Energy efficiency means using less energy to provide the same service, therefore making your home more energy efficient will result in lower utility costs and reducing your household’s impact on the environment. The two biggest sources of a home’s energy usage are it’s HVAC system and hot water heater. The HVAC system is what keeps your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Having air leaks in windows and doors can make your HVAC system work harder than it has to. You can also make your hot water heater use more energy than it needs to by having it at a higher temperature than necessary. Keeping your house well insulated, as well as preventing air leaks and maintaining a proper temperature for hot water can lead to great cost savings, and a more comfortable home. To simplify this, you can keep in mind two concepts:
1. The longer your home holds heat, the less your heating system has to run.
2. The less hot water you use, the lower your heating costs will be.
When it comes to the energy efficiency (or inefficiency) of your home or office, the overall result is usually made up of lots of little things: a phone charger here, a drafty window there. Fixing all of those little problems can add up to big energy savings, which is great for both the environment and your wallet.
Improving the energy efficiency of your space doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking; in fact, in most cases, it’s a matter of making a few minor, but important, changes in your habits around the house. Here are some tips to help you discover and combat common energy efficiency problems that might impact your home.
Tips for an Energy Efficient Home
- Connect electronic equipment to power strips and turn off when not in use.
- Change light bulbs to ENERGY STAR rated compact florescent bulbs, (CFL) and be sure to recycle them properly.
- Check out one of Bluegrass Greensource’s Energy Audit Kits from your local library.
- Unplug your any battery charges and power adaptors when not in use, (like your cell phone charger!)
- Turn your water heater temperature down to 120 degrees.
- Use a thermometer to adjust your refrigerators temperature to stay around 37 degrees.
- Use window treatments to block out sun in the summer and let it in during the winter.
- Only use ceiling fans when you’re in the room.
- If possible, turn the dryer option of your dishwasher off. If not possible, stop the dishwasher and prop open the door and let the dished air dry.
- Don’t overdry your clothes and clean the lint trap before every load.
- Keep air registers, returns and doors open and clear.