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.
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.
Lose those incandescent light bulbs
Some Energy Conservation Methods and Ideas
Invest in a thermostat
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.
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.
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.
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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