Ways To Conserve Energy At Home
Why bother about ways to conserve energy?
Energy is everything in today’s world. Energy is needed to drive all our appliances, tools and machines. Without energy, we would not have light at night. We would not have working heaters during the winters. We would not be able to get home from work via the subway. We won’t even have working traffic lights!
In providing for our energy needs, the industrialized world today has become too dependent on fossil fuels. This dependency has two major problems. First, fossil fuels are not renewable, which means that sooner or later, they’re going to be all used up. In the process of becoming scarce, their prices will rise, and possibly only the rich would get access to the remaining resource. If no other sources of energy could be found soon enough, there could be chaos in the world. The second major problem with fossil fuels is that they are big polluters, and the green house gasses produced from the combustion of fossil fuels have been largely linked to global warming and global climate change.
Many countries are realizing that this dependency on fossil fuels cannot go on and are already working on alternative solutions, like renewable energies. But these alternative solutions are still at their early stages of development. In the meantime, conserving and saving energy is a priority. Saving and conserving energy reduces the use of fossil fuel and hence the emission of green house gasses into the atmosphere. Conserving energy also helps you cut cost associated with energy consumption.
Ways to conserve energy at home
As governments work on solutions and try to find ways to conserve energy at the national levels, we can start by implementing energy saving measures at our homes with little to no cost. Here are some ways to conserve energy at home.
You can start by remembering the little things, such as being careful not to keep the refrigerator door or the oven open for too long. Switching off lights and electrical appliance (e.g. water heater) when they are not in use is another one of the simple ways to conserve energy at home. This may seem obvious but most people tend to neglect this.
Take advantage of the natural elements in your surrounding. Hang your clothes out in the open for the wind or sun to dry them naturally, instead of using the clothes dryer. The clothes dryer actually uses a lot of energy for its function.
Open your windows to ventilate your house. Keep green plants in your home to help cool the environment. Make use of curtains, blinds or solar reflecting film to help regulate the temperature of your house without the use of electrical appliances.
If these measures don’t help and you need an appliance to help cool down the room, explore an energy efficient fan first before the air-conditioner. The fan uses a lot less electricity as compared to the air conditioner, which is one of the most energy consuming appliance in the house. And ceiling fans can be very effective at cooling down rooms. Give it a try.
If the air conditioner is necessary, use an energy efficient one. In Singapore, you can actually save S$355 a year by replacing your air conditioner from a 1-tick (i.e. low energy efficiency) to a 4-tick (i.e. excellent energy efficiency) model. Remember to clean your air conditioner filter regularly to manage its efficiency.
Another high energy consumption appliance in the home is the refrigerator. Not only does it consume substantial amounts of energy for its functions, it is usually switched on for 24 hours a day. Some of the ways to reduce energy consumption by your refrigerator would be to choose energy efficient models. In Singapore, replacing your 1-tick (i.e. low energy efficiency) refrigerator with a 4-tick (i.e. excellent energy efficiency) model can help you save S$100 a year. Select the smallest energy-efficient refrigerator that meets your family’s needs. A larger model uses more energy.
Keep the back of your refrigerator well-ventilated and allow hot food to cool before keeping them in the refrigerator. One thing you can do now and again would be to test the door seal for your refrigerator. Close the refrigerator door on a thin piece of paper. If the paper does not stay in place, it means that the seal is not working well and needs to be replaced.
Another one of the great ways to conserve energy is by substituting the regular light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs that make a difference in energy consumption. You can save about S$15 per bulb in a year when you replace a 40W incandescent bulb with a 9W compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
Taking a shower instead of a bath also makes a difference, especially if it is a quick shower. An instant water heater uses less energy in heating up your water as compared to a storage water heater. Do remember to switch off your water heaters when no one is bathing.
If your home appliance has broken down and you need to get a new one, do remember to get an energy efficient replacement. They make a big difference to your pocket, and to the world.
Supplementing energy from the grid
Other than finding ways to conserve energy, you can also seek to reduce your reliance on fossil fuel powered energy from the grid by tapping on home-based renewable energy sources.
Try tapping on solar energy power if your house has long hours of exposure to the sun. New solar panels may be expensive, but in the long run, the money you save would make up for it. Alternatively, you can try obtaining cheaper second hand solar panels from places like e-bay. These second hand ones may just work as well as the new ones. Read about how you can set up your own solar panels.
The tips above may sound simple, but they can really make an important difference. Not only will you feel it through smaller energy bills, in the greater scheme of things, they will help you make the world a cleaner place to live in. If everyone does his or her part in adopting ways to conserve energy, our battle against global warming would be half won.
Read about ways to conserve energy while driving.
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