The environment represents a massive source of concern for individuals around the world in the modern day. In activities that have been a long time coming, everyone from governments to corporations is focusing on reducing their energy use and reducing their carbon footprint. Even those with no specific interest in the environment itself can benefit from a reduction in their energy consumption, simply because gas and electric bills can always benefit from becoming cheaper. Whichever approach appeals to you most, the following 10 tips are quick, easy and suitable for anyone to implement.
1. Block Out the Elements
Heating and cooling, depending on where you live, can represent the most expensive form of energy consumption. Insulation has reached a point where there is no excuse for letting in excess heat or cold and having to compensate through increased energy consumption, and so our first tip is simply to ensure that your home is protected from the elements. This could involve checking that doors and windows are correctly sealed, or simply eliminating the source of draughts in the home by blocking up any gaps.
2. Fill Up your Appliances
When using a dishwasher or washing machine, the chances are that the appliance in question will go through the same cycle regardless of how full it is at the time. That means that if the appliance is only half full, you are immediately paying twice as much for the same result. Exercising patience and ensuring that you only hit the ‘on’ switch when the appliance is at capacity can have an immediate impact on reducing energy consumption and the associated costs.
3. Turn the Heating Down
Turning the heating down in cooler weather will have a much bigger impact on the size of your energy bills than what you feel in the home. It also represents a potentially progressive reduction in consumption, as the body is conditioned to adapt to cooler temperatures over time – once you feel comfortable with slightly less heat, it can be time to turn it down once again for even bigger savings.
4. Standby is not Off
When an electrical item is in standby, it is unusable and therefore it may as well be off. However, the difference is that when it is in standby mode, it continues to use power. The reasons vary, but the outcome is the same, and anyone seeking to truly reduce their energy consumption and the associated expenditure is advised to switch their appliances off completely rather than leaving them in a resting state.
5. Change your Bulbs
Lighting technology has come a long way in recent years, to the point that an entire home lighting system can be fully controlled from a single app. Those smart bulbs are generally an excellent addition to the home, and not just for convenience. The most modern bulbs have been designed to consume as little energy as possible. Even in instances where the expense of smart bulbs is not justified, every style of lightbulb can now be found in an energy-saving format and the savings are slow but genuine.
6. Close the Curtains
When it starts to get dark, most people close the curtains and blinds for the sake of privacy. However, doing so without delay can also have a genuine impact on your energy consumption levels. Even the best-insulated windows around can allow some heat and energy escape in the home, but curtains and blinds can provide an additional layer of insulation to reduce home heating expenses significantly.
7. Get a Grant
As noted in the introduction, it is not just individuals that are concerned with reducing energy consumption, and many cities and countries have seen their governments taking an interest in tackling the issue. In order to ensure that this article remains current, we will not mention any specific grants or drives, but the chances are that there will be something local that can improve energy performance. This could be cost assistance with the installation of solar panels or anything else to promote renewable energy. Even in cases where the homeowner must contribute something, these grants and initiatives can often be highly cost-effective in the long term.
8. Encourage the Family
We are not seeking to convert any of our readers into environmental activists but reducing energy consumption is the responsibility of everyone in the home. While an individual can make a difference, an entire family taking care of their consumption can make an exponential difference. Encouraging all members of the family to turn off electrical items when not in use or to turn the heating down ensures that the efforts of one are boosted rather than undercut.
9. Water Counts Too
While not energy in the context of this feature, water should be considered alongside electricity and gas, primarily due to its interactions with both. A longstanding energy saving ideology involves taking showers rather than baths, but this extends throughout the home. When boiling a kettle, only use as much water as is required at the time as it will reach the boiling point at which the kettle shuts off much quicker, thereby using far less energy. In practice, anything that involves heating water should be considered for real reductions in energy consumption.
10. Consider Insulation Projects
The less heat and light escapes the home, the lower the likelihood of it needing to be replaced. Lofts, walls, floors and even pipes can be heavily insulated to ensure that they are operating optimally, and while this tip is not as quick, easy or cheap as the others, it can substantially improve the impact of using any of the other opportunities outlined above.