“Change begins at home.” Perhaps there is no other context in which this phrase is more relevant than the environment. The growing awareness among all of us regarding the environment is indeed a positive development. Still, the fact remains that we do little when it comes to adopting eco-friendly habits.
The ideal place to start our journey is right at our homes, and it is the collective and cumulative effect it will have that helps combat environmental threats.
There are many things we can do to make our homes energy-efficient. These could be at the stage of building the house, designing it, or when we decide on the wiring and plumbing or when we live in it. There are the top 20 ways to make your home energy efficient:
1. Natural lighting
Design the house in such a way that plenty of natural light and ventilation is available. This can reduce the use of artificial light sources, air conditioners, and electric fans saving precious energy. In the daytime, keep your blinds/curtains open so that natural light comes through.
2. Rainwater harvesting
Install a rainwater harvesting system for your house. Such stored water can be used for recharging the wells – if you have any in your home. It can also help to get water for gardening. Drainage of rainwater causes a decrease in the level of groundwater.
3. Utilize solar power
Install solar power systems for powering your house. Though it could be expensive initially, the long term financial gains can usually offset it while contributing your small bit to save precious carbon energy for our globe.
4. Optimize window decoration
Have curtains and blinds for windows, so that heat and cold from outside are prevented from getting indoors. That would reduce the need for using air conditioners or heaters respectively and thereby help to save electricity.
5. Minimize power outlets
It would be good to have fewer electrical power points – be it for lights or other electrical appliances. The more we have them, the more we are likely to utilize them.
Unplug your sockets when not in use – though it is switched off, plugged in devices can leak some energy, which, when accumulated, can be a significant wastage. Try to charge your electric appliances alternatively only when needed.
6. Incorporate Indoor plants
Indoor plants also have a multitude of advantages as they help create a relaxed environment. In addition, they help to purify the air and help in the overall enrichment of life. Indoor plants have the ability to absorb toxic elements from the air like formaldehyde and release clean oxygen. With the setup of indoor plants, you don’t need to buy an indoor air purifier that costs energy.
7. Choose the right paint
Choosing the right exterior paint helps in maintaining the interior temperature. Light colors are therefore ideal.
8. Adjust the Thermostat
Set thermostats to an appropriate temperature. Certainly, they should be turned off at night and when no one is home. Generally, about 2% of the heating bill will be saved for each degree that the thermostat is lowered for at least eight hours each day. Turning down the thermostat from 75° F to 70° F, for example, saves about 10% on heating costs.
9. Optimize Washing Machine
Keep the setting of the washing machine on cold water. If it results in inadequate cleaning, it may be changed to warm.
You should wait until you have a full load of clothes, as the medium setting saves less than half of the water and energy used for a full load.
Clean the lint trap every time before you use the dryer. It will prolong the amount of time required for your clothes to dry. On the other hand, line-dry the clothes in sunlight. It is the best way to save energy and life of clothes.
10. Avoid charging Devices Overnight
Do not keep devices such as mobile phones for charging overnight. They do not require as much charging and can even lead to failure as well as increase the electricity bill. Computers should be shut off when not in use. If unattended computers must be left on, their monitors should be shut off. According to some studies, computers account for approximately 3% of all energy consumption
11. Audit your energy consumption
Before planning to build a new house or during up-gradation of appliances, keep the consumption of energy in mind, how much energy your house is consuming per electric appliance. you can do your energy audit by yourself or you can get it done by experts.
12. Use LED lights
In 2014, manufacturers stopped producing 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent lightbulbs after the 100-watt and 75-watt. Then CFLs and LEDs came into existence that saves much more energy and long-lasting. Since the average home uses 40 bulbs, switching over to greener bulbs is a great way to save on your electrical bill. LEDs have no moving parts and, in comparison to CFLs, they do not contain mercury.
13. Check the Energy Rating
Use efficient ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and electronics. When we buy electrical appliances, it would be good to be aware of the stars, which indicate energy efficiency. Try to purchase those with more number stars. According to the EPA, if just 10% of homes used energy-efficient appliances, it would reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of 1.7 million acres of trees.
14. Clean Regularly
The machine requires well maintenance. So, clean the fridge coils and the washing machine’s filters frequently would make them more energy efficient. Periodically replace air filters in air conditioners and heaters.
15. Optimize Usage
Use the dishwashers and washing machines only when they are full or nearly so. That would reduce the number of times they are used to saving precious energy. Install a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans can be used in place of air conditioners, which require a large amount of energy.
These are some practices we can adopt to maintain an energy-efficient home. The time to act is now and the importance everyone has towards combating climate change is huge. A sense of responsibility should be felt so that we have the desire to inculcate eco-friendly habits.
The usage of various appliances in all forms is on the rise and the need to optimize our usage and thereby help in preserving the environment is necessary. Going energy-efficient at home is the perfect way to achieve the same.