Whenever energy is used, it produces harmful carbon emissions. These greenhouse gases are affecting the earth’s atmosphere. There are daily signs that the resulting climate change is already a serious problem.
Average temperatures are increasing at an alarming rate, particularly in traditionally cold countries such as Canada. Extreme weather patterns including droughts and floods are becoming more widespread. Long-term plans include reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
However, making the transition to sustainable, ecological energy sources such as wind and solar power takes time. But there are many things you can do to reduce your own carbon footprint. And you’ll soon be amazed at how much money you can save by using less energy.
1. Turn Down Your Thermostat
The heating and air conditioning systems in your home account for much of the energy you use. They are all operated by a thermostat. This continually adjusts to control your home’s temperature to match the setting you’ve chosen. Reduce the energy it uses by lowering the thermostat by a barely discernible one degree. You can introduce more sustainable energy tips in the winter. During the summer, let in plenty of fresh air.
2. Protect Your Hot Water Supply
Heating hot water for your home uses approximately 50% of your energy expenditure. By insulating the hot water cylinder, you can retain more of its heat. Wrap a padded insulating cover around the tank and your water should stay hot for 30% longer. Insulating pipes during the winter also prevents heat loss.
3. Saving Hot Water
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It’s expensive to heat a tank of hot water, so don’t waste it. Avoid leaving the tap running unnecessarily when washing hands or dishes. It takes less hot water to shower than take a bath. But change the showerhead to a low flow version as it’s far more economical with water. Most low energy showers use around ten litres of water per minute which is almost half that of a standard shower.
4. Use Full Loads in Washing Machines
Your washing machine generally uses 90% of its energy to heat water to the right temperature. It can be more economical to ensure your hot water supply is already sufficiently hot to save the machine heating it. Filling your washing machine with a full load each time saves energy. For items that are not heavily soiled, you can save energy by using a cool wash cycle of about 86ºF (30ºC).
5. Invest in Smart Technology and Home Automation
Install Smart thermostats in your home. They can make an enormous difference to the amount of energy and money you can save. A Smart monitor provides real time data to indicate where you’re being wasteful with energy. A Smart thermostat can be controlled by your smartphone from any location. Home automation operates multiple appliances. You can use it to activate heating or lighting at an appropriate time. It can even switch on an oven to cook your evening meal in time for when you reach home.
6. Switch to Solar Power
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You don’t have to wait for national schemes to begin using sustainable energy. Installing a solar panels system on your roof can provide your home with enough electricity for daily use. It’s the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions and your energy consumption. Solar power is an ecological, renewable energy that’s supplied free by the sun. The system uses a very small amount of power to operate and it’s virtually maintenance-free.
7. Purchase an Electric Vehicle
By 2035, all new cars and small trucks in America should be powered by electricity. Yet you can upgrade to this clean, green energy right now. You’ll be saving money on fuel especially if you install a solar-powered EV charger at your home. It can store power during the day and recharge your vehicle over eight hours at night. By lowering your car’s carbon emissions, you’ll be improving the environment’s air quality.
8. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances
If the appliances in your kitchen are old, they’ll be inefficient and use more power than usual. You can even have them tested for energy-efficiency. New appliances have an energy rating to show how they reduce energy consumption. An A rating is the most economical. If you combine new appliances with solar power, you’ll be making the most reductions of all in your home’s energy consumption.
9. Check for Standby Mode Inefficiency
Regularly check that your laptop, TV set or other household appliances haven’t been left in standby mode. Amazingly, this vampire or phantom load consumes about 16% of your home’s total energy usage. It means you are spending money on around 10,600 kWh of electricity and getting nothing in return. Remember to switch appliances off and you’ll make an immediate impact on reducing your energy consumption.
10. Use LED Lighting
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Installing LED lighting instead of incandescent light bulbs immediately cuts the amount of energy your home uses. On average, LED bulbs consume at least 75% less electricity than standard lights. They also last much longer. If you use an LED bulb for around seven hours every day of the year it provides 2,555 hours of light. Each bulb should last at least 25,000 hours. It means you’ll only need to purchase a new one every 9.7 years.
Try reducing your energy consumption through the ways outlined above. By your own efforts you can make an impact on reducing harmful carbon emissions. If you tell your friends and neighbors to follow suit, imagine how much collective energy you can save.
By reducing your home’s energy consumption, you’ll also save significant amounts of money. Of course, it costs money to install sustainable systems such as ecological solar panels. But within eight years you should have recouped your initial investment. Then your solar energy supply will provide free electricity for at least the next twenty-five or thirty years.
No one’s certain how much long-term damage the earth and its atmosphere can sustain. Reduce your energy consumption now and perhaps we’ll avoid the dire consequences of unnecessary waste.