The pandemic has caused an incredible shift across the world. Schools have closed. International travel is almost nonexistent. Companies have allowed their employees to work from home. As a result, people are staying at home more than ever.
To cope with boredom, people have turned to baking, playing video games, and watching TV shows. The downside is that this increase in usage leads to expensive energy bills. On the bright side, there are ways to maximize your electricity efficiency. While you may need professional electrical services for some projects, the results are worth it.
Here are 5 ways you can improve your house’s energy efficiency:
Smarten up Your Home
It may seem counterintuitive because smart devices have a lot more features than their “dumb” counterparts. But they can actually reduce your electricity usage and lower your bills. They just won’t make your life more convenient. They can also make your energy use much more efficient. Some devices have sensors, so they’ll turn off automatically when you’re in the room. Other models have features that allow them to memorize your routine over time. So, even if you forgot to switch them off, you don’t have to go back home to fix the problem.
When it comes to installing smart home systems, the common deterrent is the hefty price tag. It can cost around a thousand dollars to automate a home. This means automatic switches, state-of-the-art security systems, and installation fees. But because smart devices have gained popularity in recent years, they’ve become more affordable. If you’re not ready to commit to a pricey automated home, you can start with smart devices and appliances.
A good place to start is with smart lights. They may cost more than regular, incandescent lights, but they’re great investments. They’ll last longer and use less electricity. When you’re shopping for lights, you must consider a few factors. First, they should be compatible with your current devices. For example, if you have an iPhone, it’s best that you get lights that can be controlled by Siri. Next, you should also buy the same models. This means that they can be grouped together and controlled with a single tap.
Replace Old Appliances
Besides the price, another deterrent to getting smart devices is the loss of privacy. To work better and understand your routine, gadgets collect your data. The problem is that the gathered information can always be stolen or abused. Some people would rather stick to “dumb” appliances than risk having their data leaked. The good news is that you can still have an energy-efficient home without smart gadgets. All you need are Energy Star certified products.
When an appliance has earned the Energy Star label, it means that it has passed the EPA’s strict standards on energy efficiency. In fact, using these products can lower your electricity bill by almost $600 per year. Plus, it can also cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5,500 pounds. You may think that you’re saving money by using old appliances. But replacing them may be better investments for the long run.
Insulate for the Entire Year
At home, you might think that your fridge or your TV is the one driving your energy bills. But figures show that it’s probably your heater and air conditioner. According to the EIA, cooling and heating take up more than 30% of households’ energy consumption. If you want to maximize your house’s energy efficiency, it’s the best area to focus on. You can do this with proper insulation.
To start, you should focus on the outermost walls of your home. This includes everything, from the attic to the basement. Then, you can decide on the type of insulation you want to install. The good news is that you have the choice of doing it yourself or hiring a professional to do it for you.
Reduce Your Usage
Besides replacing new appliances and insulation, there’s another way to improve energy efficiency. You should develop good habits regarding your electric appliances. For example, if you tend to fall asleep in front of your TV, you can set a sleep timer so it won’t be on the entire night. You should also clean or change your HVAC filter regularly. Water heaters take up a lot of electricity. You can use a timer so everyone in the house can take less time in the bathtub or the shower. You should also avoid setting the water to hotter than 112 degrees. It won’t only consume a lot of energy but can also irritate your skin.
Electricity bills cost over a hundred dollars a month. As people spend more time at home, it’s only expected to get higher. With the right appliances and precautions, you can lower your bills without sacrificing your comfort.