Tips on making your house more energy efficient
There are many ways that you can make your home more energy efficient and save money by doing so. First you need to improve the efficiency of your house’s “shell”, this includes your doors, walls, attic, and windows. Then you reduce the energy consumption of your household appliances, such as: heaters, coolers, and lights. Finally, you can consider renewable energy generation, including: solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric energy.
- Upgrade or replace windows.It may be time to replace your windows with energy-efficient models or improve their efficiency with weather-stripping and storm windows if your windows are old and permeable. Even if you switch to more energy efficient windows, that will not impact your energy consumption that much, so consider making other changes before switching windows.
- Plant trees around your house.If your house is older, with moderately poor insulation and windows, planting trees on the west side of your house can save energy. In summer, the leaves of the branches block infrared radiation, or simply heat from the sun, that would warm the house, while in winter the bare branches let this radiation come through and aid your heaters in heating the house.
- Replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Compact fluorescent lamps can save three-quarters of the electricity used by incandescent lights. Most people don’t think about the fact that the electricity to run a light bulb costs much more than the bulb itself. One of the new CFLs costs about $3, but it lasts 10,000 hours and uses only about 27 watts to generate as much light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb. Using CFLs will result in less energy consumption therefore lower energy bills.
- Improve the efficiency of your hot water system. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to 120°F (warm setting), particularly for fossil-fuel water heaters with their high consumption even when not turned on.
- Water Recycling. There are two main ways to recycle water. One way is to reuse water from showers and taps, filter them, and use the recycled water to fill toilets. Another way is to collect rainwater and use that water for irrigation, or filter it and use it for flushing the toilet as well.
After making the following changes you will be able to use renewable energy sources such as: solar panels, or geothermal energy, more efficiently in your household.