Are you aware of how much you could save by increasing energy efficiency in your home? The United States is the second largest energy consumer in the world (China is the first). Reducing energy consumption has several benefits. First, it reduces local air pollutants, thereby making air cleaner to breathe. Second, it lowers household energy bills. Third, it saves on energy costs. If every American household reduced their energy by 20% over the next decade, America would save billions of dollars.
According to the International Energy Agency, better energy efficiency in buildings, transportation, and industrial sites could reduce the world’s energy intake by 1/3 in 2050. This significant change would help control global emission of greenhouse gases and reduce unclean air.
Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency
1. Replace Old Appliances
A 2009 study by global management film McKinsey & Company found that replacing old appliances with energy efficient appliances is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, current energy efficient refrigerators use 40% less energy than conventional models. Changing all U.S. refrigerators to energy efficient ones could reduce both electricity and CO2 emissions substantially.
2. Install a Solar Water Heating System
Using a solar water heating system instead of a traditional one could save roughly 50% of the energy used for heating water.
3. Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Replacing old light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs would reduce energy consumption by 80%.
4. Repair Leaky Air Ducts
Hire professional repairmen to inspect homes for leaks and make repairs if needed. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy and the Residential Energy Efficient Distribution Services (REEDS) found that duct efficiency is often as low as 50-70%. As a result, repairing leaks can save up to 50% of a monthly home energy bill. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the United States could save 90 billion kWh simply by decreasing home energy costs.
5. Change Filters Regularly
Dirty air filters cause unnecessary wear and tear on HVAC equipment. The Department of Energy found that changing air filters regularly can reduce home energy bills by 5-15%. Air filters should be changed every three months for optimal performance.
Be proactive about choosing energy efficient options in order to reduce unnecessary energy consumption. Energy efficiency not only lessens air pollution and emissions, but also reduces home energy bills.
Wondering how to conserve energy? More tried-and-true tips:
- Lower heater or air conditioner before leaving for work each morning;
- Dry clothes on a clothesline instead of using the washing machine;
- Walk to nearby places instead of driving;
- Carpool to work to reduce emissions;
- Hire a professional to give HVAC systems a yearly checkup;
- Make sure walls are insulated properly;
- Use a microwave instead of an oven to heat leftovers to save energy;
- Repair refrigerator door seals as needed;
- Set laptops and computers to hibernate mode;
- Unplug chargers when batteries are fully charged or not charging.