Through the years, humanity has discovered various ways to produce energy that powers most technologies today. Different forms of energy are harnessed from the environment, though there’s still room for artificial energy sources that can fuel most of the world’s population. Due to excessive power consumption, sustainability and renewability become global challenges that necessitate immediate action. People have to find better methods of consuming energy while sustaining resources that are increasingly becoming scarce.
You probably haven’t realized that, in the tiniest ways possible, you can help the environment by saving energy inside your home. When you use less power for your daily tasks, you contribute to nature in three crucial ways:
- Reduction of toxic chemicals released by power plants, which cause pollution
- Conserve the planet’s natural resources
- Protect natural habitats and maintain balance in the ecosystem
These environmental impacts can greatly improve the condition of the environment. As a responsible member of society, you can do the following energy-saving tips for a sustainable home:
Be Conscious of Your Electrical Consumption
Most people tend not to be concerned about their electricity bills and are largely unaware that the electricity running inside their homes are from the energy production in power plants. Upon receiving your electric bill regularly, it’s essential to evaluate your energy consumption for the whole month. Through this small observation, you can reflect on how your daily consumption has helped you with your regular tasks.
Is your electricity consumption too much, considering the size and features of your home, as well as your lifestyle? Typically, using too many appliances to get work done is one of the root causes of extreme energy consumption. Moreover, observing your consumption in your current bill and previous bills can help you identify patterns and compare them for improvement.
In some cases, people might notice fluctuations in their electricity bill. If this happens, you might want to check if you have faulty wiring or appliances that may need repairs or replacement, as these can contribute to energy wastage and a higher electricity bill.
See if the energy plan offered by your current provider is the least expensive and the more efficient. If you increase the efficiency of your home, you will be able to save money on your electric bill. If you are living in Texas, for example, you may be able to compare the best Texas electricity providers so you can select the one that best meets your needs.
Use Smart Surge Protectors
New devices and tools to minimize energy consumption and prevent accidents are emerging in the market one by one. A good example of this are surge protectors. Like a power strip, surge protectors allow you to plug in multiple electronic appliances and devices. But what power strips can’t do that surge protectors can is to protect your devices from a sudden power surge.
Surge protectors also come in variants that you can use anytime and anywhere, even when you’re not home. To know more about the best smart surge protectors, you can check reviews online, such as this review of the best smart surge protectors from iProperty Management.
So, how do surge protectors save energy compared to typical power strips?
When plugged appliances are not in use, you might not be aware that they’re still consuming energy. This might be due to several factors such as poor design from manufacturers, or an appliance has components that need constant electricity running through them. Power strips are simply plugged into outlets to offer more outlets to multiple devices, and that’s all. On the other hand, surge protectors are upgraded power stips that become an intermediary between electricity surges and devices that constantly eat power. If multiple appliances have to be unplugged, surge protectors are your best electric companion during trips when you’re far from home.
Always Check Your Refrigerator’s Condition
According to a report, refrigerators consume 13.7% of residential electricity, next to the top consumer, which are air-conditioners at 14.1%. Seemingly, there are no better ways to save energy in refrigerators than by having one that is equipped with energy-efficient features. If you compare the first refrigerator models in the late 1980s, older models use 1,400 kWh of energy annually. Newer, energy-efficient models today only use 140 kWh per year, accounting for a 75% energy reduction. If you’re planning to purchase a new refrigerator, always look for the BEE 5-star rating that represents energy efficiency.
On the other hand, there are some operating procedures to follow for better energy saving, such as:
- Leave adequate spaces between things that you put inside the refrigerator
- When closing the door, make sure it’s closed completely
- Medium cool temperature is the optimal energy-saving option while still maintaining cooling
- Remove ice buildup regularly
- Don’t leave liquids in containers open
- Always clean the water filter
Use Solar Panels
Countries situated in extreme to sufficient sun exposure can contribute to sustainable living by installing solar panels outside their homes. Solar panels are ideally installed on the rooftops of houses as this position can allow them to harvest maximum solar energy. Solar panels collect energy in watts, and the cost of purchasing solar panels is computed in dollars-per-watt. But thanks to today’s technology, the cost of purchasing solar panels have significantly decreased through the years so more people could start installing them into their homes.
Through installing solar panels on your roof, you’re doing both you and the environment a favor. The solar energy harnessed by solar panels is converted to electricity, which means your electric bill can become lower. As you’re not utilizing the energy coming from power plants, the energy that powers your home doesn’t pollute the environment.
If you’re planning to add solar panels for your home, here’s an essential guide about everything you need to know about adding solar panels.
Insulate Your Walls and Ceilings
You can conserve a considerable amount of energy by keeping warm or cold air inside your home. Insulation involves reducing heat exchange through different surfaces inside your home, such as the walls, ceilings, and roofs. During hot weather conditions, well-insulated homes trap more cool air into the surroundings. In winter, it encloses more warm air, decreasing the amount of energy necessary to heat up or cool down space.
Home insulation uses a variety of materials like fiberglass, foam, and cellulose. Your walls are the only barrier between the inside and outside of your home, and extreme weather conditions can profoundly affect your lifestyle when they’re poorly designed. This outer shell should be insulated to equalize and keep the temperature inside your home. As warm air rises, good quality roof and ceiling insulation installed in your house can significantly save energy, which can keep warm or cold air circulating. Conserved energy lessens the need for an air conditioner or heater.
With the help of your insulated walls and ceilings, you can save more energy by turning off the air conditioner after leaving it on for a moment. In an interview, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy explained that turning off your AC when not in use is the best option to save energy. You also have to make sure that your doors are closed and there are no spaces where air can escape in large amounts. Doing this can insulate and trap cool air inside your room, and there’s no need to leave the air conditioner running the whole time.
Replace Your Lights with LED
Using LED lighting inside your home can make a big impact on energy-efficiency. Unlike traditional lighting, LED or light-emitting diode lighting converts energy from electricity into light by 95%, with only 5% of waste. LED first started with limited single-bulb applications that can only power small electronics such as small christmas lights. Through further development, clustered units of LED single bulbs were created by placing them in diffuser lenses that scatter more light. In this way, it can be utilized in larger units, especially household light fixtures.
Aside from LED lights having less energy wastage, less electricity is also required for them to work. Traditional incandescent lights use 60W while LED lights utilize 2W to 17W of electricity only, which is about a third of what incandescent lights use. LED lights can also last 40 times longer than incandescent lights, and 10 times longer than compact fluorescents.
Plant on Your Extra Space
For homeowners with additional spaces outside their homes, putting up a garden or greenhouse is an excellent contribution to energy-saving endeavors. Having plants and trees on your backyard can offer multiple advantages that help preserve the environment.
Trees are responsible for converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. Lack of oxygen in the atmosphere can increase the temperature of the surroundings, requiring you to use air-conditioning systems that can consume great amounts of energy. Trees are a natural way of increasing humidity, lowering down air temperature, and inducing wind speeds, where more energy can be harvested through wind turbines.
Trees don’t only help in cooling down temperatures. When plants and trees in your backyard accumulate in groups, they block cold winds during winter, which lessens your use of heating systems. Without using heating and air-conditioning systems, more energy and money can be conserved by homeowners.
While these may sound small, these energy-saving steps are already big strides that can help reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources. Many organizations and institutions have started good causes to improve their products to become more environmentally-friendly, and to educate people about the detrimental effects of excessive energy consumption. However, if people want to see positive changes for the environment, it should always start with society’s most fundamental unit: families inside homes.