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In today’s age, it is a goal of many to save on their monthly energy bills through consuming less energy, and ultimately limiting the release of harmful emissions into the environment. What makes it even more appealing is that you don’t have to overhaul your home in order to make it more energy efficient. There are numerous ways that you can effectively reduce your carbon footprint with little investment or experience. Let’s look at a few ideas to save on energy at home.
Unplug Appliances and Electronics When Not in Use
Believe it or not, your appliances and electronics consume energy when they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. Approximately 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This is a term known as “phantom load” and can be eliminated by unplugging appliances and electronics when you are not using them or through plugging them into a power strip which can subsequently be turned off.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances
If you are in the market for new home appliances, it could be the perfect opportunity to switch to those labeled as energy-efficient. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star labeled appliances use between ten and fifty percent less energy and water than the standard appliances. Although they may cost more up-front, they make up for the additional cost over time as your monthly energy bills begin to decline.
Use Energy Star Light Bulbs
One of the least expensive and most effective changes you can make in your home is replacing old light bulbs out for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). These only cost a few dollars and save approximately $30 over its lifespan, typically paying for itself within six months. Not only do they use 75 percent less energy, but they last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. Additionally, they reduce mercury emissions through lessening the need for electricity produced at power plants.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Many homes already contain programmable thermostats, but if you have not heard of one yet, they work by automatically adjusting your home’s temperature to your schedule. Not only are they relatively easy to install and use, but they could save you as much as 15 percent on heating and cooling costs. When you’re not home, you can set the system to a higher temperature (in the summer), lower temperature (in the winter), or completely turn off the system until right before you are scheduled to return home from work.
Selecting Energy-Efficient Glass Options
Choosing the right glass for your windows and doors is just as important as any other energy-saving method. Whether you decide to buy factory- glass window film or decorate with real etched glass windows, it is an easy design that saves energy, reduces heat, and filters UV rays. Both stylish and functional, they are available in a variety of privacy levels and designs. Most etched and frosted glass windows contain a finely ground glass dust that creates a beautiful shimmer.
Monitoring Your Energy Use Through Power Meters
A power quality meter provides continuous monitoring and metering for current, voltage, real and reactive power, energy use, cost of power, power factor, and frequency depending on which model you purchase. They generally have alarms set that will notify you if you are over or under the current or voltage. There are many that provide more complex controls and features but this is a great way to monitor and save on your energy use.
Energy efficiency comes in all sizes and shapes from appliances and toilets to windows and light bulbs. The choices you make for your home can have a major impact on your budget as well as the environment. We all can do more around our homes to save energy and make plenty of lifestyle changes that can put money back in your bank. Follow the tips above and see how easily it impacts your monthly energy usage.