Our homes contribute as much to climate change as we do. The way they are built and the features we choose to install can all add up to what is referred to as the home’s carbon footprint.
Currently, energy usage in houses is 82.3 million BTU, the highest household average so far. While consumers and companies have begun to construct more energy efficient and environmentally conscious homes, the task does not end there.
A large part of reducing our carbon footprint centers around reducing the energy our homes use. Heating and cooling appliances are often mentioned for their energy usage. However, with a few tweaks, heaters and fans can become very energy efficient additions, while still improving the comfort of your home.
For those of us looking to reduce our home’s impact on the Earth, here are a few ways you can cut your energy usage in the house.
Start With The Basics
With the right insulation, you can cut the energy used in your home. However, 90 percent of homes are currently under insulated. By using the right materials when insulating the walls, you can ensure that your property will use less energy in heating or cooling. For the windows, double glazing and caulking can help avoid any cracks which allow heat to escape. It also means that any heat or cool air (in the case of a fan or air conditioning unit) is contained in the home for longer, making these devices more effective.
Get The Installation Right
If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and energy usage, a common suggestion is to choose energy efficient appliances such as those labeled with the Energy Star ratings. In addition, you should also get the right sized appliance for your home. Getting a dishwasher too large wastes both water and energy by leaving idle space. Take the time to think of your household needs when contemplating the size of appliance needed for washing dishes.
For ceiling fans, take into account the size of the room they will be installed in. You can also utilize the heat given off by other household appliances such as your dishwasher and oven. In the winter, run your dishwasher in the morning to help to warm up the home. Similarly, when you’re baking, the heat given off by the oven contributes to the heat in the home. Use that opportunity to lower your thermostat. However, be sure to take the recommended precautions against carbon monoxide poisoning.
In addition to opting for the right appliances, it’s also important to ensure that they’re installed and used correctly. This is particularly applicable to ceiling fans. Getting the angle of the blades right will determine the airflow in the room. Ideally, the blades should be angled at 10-12 degrees. Fans with blades angled at less than 12 degrees will not circulate much air and have to work longer to do the job.
Boost Your Cross Ventilation
Ventilation is important for many reasons. Taking steps to maximize your home’s ventilation reduces the work any cooling unit would have to do. Wooden window shutter allows free airflow, while heat reduction window films reduce heat by reflecting it back into the room. Fans can also be more energy efficient than an air conditioning unit when you need extra help to keep cool.
Reducing our impact on the Earth’s resources and the environment is important if we are to ensure our future. One of the ways you can start is by reducing your home’s energy usage. These are just a few small, simple changes that you can make to begin contributing today.
Leave a comment below and let us know how you boost your homes efficiency!