Preserve Energy – Make Your Home More Energy Efficient in 2018
By Lana Hawkins
Support and advocacy for sustainability and energy efficiency are growing almost everywhere we look. In countries like the US, the residential sector is making strides towards a better and greener future. There is still a lot of ground to cover, but we are moving in the right direction. You too can take actions today to embrace the green way of living. This will enable you to save money and energy, but also empower local economy, reserve your health, and contribute to global eco-friendly efforts. And rest assured that turning your home into a green stronghold does not have to cost an arm and a leg.
Souring more efficiency
So, it is time to make home modifications that minimize the environmental footprint and take your energy efficiency to the next level. The good news is that there is a wide array of choices, some cheaper and more efficient than the others. To figure out the best course of action, you can carry out an energy audit. A professional, whole-house assessment will uncover pain points and give you a clear idea of where there is room for improvement.
First off, renewable sources are the modern staples of efficiency. Rooftop solar panels are widely used and they bring opulent rewards in the long run. Alas, due to steep upfront costs, they might not be an option for everyone. Well, there are some neat workarounds: you can opt for community solar, a solution that immediately trims electrical bills without the need to pay for installation. Also, it is possible to use innovative solutions like SMA inverters. They are designed to reduce installation time and maximize ROI for home systems.
Furthermore, you should boost the energy efficiency of the envelope of your building. Shabby insulation can cost you a fortune in the long run, as it increases consumption considerably. Address the weak links first. Add weather stripping and caulking to door and windows. See if you can invest in double-glazing. There is also one high-tech option, buying windows with photovoltaic cells integrated into glass. Also, turn your attention to the attic and basement and air-seal them as they are great sources of leakage.
Smart tech implementation
Switching to Energy Star certified appliances can be a game changer. To make a real difference, you need to focus on biggest electricity vampires in the league of refrigerators. A new HVAC system or a tankless water heater would be a nice upgrade as well. The only problem is that these purchases could blow your budget. So, how about one device that leads to substantial energy savings around the home? I am talking about an automatic, smart thermostat.
You can use this killer addition to shrink your bills without sacrificing your comfort. High-end products available today, such as Nest smart thermostats, live up to their name by learning your preferences and behavior. Acquired data is used to optimize your system, turning it off and on depending on occupancy patterns. Then again, you can employ cheap options and still make savings. Also, merely adjusting your thermostat accomplishes a similar effect.
Home in a new light
Moving on, we have lighting, which accounts for up to 10% of total energy spending. So, it is time replace all your incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. These fittings contain zero toxic chemicals, last much longer, and use only a fraction of the electricity. On average, they are 85% more efficient than incandescents, saving around $100 per year. If you are feeling high-tech, integrate a smart lighting system that can be programmed and manipulated via smartphone apps.
Finally, bear in mind that good habits play a vital role. Even when they are fully charged, your gadgets and tech devices still drain electricity from the grid. This adds up over time. Therefore, make sure to unplug all these energy vampires once they are fully powered-up. Never leave your windows open in colder weather and watch out for drafts and heat leakages. Make good use of air-drying your clothes. Try to recycle and repurpose as much as you can.
Sow the seeds of green future
Whether you are money-conscious, eco-conscious or both, joining the growing movement for sustainable living pays dividends. Start by finding out how much energy you use and waste. Come up with a plan and identify the most efficient updates that that maximize the impact. Conserve limited natural resources and tap into renewable and clean ones. You should be able to cut back your utility bills and reduce the energy output. We can all do what is within our power to form a united front against climate change and pollution. The fight starts in your home.