Photo by woodleywonderworks
The concept of energy saving is very often misunderstood. It does not mean that our homes should be cold and dark, only that we should always try to conserve energy. An alarming example of waste is that each year, Americans waste the equivalent of 17 coal power plants worth of energy. Wasting such a vast amount of energy is a luxury we and our planet cannot afford in the long run. The least we can do is to spend only the energy we need and minimize the amount of energy wasted. Here are the top three ways to save energy, money, and the environment.
1. Home Insulation and Glazing
Approximately half of the heat lost in a typical home is lost through the walls and the attic. Many houses have their external walls made of two layers, with a small gap between them. Filling this cavity is a job you cannot do by yourself; however, a professional installer will do the job easily and quickly and you will save around $174 a year. A quarter of lost heat is lost through an uninsulated roof; therefore, insulating your attic is an effective way to save on your heating bills. You can insulate your attic by yourself by laying special blankets called quilts over the attic area. Attic insulation is very effective in the long run and will pay for itself over and over again.
by BASF - The Chemical Company
Probably the cheapest and most efficient way to save energy in your home is draught proofing. You should simply block up all unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. The most common places that you should check are windows, doors, pipework leading outside, loft hatches, electrical fittings on walls and ceilings, and suspended floorboards. By blocking most of these spaces, you should prevent warm air from escaping; however, be careful when draught proofing rooms that require good ventilation (kitchens, bathrooms, et cetera). There are various materials you can use when draught proofing: self-adhesive foam strips or metal or plastic strips with brushes or wipers attached, foam and different types of brushes, and various flexible fillers for gaps. Installing double-glazed windows is another effective way of reducing your energy bills.
2. Tank and Pipe Insulation
Wrapping your hot water cylinder in a special jacket will help you to cut heat loss by 75 per cent. Similar insulation can be used on pipes: it will reduce the amount of heat that escapes and your water will remain hotter. Fitting a hot water cylinder jacket is very easy and can be done by anyone, but the amount of money and carbon dioxide saved is significant. If your hot water cylinder jacket is at least 75mm thick, you will save approximately 170 kg of carbon dioxide per year and around 60kg of CO2 with pipe insulation.
Photo by Matthew
3. Energy-saving Lightbulbs
An energy-saving lightbulb uses up to 80 per cent less electricity than a standard lightbulb. Since the amount of light produced stays the same and there are many different types of energy-saving bulbs, there is no reason to use the old ones. The variety of fittings, shapes, and sizes of the ‘green’ bulbs are nearly the same as ordinary bulbs. If you fit all your lights in your house with energy-saving bulbs, you could save around $70 — and they will last ten times longer. When shopping for energy-saving lightbulbs, always look for energy-saving logos to be sure that they meet all the necessary criteria.