What Do Energy Efficient Homes Have in Common?
Obviously our society can't stop using electricity, give up driving, or stop showering. This would be an impossible and extremely ridiculous to even try. However, what society can do is live in energy-efficient homes, which could help make a significant difference on a larger scale.
You might not realize, but the planet's fossil fuels are getting low. In fact, it's estimated there are just over 115 years left for coal and only a little over 50 for natural gas and oil, according to Our World in Data. So, could you imagine what it could do if everybody decreased their energy usage by half?
Eventually, mainstream efforts will catch up to this problem. But, until then, what can people do to make their homes more energy efficient?
What Energy-Efficient Houses Have in Common
Energy Efficient Lighting
Around 25% of your energy bill is due to lighting, so switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) which are more energy efficient only makes sense. You could save around 8 cents per kilowatt-hour on average or about $45 over the course of the lifespan of the light bulb by making this switch. CBLs generate just as much light as traditional incandescent bulbs, but they use about 8% less energy and last longer.
Energy Efficient Windows
Leaky windows can produce significant energy loss. The most efficient way of solving this issue is by replacing them with newer, energy efficient windows. Things to think about, however, are:
- Find windows that use low e-technology and are double-glazed. Low e-technology is where the widow has a coating that filters the heat of the sun and reduces airflow.
- Ensure you have ENERGY STAR qualified windows, which carry the ENERGY STAR logo. These are proven to be more energy efficient and they could lower your energy bill from between 7% to 15%.
The air conditioner, for many people, will have the best impact when making an energy comparison, particularly in hotter climates like Florida where HVAC systems take up 40% of utility bills, mostly for cooling.
If you must use air conditioning, use units carrying the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR rated products save around 20% to 30% on average.
Even better, consider using an energy efficient whole house fan to cool your home down as much as possible which could save you on your energy costs.
- Energy-Efficient Appliances
Don't forget about your appliances. They should be energy efficient as well. Choose appliances that are ENERGY STAR qualified. If you're building a new house, this is the perfect time to choose appliances that will help you save some money on your water and energy bills and cut your energy consumption back.