With energy rates always on the rise, homes need to find ways to use less energy to balance the budget. Another major concern is the environmental pollution caused as a result of burning fossil fuels in thermal electric power plants.
Any which way you look at it, it makes sense to bring down the grid power consumption. Though we may all agree on the need to reduce our energy consumption, the trouble is our over-dependence on electricity and electric gadgets and consequently, the ever-increasing energy demand.
This leads us to the question. How can we conserve energy at home without compromising on modern luxuries? Is energy conservation actually possible?
The simple answer is yes. The trick is to bring down your grid energy consumption. You can manage this without giving up on your lifestyle and still conserve energy.
In this article, you will find simple ways to conserve energy at home. You may find most of the suggestions given below to conserve energy impractical at first glance. However, if our survival is at stake, we should be prepared for making adjustments in our lifestyle. And, that is all that is needed for energy conservation at home.
Let’s see how to reduce energy consumption and conserve energy at home.
Tips on how to conserve energy
You would be surprised at the level of energy conservation you can manage with small changes in your routine. When you think about ways to conserve energy at home, it need not always require huge investments or drastic changes. After all, we all know that little drops of water make the mighty ocean.
The benefits when you conserve electricity are felt the most in your energy bills and environment conservation. In both instances, it would be beneficial to look for ways to reduce your energy consumption as well as switch over to renewable energy sources to bring down your carbon footprint.
From the simple step of switching off the lights and appliances that are not in use to installing a solar panel system, you can choose the methods for conserving energy that works best for you.
1. Turn off/unplug electric/electronic devices that are not being used
This is just a habit. When you leave a room for too long, do you usually remember to switch off the light and other appliances? When you are not planning to use an electrical device for more than an hour, do you turn it off or keep it on standby?
The sad truth is that we don’t remember to do this because we never understand the consequences. We never knew it matters so much. If you are leaving a room, what is the point of leaving the lights on? You just need to remember to switch it off. This can save energy for you. After a while, this becomes a part of your habit and you will find it easy.
Do you know that devices on standby consume energy? Less energy but nevertheless some energy is wasted this way. You can prevent this wastage by switching the device off. Even the phone charger left plugged in and switched on results in energy wastage.
Make it a habit to turn off all electrical devices when not in use. This can reduce your energy consumption and save energy.
2. Switch over to energy-efficient devices
Do you know that not all electrical devices are equal in energy efficiency? In our quest to bring down energy consumption, we are discovering new technologies to boost energy efficiency. Energy efficiency refers to using less energy to accomplish the same task. In other words, you save energy.
This means newer electrical devices in the market are more energy efficient. The older appliances at home must be consuming more electricity than the newer models. Replacing older electrical appliances with newer ones may require an upfront investment. But you can recover the cost of the newer device from the savings in the energy bill.
Besides the reduction in your energy bill, the newer appliances are also less damaging to the environment.
Another way to save energy is to do periodic maintenance for your electronic appliances. This is vital for their optimal performance. This will help reduce energy consumption as well as environmental pollution.
3. Take advantage of natural light and heat
This includes both light and heat energy. At the time of construction of your home, pay attention to the layout of windows and doors. Make sure the rooms capture the maximum sunlight to light and heat the rooms if you are living in a cold region. With south-facing windows, you can get the best of passive solar energy.
Allowing the light and heat of the sun to stream into a room can help in reducing the energy spent on lighting and heating it in winter months. This is a simple way to save energy.
However, to combat the heat during the summer months, you can plant trees to provide shade. Installing blinds or shades on your windows can bring down the energy consumption of your air conditioner during summer. With the right kind of blinds or shades, you can reflect most of the heat on a hot day. In winter, the same setup will help in retaining the heat inside the room.
Using double-glazed glass panes for windows and doors can help in insulation from outside temperature variations. This means less energy will be consumed for heating or cooling as the case may be. That is, you save energy.
4. Keep the thermostat lower in winter and higher in summer
In winter months each degree you raise in the thermostat setting can make a huge difference in your electricity consumption. You can save a considerable amount of energy by setting the thermostat of the room heater at 68°F during the daytime and even lower at night when you are in bed. Dressing appropriately can always keep you warm.
Similarly, in the summer months, setting the temperature higher can help in saving energy and thereby reduce your energy bill. The ideal recommended thermostat setting for summer is 78°F when you’re home. You can save further by turning off the air conditioner when you are away or at least raising the thermostat setting.
Programmable thermostats can help in monitoring the thermostat setting and the temperature inside when you are not at home. This translates to energy conservation.
5. Generate your own electricity
If you are living in a city with space constraints, solar energy is the best choice among renewable energy sources. On the other hand, if harnessing the power of wind or geothermal energy is a feasible option, you can produce enough electricity to partially or fully meet your energy needs. Even if you are not opting to go solar for the entire house, you can always choose solar-powered devices to bring down your energy consumption.
Harnessing solar power involves installing a solar panel system and linking it up with your home electrical circuit. You can also use solar energy as a backup option for grid power by hooking it up to the grid line. Most states allow energy subscribers to upload extra solar energy generated at home to the grid and earn cash or credits for the units of electricity uploaded.
With the slew of incentives, rebates, and discounts available for solar panel installation at homes, it is more affordable than ever. Though this may not mean energy conservation in the real sense, this helps in bringing down the use of grid power.
Some more ways to conserve energy at home
- Reduce your water usage.
- Keep the lid on while cooking.
- Automate your home with smart devices.
- Keep the temperature lower while washing clothes.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with LED lights.
- Install a smart meter to monitor your energy consumption.
Energy conservation involves both reducing your energy consumption and reducing your dependence on grid energy. You can achieve both with minor mindset and lifestyle changes. Awareness is the key to success in this endeavor.
The steps mentioned here to conserve energy in your home are the most obvious ones. If you analyze your energy consumption, you may come up with better and easier ones.