How to save energy at home

 In Enviroment

Right now in your home, you have the power to help the environment: if you know how to save energy at home, you can reduce environmental emission and the planet’s demand for resources required to produce power.

Finally, you will save your money, too.

It is estimated that 115 million residences in the US today use about 22,5% of all the energy of the country.

Unfortunately a lot of this power is lost through broken windows, inefficient heating or cooling methods and old appliances.

Home utility bills in every American family are approximately around  $2,200 a year.

It is possible to reduce this amount by 25% and to improve the energy efficiency of your home by following some easy tips to save energy.

The key to succeed in saving energy at home is to consider your whole house as a unique energy system where all the components are interconnected.

For instance, you have to consider your heating system is made up not only by a furnace but also by ducts, windows, walls, doors and attics very well insulated.

In order to save energy and to reduce the environmental impact of your home energy use, here are  some tips provided by the EPA, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, an office of U.S Department of Energy.

How to save energy at home through heating and cooling

Heating and cooling is the biggest expense of energy in your home, compared to any other utility bill: it is estimated that it is about 48% of all utility bills.

If you use a whole – house approach and match a correct equipment maintenance with other kinds of interventions to save energy at home, you will reduce the environmental emission and you will save about 30% on your energy bill.

Tips to save energy while heating and cooling your home

You can intervene on heating and cooling your home through the following tips:

  • once or twice a season, you have to eliminate trapped air from hot-water radiators (if you are not able to do it by yourself, you have to contact a professional);
  • you have to turn off bath and kitchen within 20 minutes after you have finished cooking or bathing;
  • during the winter, keep the drapes open in day, to allow the light and the warm to come in and close them at night, to reduce the chill coming from the windows;
  • set your thermostat to control the heating level of your home from your smartphone and to change it wherever you are. You can set the room thermostat to 18°-21°C and control the radiators through their valves, by turning off the radiators of the rooms you don’t use at all. To avoid an expensive bill, the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures has to be very small;
  • make sure any radiator is not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes;
  • clean or replace filters on air conditioners or furnaces as often as recommended;
  • the air conditioner has to be not too big for the area it is supposed to cool but properly sized and you can use circulating fans in the other rooms to spread the cool air through the house;
  • if you are building a new home or doing a home renovation consider intervening on the roof, using specialized heat- reflective material, re-covering the roof with a waterproof surface or replacing it with a cooler one, which absorbs fewer heat than a standard one.

How to save energy at home through the water heating

Water heating is the second most expensive energy expense in a house. It usually affects 18% on the total utility bills.

There are several ways to save energy at home intervening on the water heating system: you can adopt some energy solutions by your own, or ask for a professional as for the others.

Tips to save energy through the water heating

The most important ways to reduce your water heating bills are:

  • to use less hot water;
  • to turn down your water heater thermostat when you don’t use hot water and to regulate it to 47° to have hot water for your daily uses; to insulate your water heater or to substitute it with a more efficient one;
  • to install aerating low-flow taps and to repair promptly the broken ones, to avoid water leakage;
  • to insulate the first part of the hot and cold water pipes which are connected to the water heater and to install heat traps on them to avoid heat loss;
  • to drain part of the water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment obstructing heat transfer and reducing the system efficiency.

How to save energy at home through the ENERGY STAR program

ENERGY STAR is an EPA program to help firms and private citizens to intervene on energy efficiency, saving money and protecting the environment.

Every product which has the ENERGY STAR label is certified to produce fewer emissions, which contribute to climate change, and to use less power than a traditional product.

ENERGY STAR is today the most common symbol for energy efficiency in the world and is helping families and firms to save up to $ 300 billion on utility bills; at the same time, it contributes to reduce carbon pollution by 2 billion metric tons.

For this reason, if you are thinking to substitute or to purchase a new air conditioner, furnace, dishwasher, clothes washer or water heater, consider buying a most efficient ENERGY STAR model.

How to save energy at home by switching to clean energy resources

You can reduce your energy consumption at home and reduce your environmental impact by choosing the green energy resources.

As the cost of wind and solar power has decreased in the latest years, today switching to renewable energy is much easier than it was in the past.

The choice of many businesses, which are installing renewable energy in their buildings, actually confirms this trend.

Through the green energy, you will generate power on your own. Solar panels, wind turbines and ground-source heat pumps are the most common ways to have green energy at home.

In some countries, you can gain also some tax breaks and other incentives from the government, if you install sustainable energy systems.

And if you produce more energy than you use, an energy storage system will allow you to store energy with batteries, without losing it.

Passive Solar Heating and Cooling systems to save energy at home

An innovative way to use sustainable energy systems at home is the passive solar design to heat and cool the house.

Through this system, the heating cost could be reduced to less than half the cost of heating a house using the traditional systems.

Passive solar techniques use reflective coating on roofs, windows and exterior walls.

Through the most modern techniques, you can install large and insulated windows on south-facing walls of your house and thermal mass, as for instance a concrete slab floor or a heat-absorbing wall, next to the windows.

A passive solar heating and cooling systems requires to careful planning. For this reason, you will need an architect’s consultation to install it.

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