Making your home more energy efficient is a worthwhile endeavor for several reasons. First, energy-efficient homes have a relatively small carbon footprint. Second, energy use releases carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere due to how electricity and natural gas are produced and transported.
The less energy you use, the kinder you are to the earth.
Increased energy efficiency also has the potential to save homeowners a great deal of money. Although efficiency measures often cost quite a bit of cash upfront, the savings soon materialize as monthly bills are fractionalized.
Here are six ways to make your beloved house more energy efficient.
It can be hard to make your home more energy-efficient if you don’t know where you can make improvements.
Smart meters monitor the energy usage in your home and let you know exactly how your house is using resources.
This can be a hugely valuable source of information, allowing you to make the changes that most drastically improve the efficiency of your home.
These are usually attached to you’re the energy meters that you already have, where they can keep a better eye on the energy that you use, when you use it and give you a better idea on where you can save money.
Heating and air conditioning can be huge drains on the house budget and seriously increase the carbon footprint you produce. One of the simplest and most effective ways of increasing the efficiency of your home is to insulate it correctly. The less heat you lose through the surfaces of your home, the less energy you will need to keep it warm. Likewise, stopping your house from heating up in the first place will make it less likely to require expensive air conditioning.
Modern insulation materials are remarkably efficient. Blanket insulation is the most widely available home insulation material. It usually comes in rolls and is made of a fabric produced using fiberglass.
Paint can also act as an insulator of sorts. Heat reflects efficiently off of white surfaces. This is the reason why early nuclear bombers were coated with white paint – to protect crews from the immense heat of a nuclear explosion. Keeping a home cool without using air conditioning can save a great deal of energy. White paint has long been used to protect homes from the scorching rays of the sun. In the southern Mediterranean, homes are painted white for this precise reason. Scientists have recently developed innovative new paints that are more efficient than ever at reflecting heat away from buildings.
Not all radiators are the same.
Old radiators have a high water content, which makes them very inefficient and expensive to run. Contemporary radiators sold by companies like Warm Rooms heat up faster, use less water and produce more heat for less money than older systems.
Radiator installation is a tricky business, and shouldn’t be considered a DIY job. Professional radiator installers will ensure that your system is plumbed in as efficiently as possible and reduce the chances of radiators developing leaks, or any other faults that might occur from an inexperienced attempt at an installation.
You might be wondering how a plug could ever be considered ‘smart’. It turns out that the answer lies in connectivity. Smart plugs are connected to your wireless internet. This means that they can be controlled from mobile devices or automated. A user can automate their smart plugs so that, for instance, their lights all turn on when they get home from work.
Efficiency-wise, smart plugs can help prevent unnecessary energy usage. By controlling plugs from a mobile device, you can ensure that lights and devices are not left on when you are away from the house. Turn-off times can also be automated. Can’t see any reason why devices should be powered when nobody is in the house? Simply automate all plugs to cease power transmission during the middle of the day.
Solar energy has been around for a while. The first solar cell was created in the 18th Century. Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921 for his work studying the photoelectric effect – the key process used in the conversion of solar energy to electrical power. An increased awareness of global warming in the 1950’s led to the development of the first practical solar cells at Bell Laboratories in the United States.
Today, solar panels are very efficient. They can be integrated into your home electricity system. Solar panels typically generate Direct Current power, which needs to be converted before integration into an Alternating Current system. If installed and used correctly, solar panels can help to drastically cut down energy bills.
Older appliances are prone to leakage. Washing machines, fridges and radiators can all develop tiny leaks over the course of their later lives. Leaks cause a number of problems that adversely affect the efficiency of a home.
Aside from the obvious water wastage that a leak accelerates, one of the most detrimental effects of a tiny leak is the emergence of mold.
Mold spores can only propagate in humid conditions, which is why houses with lots of small leaks can become overrun with the stuff. In order to prevent mold in a humid house, the heating needs to be left on and the windows left open in order to prevent condensation – which makes the problem worse. Obviously this is incredibly inefficient and completely nullifies any efficiency you have achieved using insulation.
Luckily, this situation can be prevented by stopping leaks as soon as they occur. Smart leak detectors are comprised of sensors attached to your devices, sensors that monitor humidity and a hub that uses home WIFI to alert residents of a leak on their mobile devices. These leak detectors can help you keep your home efficient by preventing the drastic measures needed to get rid of a mold problem once it takes root.
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