Today, we’re going to get away from a collection of techniques and get down to the most effective techniques you can use to save energy.
There’s three areas that use the most energy in your home, according to Energy.gov:
- Space heating
- Water heating
Together, these three functions account for nearly 75% of your home’s energy use. So rather than spend your time adding gaskets to electrical outlets and getting little energy savings from it, focus on these instead.
Let’s get to it:
- Space Heating
If you can avoid using a space heater at all, do it. They consume an amazing amount of energy for the heat they produce.
They work for an emergency situation where you need heat for a few days or hours. But that’s the only situation where you should consider using them.
If you insist on using one, make sure you get the right kind. A radiant heater uses infrared radiation to heat up whatever’s closest to the unit. It won’t heat a whole room. But it could heat a desk, bed, or recliner.
The best long-term solution is insulation. Make sure your walls and attic are properly insulated. It’s common even for brand new homes in Texas to not have the appropriate amount of insulation. You can also do small things like making sure your doors have weatherstripping and your windows are covered in plastic to keep heat in.
In the winter, make sure your ceiling fan blows up at a slow speed. This bounces the heat off the ceiling and back at you and throughout your home.
The easiest thing to do here is to run your AC less often. And you might also consider turning your temperature higher a degree or two. Run your ceiling fans – they cost about a penny per hour to run. And they make you feel 3 to 8 degrees cooler. So you can turn up your thermostat to compensate for that, and save energy and money as a result.
Your ceiling fan should be blowing down to help you feel cooler.
Another great idea is to use a bed fan. You can get bed fans that blow under your sheets and keep your body cool. Meanwhile, you can turn off the AC entirely because you’ll feel cool enough.
- Water Heating
Easy one here. Get a solar water heater. Yeah, it costs $5000 up front. But it pays for itself in 7 years. Get a loan if you can’t afford the cash price. After that, your hot water will basically be free.
Not planning on staying in your home? No worries. Any solar system improves your home’s resale value.
Otherwise, use a gas water heater if possible, wrap it in a blanket, and use as little hot water as possible in the first place.
That’s how you reduce the wasted energy and money caused by these three big energy drains.