Home heating and cooling are two of the most expensive and energy-consuming processes of most homes. According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. power bill will be $395 per month from June through August. Reducing energy consumption is not only a money-saving option, it is a huge plus for the environment. The largest energy consumers in a home are the HVAC system for heating and cooling, HD televisions, appliances and computers. There are some simple ways to help reduce the energy consumption that your home requires. One of the key factors is prevention, which can help you find significant savings off your home’s average power bill.
Know Your Carbon Footprint
The energy that your home consumes to keep you and your family comfortable is part of your carbon footprint. This is the amount of resources it takes to sustain your lifestyle. The Nature Conservancy has a free tool to check your carbon footprint. That tool allows you to see how many resources it requires for our to live your life.
Finding out just how large your carbon footprint is can be shocking. Understanding your carbon footprint is one of the tools that people need to address energy conservation.
Reduce Heat Loss and Prevent Incoming Solar Radiation
CarbonDiet.ca is an excellent resource to see how heating and cooling impact your carbon footprint. You can offset energy usage by making a few simple changes to how your home retains heat in winter and stops heat infiltration during summer.
A cellular shade is an excellent tool to help you do both. These are collapsible window shades that provide additional window insulation when extended. They not only block incoming solar radiation in the summer, but also help keep heat from escaping through windows in winter. They are a year-round solution to reducing energy consumption and costs.
Lower the Water Heater Temperature
Another way to reduce energy usage is to reduce the standing temperature of your hot water heater. You pay all year long to keep the hot water in your water heater heated to a pre-set temperature. Reducing that pre-set temperature will save you money and help lower your carbon footprint.
Then when it is time to replace your water heater, consider a tankless water heater. Some tankless water heaters may save you as much as 50 percent off your regular energy bill, according to Consumer Reports.
We all have appliances that continue to use energy even though we shut off their power. Computers and appliances are examples of power vampires. An easy way to end the constant drain on your wallet is to install power strips. When you shut off the power strip, the energy to the computer or appliance ends. According to the Energy Star website, even standby mode enables appliances and computers to continue to use energy.
Power Vampires account for nearly 100 billion kilowatt hours of energy consumption on a yearly basis across the nation. According to the International Energy Agency, the average American home uses 11,280 kwh per month. That means that power vampires waste enough energy to power 7,387 homes for a year. That is a lot of energy that can be saved simply by using a power strip.
The incentive for reducing energy consumption is monies saved. Saving $50 a month represents a $600 savings each year. Over the life of a home, those savings equal $6,000 at year 10, $12,000 at year 20 and $18,000 after 30 years of reducing energy consumption.