Are you building an energy-efficient home, and hoping it will save you money in the long run? You might be wasting money without realizing it.
Habits and style preferences play a substantial role in your energy bill, but you may not be aware of this. To be honest, most people develop energy-sucking habits they pursue every day, without noticing they’ve done so, and certain style preferences also are at odds with energy efficiency.
Single-paned glass looks good but is inefficient
Despite its retro look, single-paned glass makes picture windows less efficient. If you choose to keep those windows, no matter how good they look, it will cost you. Whether you run the air conditioner or heater, a picture window allows air to escape, which keeps your HVAC unit running longer than it should.
Double-paned windows are superior, but they’re not perfect. In fact, a deteriorating double-paned window can be almost as bad as a single-paned one.
All windows need to be resealed periodically, but you can only reseal a window so many times before it stops paying off … and sometimes the seal isn’t the problem.
At the factory, double-paned windows are treated with a low emissivity coating that reflects heat away. Argon gas is pumped between the panes for additional insulation.
When these treatments fail, the window will collect moisture in the middle and lose its original insulation capabilities. That’s when it’s time for you to replace it.
Leaving appliances plugged in sucks energy
Did you know that keeping certain appliances plugged in also lessens your ability to save energy? Appliances that are plugged into an electrical socket continue to drain electricity you have to pay for.
As long as there’s any current, the meter is running. Plugging something in creates a live current, even when the appliance isn’t in use.
A local Michigan news station quoted a power meter supervisor who said plugged-in devices that are not being used can cost some homeowners a full month’s power bill in the course of a year. Even the U.S. Department of Energy says 75% of the energy that goes through appliances is consumed while the device is turned off.
Most people leave their appliances constantly plugged in because it’s convenient. That’s a habit you might want to consider changing if you hope to run a truly eco-friendly home.
Common appliances that many people leave plugged in constantly include:
- Air filters
- Computers and monitors
- Video game consoles
- Washers and dryers
- Refrigerators and freezers
- Coffee grinders and brewers
- Routers and modems
- Phone chargers
The larger your home is, the more appliances you’re likely to have on the premises, sucking power 24 hours a day, including the hours when you’re asleep. To avoid paying for electricity you don’t actually use, you should unplug your appliances whenever you’re not actually using them.
Power strips are an alternative to unplugging
If unplugging the toaster every morning after breakfast doesn’t sound appealing, you probably won’t want to unplug everything else in your house when you’re not using it, either. So get a power strip that has a surge protector and turn it on and off with a switch. A power strip in the off position will prevent appliances from draining energy out of the wall.
Statistics indicate that 35% of residential energy consumption is wasted energy. When you look at the average cost per year to run the top ten appliances, it’s easy to see how your power bill can get so high.
If you look at the top ten “vampire” appliances, it becomes clear that they’re one of the primary causes of high energy bills. Cable boxes, laptop computers, printers, DVDs, a central furnace, routers, and all such devices pull a significant amount of energy even when they’re turned off.
These are the devices that should be placed on a power strip. Obviously, you need to keep certain appliances plugged in at all times, such as your refrigerator, freezer, and oven, but reducing the total number of gadgets that get left plugged in will help.
A television set is never really off when it’s plugged in
There are plenty of reasons to hang onto your old CRT television. Playing Super Mario Brothers’ Duck Hunt is possibly one.
But the main reason people keep older televisions around is that the newer flat-screen TVs aren’t as responsive. Newer TVs also use more energy. A 42-inch plasma TV can use more energy than a full-size refrigerator, even when it’s used only a few hours per day.
On a budget? Start small
There are plenty of ways to make a home more eco-friendly. You don’t have to go directly to installing solar panels, or bury a geothermal coil in your backyard. As with most things in life, little changes can make a surprisingly satisfying difference.
Article Submitted By Community Writer