most cost-effective way of making a home more congenial is through insulation. You can improve insulation in main living spaces by getting a variety of high-quality rugs and carpets (which you can use a Bazaar Velvet rug design and colour guide to help with), but there are other steps to take as well.
A lot of people find that fitted carpets and rugs can help to save energy. On the one hand, carpets and rugs act as thermal barriers, meaning that heat remains in a room and does not flow out. Moreover, rooms fitted with carpets and rugs are often rated as warmer than rooms equipped solely with hard flooring.
A tightly sealed and well decorated home prevents heat loss, improves air quality, and ultimately reduces utility expenditure. The best way of assessing a home for leakages is by hiring an energy auditor to inspect flooring, attic hatches, mail slots, switch plates, baseboards, electrical receptacles, window frames, and weatherstripping around doors.
The biggest leaks in my home were in the attic. I had to seal large holes under the attic knee and the attic floor’s intersection with the walls. While solving this issue, I also discovered smaller holes. The holes appeared as dark spots in the insulation and had to be sealed. I also used caulk and later insulation to secure areas around electrical wires and vent pipes.
Installing a Tankless Water Heater
Water heaters are a necessity to most modern homes. However, the warm water they produce for showers, laundries, and dishwashers comes at a cost. After crunching my annual energy spending numbers, I deduced that my water heater consumed a significant amount of energy. The heater was old and ran round the clock.
When researching for an alternative, I decided to install a tankless water heater. The result of this change was almost instantaneous. Unlike conventional heaters, demand-type water heaters only function when needed. With a tankless heater, water is heated directly without the need for storage. In doing so, these heaters don’t generate standby energy losses.
Turning Down My Thermostat
According to energy experts, the lower the thermostat, the lower the energy bills to be paid. Not long ago, there was a buzz about how smart thermostats were energy-efficient. I rode with the wave and had it installed. Since then, I have always been in control of how I heat my home.
I control the thermostat using my phone and limit the heating only to rooms that my family is using. The other trick I use is to turn off the thermostat whenever no one is in my home. These simple adjustments do have a significant effect on my bills.
Responsible Usage of Appliances and Electronics
Any typical home needs a set of appliances and electronics to function seamlessly. The downside to home appliances and electronics is their energy consumption. The required energy can be managed through responsible usage and smart purchasing decisions.
As a rule of thumb in my home, all TVs, desktops, and similar electronics are usually off when not in use. Similarly, chargers for phones and laptops are always unplugged until at the point of use. When shopping for electronics and appliances, I only go for ENERGY STAR-rated products.
Replacing incandescent lights
Most of us attribute energy consumption to heating elements, but in truth, lighting also contributes to this budget. The primary culprit is usually traditional incandescent lights. According to energy experts, these lights only transform 10% of energy to light and the rest to heat.
On the contrary, newer technologically adept lighting like compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) reduce the energy used for lighting by 50-70%, which is why many energy companies suggest making the switch. Besides, these lights have a life span of ten times more than traditional incandescent lights.
Washing with Cold Water
One critical decision I had to make was whether to continue using hot water or turning to cold water in my washer. In the end, I turned to the latter in a bid to save on my utility bills. It turns out that 90% of the energy gobbled by the washer is used to heat water while the remaining 10% goes into running the machine. This translates to using less energy for each load whenever I turn to cold water.
The mentioned tips are worth the effort for any homeowner who intends to significantly reduce the amount of energy they use and who also wants to reduce their carbon footprint.