Energy Conservation Methods That Save Your Cash

Categories: News Update.

Reduce Your Power Use Needs

We Earthlings have two choices where energy is concerned.

We have the 'use it' choice. Choose to see no problem and continue in the hope that it will be decades before the resources dry up and by then a solution will emerge to replace their technology or a new extraction technique is discovered to replenish them. That choice means using the resources of our planet until they deplete to uneconomic recovery levels.

Another choice would be to do something different to conserve our limited resources, use recycling to maintain the existing materials that have been mined or find feasible energy conservation methods. We could develop and use alternative clean energy sources that are renewable so won't deplete, and in some limited ways, use them to redress environmental damage.

Simply being aware of the ecological system has encouraged us in developing several energy conservation methods.

These techniques improve the environment and save us some money. These conservation techniques can be used whether you are a homeowner, renter or plugged into an alternate energy source like solar power.

energy conservation methods

Identifying The Amount Of Energy Used

If we look at this energy pyramid, we can see that base shares the largest part of the equation, which belongs to energy conservation methods.

The first step in the energy cycle is energy generation, followed by using the generated energy efficiently. Then after successfully implementing that strategy, you can work towards applying conserving energy to complete the cycle.

Some energy conservation methods require planning but the good news is that most of them can be implemented immediately. We have listed below some of the methods, which can be put into practice in a phased manner.

Energy Audit

  • Get an energy audit done for your house. It will show you a myriad of ways to save money. Audits done by a professional give a clear picture of many areas that you may need to work on. The report will identify and prioritise the problem areas for implementing these money saving methods. The audit will point out all the gaps and improvements available in achieving better energy efficiency. These will initially cost you money but that help in implementing all conservation methods needed will pay dividends in reduced energy use.
  • An energy audit has an inspection component and analysis of the household’s energy use. It points out where using energy conservation methods in a building component will reduce energy input while achieving the same level of comfort and effective output. There are DIY audits possible using a number of smartphone apps currently available. These apps guide the householder through the steps to accomplish a technical energy audit for themselves.

Lose those incandescent light bulbs

  • Incandescent light bulbs have been used since the 19th century and are still a popular source for lighting among homeowners. The quality of light given by them is quite good but they are far from efficient. They convert only 10% of the electricity into light with the other 90 % being converted into heat.
  • Replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs like the compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) reduces the energy used on lighting. Upfront, the cost of replacing the incandescent bulbs will seem expensive but CFLs will bring down your lighting energy costs by at least 75 percent. An added advantage of the CFLs is they last for almost 12 years, a much longer lifespan than that of the incandescent bulbs.

Some Energy Conservation Methods and Ideas

Invest in a thermostat

  • A good thermostat on room air heater / air conditioner can be programmed to not spend so much energy in matching the outdoor and indoor temperatures. When no one is at the home and when there are guests, the thermostat can be turned down a few degrees. The collective body heat of the guests will compensate for that by adding to the room temperature.
  • During winters, programme your thermostat at a setting of 68 degrees Fahrenheit for when you are home. At nights and when there is no one at home, program the settings down ten more degrees.
  • In summer don’t over-cool the house. The ideal thermostat setting is between 75°F and 78°F and every degree rise in the thermostat above that results in 5% savings on the cost of cooling. The summer months will need programming, with 78 degrees for the hours when you are at home during the day and a little higher for when there is no one at home and at night.
energy conservation methods

Reduce The Amount Of Energy You Use

Seal Leaks In The House

Hot air in winters and cold air in summers can leak out of the house due to lack of effective insulation. Proper insulation can reduce the energy costs by as much as ten percent. Caulking is a technique used to seal the air gaps between walls and windows or doors, and ceilings and skylights. You can do the draft reduction yourself by using duct tapes on small leaks or finding the help of a professional in situations of larger leaks.

Turn Off The Lights

Turning off lights is as easy as it actually sounds. Switch off the lights when leaving a room  and during the daytime open the blinds to make use of the natural light. Close the blinds at night to prevent heat loss through windows. Switch all devices off after use as some amount of energy is utilized by them in sleep mode. Many modern electronics utilize a technique called a standby power when not in use to have them start up immediately when turned on instead of taking a few seconds to warm up.

Unplug Appliances

Large appliances like TVs and even small ones like a mobile charger use small amounts of power while turned off. The small steady standby power usage is referred to as the “phantom power”. In the total energy consumption of your appliances, this phantom power use constitutes almost 75% of the electricity.

The best energy conservation methods, in this case, are to unplug your appliances completely from the power socket after use.

Due to convenience of leaving plugs as they are and the small electricity use per hour this method does not rank high in feasibility analysis. An alternative to pulling plugs out of their socket is using Smart power strips, also known as advanced power strips. These strips do away with your phantom loads' problem by shutting off the power to electronics when they are not in use.

Smart power strips can be programmed to turn off at an assigned time or during a period of inactivity of the appliance. These super strips come with remote switches which can be used to shut off the appliance’s power supply.

energy conservation methods

Identifying And Then Conserving Energy Used

Use Those Energy-Efficient Windows

An average house has only five to ten percent of its surface covered by windows and doors. A small percentage of houses also have a skylight. All these are a source of either heat loss or they overheat the house. This energy loss is almost 40 percent and it can be lowered substantially by using energy saving windows.

Old windows and doors can be replaced with modern energy saving windows that have triple layer glass designs and have U- values of 1.0 or lower. U-Factor measures the rate of heat transfers and gives a clear picture of the window insulation.

U-factor values generally range from 0.25 to 1.25 and are measured in Btu/h. ft² °F. A lower U-factor indicates a better window insulation. Older windows generally tend to have a U-value of 2.7 or higher.  A lower U-value window not only helps in reducing the energy consumption but it also insulates the house well.

Select Energy Efficient Appliances

One of the energy conservation methods is to select energy-saving appliances for the house; especially the large appliances. For instance, an air conditioning unit should be selected according to the size of your home. 

Air conditioners with higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEERs) provide the greatest energy efficiency. When buying a refrigerator, look for a higher Energy Star rating, an European EcoLabel, or an Energy Saving Trust Recommended model.

Maintenance Of The Appliances At Home

You need to maintain your heating and cooling systems. A process as simple as cleaning and replacing the air filters regularly can help you in conserving a lot of energy. You should also arrange for annual maintenance of the appliances at home by a professional technician before the start of every season.

Add planting around your home. This method involves increasing the density of shrubs around your house and aids in environmental conservation. Planting trees, small plants, and shrubs in your home garden, aids the insulation of your house. But this planting needs to be done approximately 12″ away from your home’s exterior.

This way, what you develop between your house and the plantation are pockets of 'dead-air- space'. These pockets provide a natural shield around that part of the house against extreme temperatures.

You can make energy savings as high as 15 percent in winter and 5 percent during summer through such energy conservation methods.

energy conservation methods

Decrease The Temperature Of Hot Water

Most homes require hot water for various activities all through the day. The water temperature should not be higher than140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celcius). This temperature of water will scold skin on contact. A water temperature mixing valve is required on bathroom hot water outlets to prevent scolding by mixing cold water into the hot water stream.

When you set the hot water temperature above this level,  the plumbing system needs to add more cold water to it to balance the temperature to make the water in your bathroom usable. By setting the temperature at the 140-degree F threshold you are conserving energy by not overworking the water heating system.

Fill The Washer, Dryer, And Freezer

This saving measure sounds simple and it is in fact is very simple to follow.  Fill them to their capacity. When you under utilise a clothes washer, dishwasher, clothes dryer or your freezer, they essentially use double the amount of energy per item. They are working a normal shift for half the load. Fill them to their optimum capacity before every use, especially for those larger appliances, like clothes washers.

When you only run a full load of clothes, you conserve energy and also save water. Similarly, a packed freezer works more efficiently and cools better than an empty one.

Last Words: Use Solar Energy Efficiently

As more homeowners adopt a renewable solar energy source by installing solar panels, it is important to remember that your investment payback was justified by saving money from self consumption of generated electricity. Your solar energy is free but when it’s wasted due to inefficient practices you could end up paying for that in the cost of buying electricity from the grid. That is electricity probably would not have been necessary if you did the things mentioned above.

You can use any the above methods to conserve energy and save even more money when you are running your house on solar energy

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