With so many advantages today that smart technology brings, it’s become much easier than before to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and live a greener life. This is not only beneficial for our environment, but it also helps save a few bucks along the way.
Energy efficient homes conserve more energy, reduce excess energy consumption, greenhouse gasses emissions and the demand for non-sustainable resources. There are many strategies to help you get started on your journey of turning your home into a green hub and here are several tips that can be easily implemented by anyone.
Improve your home insulation
The first step towards energy efficient home is improving the insulation. Without proper insulation, you’ll be losing a lot of heat during winter and that will build up your heating bill. Also, it’s detrimental to our environment.
Start by weather stripping your doors and windows, and if necessary, move on to more serious work involving insulation of the attic, basement and crawl spaces, as these are the weakest and most vulnerable spots of the house. The upfront costs will be big, but you’ll gain multiple benefits: heating bill in winter and cooling bill in summer will be much lower and the time you spend indoors will be much more enjoyable and comfortable.
Upgrade your windows
Windows are very often the point where a lot of energy is lost in winter and cool air in summer. If you have older types of windows in your home, it’s highly likely they’re not as efficient as you’d want them to be. With weather such as Australia’s, especially in the southern parts with a temperate oceanic climate, where you can easily experience all four seasons in one day, having double glazing windows in Melbourne could be a real saver. They’re not only excellent for soundproofing and thermal protection, but they also offer a high level of comfort in your home.
Traditional lighting with incandescent bulbs has proven to be quite inefficient as it consumes up to 8% more electricity than other types, such as LEDs and CFLs. Their carbon emissions are also higher but their life span is much lower. Therefore, switching to energy-saving, eco-friendly type of lighting will not only have a dramatic effect on your electricity bill, but it will also reduce your carbon footprint.
The biggest energy consumers are your kitchen appliances since they work non-stop. Switch your appliances to Energy Star rated type as they use much less energy than the standard models, but they still perform their functions effectively. It might be a bigger investment initially, but it will pay off through your money savings long term on your lower bills.
Moreover, make it a habit to unplug your computers, TVs and smaller kitchen appliances like your coffeemaker and microwave when not in use, because even in standby mode, they consume energy.
Install solar panels
Installing solar panels may be a great investment as they can help you reduce your electricity costs by producing your own electricity. In states such as Australia, solar system are particularly effective due to an abundance of direct sunlight. But still, they’re not for everyone. If it’s not an affordable option for you, you may consider smaller solutions for starters, such as a solar phone charger and even a solar barbeque.
Reduce your water consumption
You can significantly improve your home’s water efficiency by installing low-flow showerheads. They have a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute), whereas most traditional showerheads use around 5 gallons per minute.
Also, a few good habits can go a long way: don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth and shave, avoid running your washer half empty and set the temperature on your water heater to warm, which is around 120°F. With these small adjustments, you will be able to cut your bill and run a more efficient home.
With these simple and practical tips, transforming your home into an energy efficient place will be an easy task.