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Energy Saving Ideas for Your Home

December 05, 2019

With the rise of power costs, homeowners are striving to conserve energy and cut down the cost of electricity. Energy saving is also important because there is a direct relationship between your energy use and the environment. By consuming less energy or using environmentally friendly energy sources, it is possible to reduce the toxic fumes released by power plants. Therefore, the two main motives for energy saving is environmental conservation and saving on utility bills. Sun Solar Electric enhances energy saving for homes and commercial establishments by offering solar energy solutions. We offer solar power installation and services throughout Northern California and the Bay area.

There are many ways of reducing your household's energy use. Energy-saving methods may range from home improvements to behavioral adjustments. Many people do not understand how easy it is to make their homes run on less energy. By making a few adjustments, you can drastically reduce your heating, cooling, and electricity costs, for instance. Some of the leading energy-saving ideas for your home are discussed below.

Installing Solar Panels

By installing solar panels, you can harness energy directly from the sun and convert the energy into electricity. There is no better alternative to replace fossil fuel than solar energy. Solar energy provides an infinite source of energy, and it is renewable at no cost. Upon converting your power source to solar energy, you can significantly cut down your electricity bill. You can also save on utility expenses by converting as many home appliances as possible to solar energy. Upon installing a solar power system, it can last for twenty or thirty years without calling for significant maintenance. With solar energy, you incur minimum maintenance cost.

Going solar is one of the most effective ways of decreasing your carbon footprint and helping to conserve the environment. Solar energy helps to reduce greenhouse emissions. The electricity that solar panels produce has zero emissions. World pollution is getting worse every day. The use of solar energy is a great effort that can maintain global temperatures at a safe level and help keep the planet healthy.

Especially if you live in a sunny area, you may produce more solar energy than you need. It is possible to store the excess solar energy that enables your home to run entirely on solar power. Solar systems with storage systems have become the norm. Many households aim at maximizing the consumption of solar energy in their homes and increasing their energy independence. 

Adjust your Day-to-Day Behaviors

You can achieve considerable energy savings by changing your day-to-day behaviors around your home. For instance, you can save energy by turning off the lights and other appliances whenever you are not using them. Your electrical devices could be consuming large amounts of power even when you are not using them. For instance, keeping your television on standby mode to avoid getting up to switch it on later could accumulate unexpected energy bills. A recent study revealed that for most households, more than 10 percent of energy cost comes from the phantom load. Most people do not realize how much energy they waste due to unmonitored behavior. 

You can change this trend by unplugging appliances when you are not using them. Ensure that your television, cable boxes, video game consoles, and other appliances are off whenever you are not actively using them. It is important to note that a charger for cell phones and other wireless devices also uses up energy when it is not charging. It is advisable to plug items you regularly use into a power strip to help you switch them all off at once.  You may also program devices like computers to go to sleep or "hibernate" mode after a period of inactivity.  This mode uses less power than when the device is on and active. 

Use Energy Efficient Lighting

Studies reveal that for most households, around 11% of the total energy cost results from lighting. For instance, traditional incandescent convert approximately 10% of the energy they use for light and convert the rest of the power into heat. You can use new, more energy-efficient lighting technologies. Fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and Light-emitting diodes (LED) can reduce your energy use by 50% to 75%.

An LED bulb may cost as little as $5 at a home improvement store. However, the bulb may save you more than $100 over its lifetime. An LED bulb uses 85% less energy to deliver the same light quality as an incandescent bulb. LED bulbs come in different colors, shapes, and intensities. LED bulbs can work with dimmer switches and reach full brightness instantly.

Fluorescent lamps (CFLs) may cost higher than incandescent bulbs. However, the CFLs may last for over seven years. The CFLs last about ten times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. CFLs use 75% less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs. Therefore, CFLs will offer you significant energy savings. LEDs last even longer than CFLs and provide better energy savings. Unlike CFLs, LED bulbs do not contain mercury and have no moving parts. 

Insulate your Home and Seal the Openings

One of the most cost-effective ways of keeping your home energy-efficient and comfortable is b sealing and insulating it.  A sealed home not only improves indoor air quality but also reduces utility bills. You can seek the services of an energy auditor to assess your home for energy leakage and recommend fixes that will help to enhance your energy savings. 

Energy leakage may take place in a wide range of areas. For instance, leakage may occur on electrical outlets and receptacles. Leakage may also occur around pipes and wires, attic hatches, window frames, fireplace dampers, and switch plates among other areas. 

Air leaks may also occur in the attic. By performing a variety of repairs and maintenance to the attic, homeowners save on heating and cooling costs. Attic repairs may entail sealing locations where the leakage is most likely to occur. The repair may involve sealing areas where walls meet the attic floor and areas under and behind attic knee walls. Attic repair may also include improving areas with darkened insulation. You may use weather stripping to seal up the attic access panel.

You can also save energy by insulating your doors and windows. More than 1/3 of a home's heat loss takes place through doors and windows. The simplest options include sealing window cracks and edges with rope caulk. Another option includes installing storm windows if your home has only a single pane. Consider repairing and replacing your existing windows if they have damaged or rotten wood. 

Install a Smart or a Programmable Thermostat

With a programmable thermostat, it is possible to reduce or turn-off heating and cooling while you are away or sleeping.  You do not have to replace your HVAC system or to sacrifice any comfort. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can successfully eliminate wasteful energy use from heating and cooling. Experts reveal that installing a smart thermostat may save you around $180 in energy costs every year. There is a wide range of programmable thermostats that homeowners can use. A smart thermostat may come with additional benefits like indicators, which warn you of HVAC system problems. Indicators may also alert you on when to replace your air filters.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), you should set your air conditioner to 78 degrees and your furnace to 68 degrees.  These settings help keep your home comfortable and reduce your energy costs and decrease the demand on the energy grid.  A programmable thermostat will help make your home cooler or hotter even when you are not at home. This setting helps to reduce the temperature difference between the interior and the exterior of your house. This way, you significantly reduce energy loss. You can manually adjust your heating and cooling system if you do not have a smart thermostat.

Buy Energy Efficient Appliances

Studies reveal that on average, home appliances contribute to 13% of your total household energy use.  When you are buying a home appliance, you should not just concentrate on the purchase price of the appliance. Instead, you should also focus on the operating cost of the appliance, including the amount of energy the appliance consumes.  An energy-efficient appliance may have a high initial cost. However, the operating costs for energy-efficient appliances maybe 9-25% lower than traditional appliances.

Whenever you are purchasing a home appliance, you should look out for the Energy Star label. The label is a federal guarantee that an appliance is energy efficient and will consume a minimum amount of energy. It implies that during use, and when the appliance is on standby, it will consume less energy than non-energy efficient appliances. Energy savings differ depending on the type of appliance. For instance, an energy-efficient washer may save 25% energy and 45% water. On the other hand, an energy-efficient refrigerator may only save 9% of energy. 

Avoid Using More Energy than You Need

You can save energy by avoiding using more energy than you need. For instance, avoid running the dishwasher when it is not full. Ensure that you set your washing machine to the appropriate water level. If it is possible, you may wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot. You may set your refrigerator temperature to appropriate levels. For instance, you may set the refrigerator between 28 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit. You may also set your freezer between 0 and 5 and ensure that both the freezer and refrigerator are well sealed. 

You may also consider installing daylighting as an alternative to electrical lighting.  This action entails using natural light to illuminate the interior of your home. You can achieve this by using skylights, light shelves, clerestory windows, and light tubes. 

You do not have to give up your drier for good. However, occasionally, you may consider drying your clothes on a rack or clothesline.  Your clothes will not only smell like the great outdoors, but you will also save a significant energy bill. 

Upgrade Your HVAC System

An HVAC system plays a major role in enhancing the comfort of your home. It consists of heating, cooling, and air conditioning systems. The heating component is the main consumer of energy and accounts for more than 40% of a home's energy bill. Different HVAC systems are suitable for different regions in the United States. For instance, an ideal HVAC system for Northern U.S may not be suitable in the Southern parts of the United States. Ensure that you use the right system for your region. 

The air conditioning component does not consume very high energy as it accounts for 6% of the total energy cost. However, an AC system with an Energy Star rating is 8% more efficient than conventional models. 

Upgrading the ventilation component of your HVAC system helps save energy. A ventilation system consists of ducts, which are responsible for distributing hot and cold air throughout your home. Energy loss may result from poor sealing and insulation of the ducts.  You can reduce your heating and cooling costs by 20% by properly sealing and maintaining your ventilation system. 

Reduce Your Water Heating Expenses

A huge portion of domestic energy consumption results from water heating. Other than investing in an energy-efficient water heating system, you can use other methods to save on water heating energy. For instance, you can insulate your water heater and the first feet of your hot and cold water pipes. You may also consider using alternative heating like solar energy. With solar heating, you can enjoy hot water whenever you need it while using the sun as a natural source of energy. 

Proper Use of Ceiling Fans

If your home has ceiling fans, ensure that you use them properly. According to Energy Star, you should correctly set ceiling fans to spin counterclockwise in the summer season. This helps to pull up hot air to the ceiling and away from the living space. You should reverse the settings during the winter season to allow the fans to blow hot air down. Properly using ceiling fan helps conserve energy.  

Get Solar Power Installation Near Me

Saving energy helps conserve valuable resources and helps save money. You can make energy conservation in your home a habit. Saving energy will have a positive impact not only on the environment but also on your finances. One of the most effective energy-saving ideas for your home is adopting solar energy that relies on the sun, which is a natural source of energy. You can rely on the Sun Solar Electric if you wish to install solar panels in your home. Get in touch with us at 707-658-2157. We serve the entire Northern California and the Bay area.

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