You may be tired of hearing what are the stale warning messages about how humans are destroying the global environment. Nonetheless, these messages and the dangers they warn of are true. Not only is the uncontrolled use of any resource that we can convert into energy causing global environmental damage, it is also hurting everyone’s pockets.
Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce energy consumption — and save money in the long run when you do. One of the best ways to do this is to make your home more environmentally friendly.
Here are three ways you can do this:
Update your gear and equipment
Our fixtures and fittings are the biggest contributor to individual energy consumption. As a result of the power consumed by them, the average American home uses nearly 11,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, which is much more than necessary. Updating your equipment and appliances (HVAC system, refrigerator, washer/dryer, water heater, stove, etc.) to a more energy efficient option will greatly reduce your energy usage.
How do I know which tools and equipment are the best choices for energy efficiency?
There are so many options for new tools and equipment that it can be difficult to decide which one to invest in. Here are some signs to watch for:
Pay attention to the Energy Star label
To earn this label, equipment or equipment must undergo rigorous testing to verify a minimum level of energy efficiency. The standards set by Energy Star — a subsidiary of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — are very high; thus, it has become the gold standard for verifying the energy efficiency of devices. Make sure that at a MINIMUM, your next gear and equipment has earned this stamp.
Invest in the latest model year possible
Because our energy conservation needs are becoming increasingly urgent, the EPAthe requirements to earn the Energy Star label are becoming more stringent. This means that devices that met the minimum requirements for a label five years ago will not qualify now. Remember this.
Look for energy-efficient technologies
Some equipment and tool technologies are more efficient than others. Gas stoves, for example, are much more energy efficient than oil stoves; radiant heating is a more efficient heating method than most other options; etc.
What if I can’t afford to update all my equipment?
It doesn’t matter. Updating just one fixture will do great for your energy bill, and you can upgrade the others whenever you can. For most people, their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is their largest source of energy, so try updating this first.
Make your roof friendly to solar radiation
Your roof absorbs a lot of solar radiation which can make your HVAC system work twice as hard to maintain constant indoor conditions. Here are some ways to reduce that effect:
Invest in reflective shingles
This will send most of the sun’s harmful radiation back where it came from.
Add solar technology
The best option for upgrading your roof is implementation of solar panels. It turns the sun’s harmful energy into a boon that can reduce or eliminate your dependence on the local electric company. If you’re worried about them making your home less attractive, you can get solar shingles instead of panels.
Use energy efficient lighting
Many homeowners find that changing your light bulbs is an unnecessary practice that will only result in a negligible change in overall energy consumption. This is a big name mistake. Less efficient light bulbs only use about 10% of their energy consumption to illuminate your home; the rest is lost as heat. You can save about $200 per bulb by switching.
Apply these changes –either in whole or in small increments — and you’ll be protecting the environment and saving you money.