Why do we need to conserve energy at home?
In the USA, the amount of energy used in private homes is around 21% of the total country’s consumption. Out of this, 50% is consumed in heating and cooling our houses.
Apart from reducing our reliance on energy generated and supplied by fossil fuels, energy costs are rising every year – it’s in our own interests to conserve energy to save money.
That part of the grid that serves the private housing sector, more than 120 million households, is fast becoming over-loaded and won’t be up-graded anytime soon!
10 Ways To Conserve Energy At Home
- Review your home insulation and replace or upgrade – 20%
- Replace all lights with LED lamps – 4%
- Install low-energy appliances (Energy Star Rating) – 7%
- Turn off lights when leaving a room – 5%
- Install electronic soft-start devices for high powered AC – 6%
- Reduce the number of times freezer and fridge doors are opened – 3%
- Change space heating thermostat with the latest type – 11%
- Turn off/remove smart phone and computer chargers when not in use (energy vampire) – 9%
- Use solar panels for all battery/phone/laptop charging in the home – 7%
- Fit double-glazing to all windows – 13%
Video – 10 Home Energy Saving Tips
What are 10 ways to save energy in your home?
What uses most power in the home?
Percentage of total home energy
Electric water heater
Washer and dryer
Electric ovens and hobs
3 to 4%
TV, DVD, cable box
Discover your solar saving potential
How can I conserve energy?
While it’s true that electrical energy plays a big part in a home’s energy consumption, it isn’t the only game in town. Gas and oil are often used to heat a house and these need to be considered as well.
It’s best to seperate electrical devices from oil/gas appliances and treat them as different entities. The strategies for reducing elecricity consumption are different than the steps for reducing reliance on gas and oil.
However, multi-fossil fuel use does point towards measures that can be taken that covers all energy sources. Over 50% of the home’s energy is used in heating and cooling, so this should be the first focus of an energy saving program:
- Reducing the energy we use
- Conserving the heat or cooling generated by electricity, coal, gas or oil
What are examples of energy conservation?
- Example 1 – Home insulation is the biggest bang for the buck. According to the EPA, insulating the crawl space and external walls can save up to 15% of the cost of energy used for space heating and cooling.
- Example 2 – changing out all your lamps for LED type can cave up to 5% of your lighting energy costs
- Example 3 – lower you heating thermostat by 1 degree in the winter and raise it 1 degree during the summer cooling season
- Example 4 – Choose new appliances with a high Energy Star rating
How to conserve light energy at home?
The obvious choice for reducing lighting costs in the home is to make sure all the lamps are very efficient, such as LED lights.
There shouldn’t be many homes now with incandescent lamps, but you’d be surprised! These lamps really are energy gluttons. They create light by heating up a tungsten filament until it’s white-hot – hot enough to emit light.
An efficient flourescent lamp uses about 20% of the electrical energy used by an incandescent bulb, but even these are no match for the LED lamp.
Table – Compare home lighting lamps
LIGHTS OFF, DEVICES,NATURAL LIGHT, MIRRORS (links to)
What is the most energy-efficient lighting?
You often read that LEDs are good for 100 000 hours, but this is rarely the case. They tend to fail after 4 to 6 years, so if you say they have a life of about 50 000 hours, you wouldn’t be far wrong.
They are more expensive, but it’s the lighting of the future and overall they save money on energy costs.
How to conserve electricity at home
- Cooling/heating: accounts for 47% of energy use
- Electric or gas water heater: about 14% of energy use
- Clothes washer and dryer: 13% of energy used
- General lighting: 12% of energy use
- Refrigerator: 4% of energy use
- Electric ovens and hobs: 3-4% of energy use
- Entertainment – TV, DVD, cable box: 3% of energy use
- Dishwashers: 2% of energy use
- Computer and accessories: 1% of energy use
What is an example of an energy efficient device?
An example of an energy saving device is an outlet plug with a timer, so that appliances can be set to run for a set time, thereby saving energy if you forget to switch it off.
There are many other energy saving devices on the market.
What are 5 energy conserving items?
- Thermostatically controlled heaters and AC units
- Soft-start electronic devices – reduces the surge current of large motors
- Power reducing outlets – smooths out voltage variations, saves energy and delivers smoothly
- Lighting solutions such as LED lamps and natural lighting mirrors
- Any appliance with a high Energy Star rating
Does electricity saving box really work?
The power savers you see advertised absorb spikes in the power system and deliver current smoothly. They work on the principle of ‘power factor correction‘, which happens in inductive loads.
In inductive loads the current waveform lags behind the voltage and the effect is to consume more power than the rated watts of the appliance. It’s particularly noticeable in fridges and Air Conditioning.
Electronic circuits inside the power saver, mostly capacitors, bring the current waveform back into line and so saving power.
For some appliances the savings will be very small, but as most home appliances are inductive (have copper coils inside), these devices will save power for most applications.
How to conserve heat energy at home
As heating and cooling account for about 50% of electrical costs, saving heat gives a big bang for the buck. Insulation applied to loft spaces, external wall cavities and fitting double glazing can really save a lot.
Is home insulation expensive?
Usually, home insulation is not expensive, but there are other factors to consider. There are some factors that contribute to the cost of any home insulation project.
- The size of the house will play a large role in how much it will cost to insulate your home. For example, an older home may require more installation than a newer one due to the different materials used for insulation and installation methods at each time period.
- The quality of insulation chosen
- If you’re installing spray foam or batt style insulation then professional training or skill is required
The type of material that you need installed (for example blown cellulose) will also play into the price
- Maintenance costs, such as furnace maintenance, for your home may also need to be factored in
Generally, the cost of home insulation projects will range from $500 – $4,000 depending on your contractor or installer, the materials used and the size of your home. Materials will generally run between $0.50 – $1.50 per square foot of your home’s insulated area.
You can have a professional estimate done on exactly how much the cost will be if you want a more accurate quote for a project, but you can break down a general figure by gathering information from several contractors first.
Other questions relating to saving energy at home:
What is good insulation for a house?
Batt insulation is the first and most important step in insulating a home. It’s made of fluffy, wool-like material and is usually packed into wall cavities or between outside walls and the house.
The average home needs about 1,400 square feet (140 sq m) of insulation added to the attic, crawlspace or walls. Unused space should be filled up to create a tight seal.
The thickness of insulation also varies by brand, but manufacturers recommend batt insulation that is at least 7.5 inches (19 cm) thick for most homes using only one layer of insulation.
When using two layers of insulation, the thickness should be at least 13 inches (33 cm).
Batt insulation is sold in different sizes, so it is important to choose batts that are the correct size for the space. This is very important because batts that are too small can leave gaps where cold air can pass through or between them. Batts that are too big will not fit into the space being insulated.
What is the cheapest way to insulate a house?
One of the cheapest ways to insulate a house is by using fiberglass wool insulation. Fiberglass wool insulation provides an excellent thermal and acoustic barrier against heat and noise.
It also acts as a moisture barrier, making it an ideal choice for areas that are susceptible to high levels of humidity.
Foam insulation is quite easy to install, and it comes with ready-made adaptor nozzles that you can use to blow the foam into your walls. It is quick to apply too, so you will not have to wait for long before you have an insulated house.
This type of foam insulation is made from polyurethane, which has excellent insulating properties.
What is a good house energy rating?
A good rating for a house is if the HERS rating is less than 50. Energy rating for a house is a rating which tells you the energy rating of a house in Australia, it tells how energy efficient the house is. The HERS rating rates from 0 to 100, 0 being the worst and 100 being the best.
What is the HERS house rating system?
The HERS house energy rating system was introduced by the Australian Green Building Council. The system rates houses from 0 to 100, with 100 being most energy efficient and most houses will be rated at 50 or less. The higher the HERS rating, the better the house is at keeping operating costs down.
What is a good HERS house rating?
Houses which are rated at 45 will cost around $2500 per year to run. If you have an older home which is rated at 50 your electricity bill will be around $1000 per year, but will only cost $500 if you take into account taxes and other related items.
What is an energy rating system?
An energy rating system compares the amount of energy needed to heat a home, for example, compared to the amount of energy it loses due to leakage.
What does a score of 80 on the home energy Rating System HERS mean?
Home Energy Rating Systsem. A good energy rating for a new home built in 2006 is considered 100 in the HERS energy rating system.
A home that scores 80 means that the house is 20% more energy efficient than the average new home.