4 Simple Energy-Saving Home Fixes
by Lana Hawkins
An American poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau once said: “What is the use of a house if you don’t have a decent planet to put it on?” While the roots of sustainability development date back to the early twentieth century, in the last decade or so, the concept has developed in great measures and its focus today is not only on sustainability, but on economic and social development, as well as environmental protection. All of this and much more has urged people, all around the globe, to seek some eco-friendly solutions and implement certain sustainable practices into their lives and homes, so they’d have the chance to lead a more ecologically aware lifestyle. This being said, we present to you some quick and simple home repairs you can easily manage yourself, that would help you conserve not only energy, but your wallet as well.
One of the easiest ways by far to conserve energy, water and money is to install low-flow showerheads or to simply add aerators on all water fixtures in your household. Showers are known to be one of the biggest sources of residential water consumptions (besides toilets) with 17% of all water usage being dedicated to showers. By installing low-flow showerheads you’re getting an opportunity to save up to 250 gallons of water per year. It’s always a good idea to alter some of your usually habits and switch from bubble baths to quick showers, use cold water when washing clothes, turning off the fixtures while brushing your teeth etc.
When it comes to lighting options, you can greatly benefit from switching your old incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones, such as CFL or LED bulbs. The ban on incandescent bulbs has started in 2014 and is expected to last until 2020 and the sole reason for that is the fact that they waste a huge amount of energy and don’t’ last long. On the other hand, Compact Fluorescent Bulbs use 70% less energy than traditional bulbs and last years longer. The only downside of these bulbs is that they contain a small amount of mercury in them which can be harmful in case they break. Light-Emitting Diodes are the next best thing in the lighting industry, as they can last up to 50,000 hours and provide a quality and reliable source of light.
Install A Thermostat
Almost half of home’s energy use comes from heating and cooling, making these some of the most expensive and least energy efficient practices. Of course, nowadays, there are various technologies that allow us to save both energy and money by simply controlling the temperature in the household. Programmable thermostats are one of the best choices, as they can save you up to 180$ a year and conserve energy by allowing you to control the climate in your house throughout the day.
Fix Leaks and Cracks
Another crucial aspect of conserving energy lies in minor irregularities which can cause some serious damage later on. Fixing leaky fixtures and cracked pipes can waste up to 500 gallons per year, so while it looks banal, it’s crucial to repair it as soon as possible. Also, this doesn’t apply solely on water usage, but other things such as faulty roofs which can contain cracks, mould and moisture impeding the normal ventilation, heating and cooling in the household. This is exactly why it’s important to carefully inspect your roof, conduct a thorough calculation of roof repairs and consider reducing the strain on your AC by applying a reflective coating or replacing it with a one with an energy star label.
While there are certainly some more advanced options you could try to implement in your home to conserve both money and energy, these few fixes are a great solution for starting certain sustainable practices in your home. With just a bit of time and a few handy skills, you can significantly reduce the impact on the environment and on your wallet in the process.
Author’s Bio: Lana Hawkins is a student of architecture from Sydney. She writes regularly about home décor and landscaping. Lana finds the most of her inspiration in sustainability and green architecture and design. You can follow her on Facebook.