We use a remarkable amount of energy in our homes. That energy use is on an upwards trajectory as demand is increasing from an ever-growing list of energy thirsty devices. We cannot switch off everything and thrust ourselves back into the Stone Age, but we can take concrete steps to improve the energy consumption of our homes. It’s kind on your pocket with reduced energy bills, impacts positively on our environment, and increases our sustainability index. Some areas of your home you can work on to start realising a more energy efficient home are discussed here.
Ways to make home energy efficient
You can realise immediate benefits by changing from incandescent lighting to fluorescent (LCFs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs). The latter are 75% more energy efficient without loss of lighting intensity. Be mindful of when and how many lights you leave on. Smart lighting systems that utilise sensors to dim and switch off unused lights are an option you should consider for your home.
2. Upgrade Your Electronics
New technology being used in your electronics utilises energy more efficiently. Be on the lookout for an appliance’s star rating. Old is synonymous with higher energy use when it comes to electronics. In part due to wear and tear of moving parts and degradation of electrical and electronic components in appliances. Here are some of the appliances you can upgrade:
- Star-rated fridges can save you upwards of $80 per year over older fridges.
- High efficiency furnaces to replace older installation done in the 1990s or earlier.
- LED Screens over LCD/Plasma or other screen types for computer monitors and TVs.
3. Switch Off
Do you really need to have everything in your home switched on and plugged in at all times? You stand to gain by consciously choosing to power down or switch off devices and appliances that you are not currently using. Lamps, computer screens, microwaves and a host of other devices passively consume power even when on standby. If it’s not being used right now, it’s better to switch it off.
Changing to a convection oven can realise an up to 20% energy savings. Better yet, use a microwave rather than an oven for cooking when you can. The kitchen provides us with myriad avenues to trim on our energy spend. When cooking use a pressure cooker to reduce cooking times. A simple habit such as using lids to quicken heating of food can save your some power.
5. Heating and Cooling
Our home’s heating and cooling systems use significant amounts of energy. Some smart and easy energy savings tips to reduce your overall heating demands include:
- Lower the temperature settings on thermostats. Keep within reasonable temperature values. When not needed, switch them off.
- Consider the use of suspended ceiling fan centrally located instead of air conditioner.
- Draw curtains at night to keep the heat in.
6. Water Heating
You stand to gain considerably when it comes to how you heat and distribute hot water in your home. Some aspects of this that you can gain from include:
- Using on-demand tankless water heaters. Traditional storage type water heaters have increased losses associated with them.
- Use low-flow shower heads in your bathrooms.
- Insulating your hot water pipes to reduce losses during distribution.
Start by choosing to air dry your clothes on a hanging line over drying them in your dryer. Setting the laundry machine to high-temperature setting does not mean your clothes clean better; instead choose medium or warm water setting. Run your laundry machine with a full load. Small loads utilise same energy and water as a full load.
8. Install Solar Panels
Solar panels provide an easy way to produce your own energy, which you can use to supplement your existing energy mix. The government is encouraging this type of renewable energy by providing tax incentives to home owners who install solar panels. Today’s panels have increased power harvesting capability at a lower surface utilisation. They are easier to integrate to roofs, walls and other facades without losing the overall look and beauty of your house.
9. Insulating Your Home
To reduce the heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer, your house requires efficient insulation. A lot can be done to improve the insulating capabilities of your home. Here, we encourage the advice of professional energy auditor to offer you the best solution for your home.
This refers to using natural lighting to illuminate your home. It has aesthetic appeal to most homeowners who use it but if applied correctly could also assist you in cutting down your energy use in lighting. Here, a one size fits all doesn’t apply and expert advice is required to make the most from your home. Some tips around daylighting to implement include:
- Open your curtains and blinds during the day.
- Place furniture to enhance flow of light.
- Use star rated daylight systems to redirect sunlight to your rooms.
- Look at using skylights in small rooms, such as bathrooms, to bring in the light while maintaining privacy.
It makes excellent investment sense to make your home as energy efficient as possible. To reap the maximum rewards, it’s advisable to get expert help. Rovert Lighting & Electrical have a wide range of lighting options, to suit your home and outdoor requirements and spaces, speak with one of our advisors today to start making your home energy efficient.