Comfort and efficiency play a considerable part in how our modern world works. Everywhere you look — from the train you take to work to the smartphone you can’t seem to live without — everything was built to make life easier and keep you more engaged.
Unfortunately, modern conveniences are not without drawbacks. A typical home today contains an assortment of appliances and devices. Powering all these requires energy. And the demand just keeps on growing. In fact, the average annual electricity consumption in 2022 for a residential utility customer in the U.S. was 10,632 or about 866 kWh per month.
If this reflects every family’s energy consumption, and it seems that’s a lot, then maybe it’s time to make a change!
Taking steps to become more energy efficient is good for the environment as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. By consuming less, individuals contribute to the consistent fulfillment of suppliers’ growing energy demands. They can achieve greater utility savings when they and their families minimize electricity consumption.
Read on to learn a handful of valuable tips for starting the journey toward less energy usage.
Transform Your Home into an Energy-Efficient Living Space
Conducting an Energy Audit
Before getting into energy-saving techniques, it’s best to know how much electricity every household consumes daily. For easy reference, utility data is often included in an energy audit report.
An energy audit assesses the energy efficiency of a house or building. Hiring a professional to conduct this type of assessment offers the following benefits:
- Identifies opportunities to save energy
- Reduces costs
- Improves the value of a property
- Increases the comfort and safety of a structure for its occupants
Homeowners can ensure they are working with an experienced and reputable auditor by requesting references that can be contacted. They can inquire about sample audits to assess the level of thoroughness in the reports.
Lighting Upgrades and Efficient Lighting Practices
Using energy-efficient lighting helps the environment by reducing CO2 emissions. This move also reduces household electricity bills.
High-quality LED lights have become a widespread alternative to traditional bulbs. In addition to being cost-efficient, LED lighting technology does not have the harmful chemical mercury.
LED lights come in different kinds, so choosing the right one for other areas of the house is essential. For example, mood lighting is ideal for the bedroom or another location inside the home. Mood lighting evokes a calming and relaxing ambiance.
Energy-efficient lighting can also pertain to how you get the most out of natural light. Skylights and oversized windows illuminate the inside of your home better, reducing the need for more artificial lighting solutions.
Exploring Renewable Energy Options for Homes
By exploring renewable energy options, individuals can make substantial reductions in their carbon footprint while experiencing the long-term benefits of sustainable living.
The most common forms of renewable energy are:
- Solar Power: Solar energy is generated when converting sunlight into electricity. It can be a clean and abundant energy resource that can power homes using photovoltaic panels.
- Wind Power: Installing small wind turbines strategically placed on a property can capture the wind’s kinetic energy and turn it into electricity.
- Geothermal Energy: Geothermal systems utilize the Earth’s natural heat to warm or cool homes efficiently. By tapping into the stable temperatures below the surface, geothermal heat pumps can provide heating and cooling solutions, reducing energy consumption and utility bills.
Of these three renewable energies, solar power for the home is the most used in traditional houses and other residential spaces like tiny homes, campers, and RVs.
Assessing Feasibility and Cost-Effectiveness
Renewable energy has the potential to bring down regular electric consumption to zero. However, the equipment necessary to harness renewable energy can be expensive. This is why determining the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of renewable energy systems is crucial before making any investments.
If planning on installing solar panels, households will need to determine the optimal location for installing them on their roof. Homeowners might want to work with a reputable solar company to ensure a smooth and hassle-free installation process.
Upgrading to Energy-Efficient Appliances
When evaluating the energy efficiency of appliances, it’s crucial to understand energy labels and ratings. These labels provide essential information about the energy consumption and efficiency of machines. Look for the ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies superior energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR-certified appliances have been thoroughly tested and proven to exceed industry standards, making them an excellent choice for energy-conscious homeowners.
Next, consider upgrading your washing machines and dryers. These appliances can consume large amounts of energy, particularly older models. Opting for energy-efficient models with advanced technologies, such as sensor drying and load sensing, can significantly reduce energy consumption without compromising performance.
Another appliance to focus on is the dishwasher. Energy-efficient dishwashers save water and minimize energy usage through innovative features like soil sensors and efficient water heating mechanisms. Upgrading to an energy-efficient dishwasher can achieve cleaner dishes while lowering your energy bills.
Build a More Energy-Efficient Home
After reviewing the tips above, households will have a clear understanding of the steps they can take in their homes to reduce electricity consumption. These efforts should ideally set them on the right path toward more sustainable living practices.