Making the natural environment and technological development work together has been one of the greatest challenges of the modern societies. The impending risk of inability to provide sustainable development on the necessary scale, and constant environmental changes have prompted both governing bodies and individual homeowners to reduce their impact by adhering to more energy-efficient and sustainable practices. When it comes to homes, increasing energy efficiency goes much more beyond optimizing the building itself. Here are the six most effective ways.
Insulate cavity walls and attic
Although the largest portion of newly built homes are built in accordance to codes that stress the importance of low-energy dissipation, the majority of homes standing today were built with non-existing or inadequate insulation. Cavity walls are a major channel of energy loss in every home, as they allow heat to escape directly through the wall, into the attic space and out of the house. There are many ways of insulating these cavities, as well as the attic. Spray foam insulation is ideal for complete structures, as it requires minimal disturbance to the existing features.
Upgrade to storm doors and windows
While no one argues that nicely painted wooden door is an absolute centrepiece of your home’s curb appeal, such an option is not the best choice in every climate. When exposed to extreme heat and cold, wooden doors expand and contract, allowing for conditioned air to escape through the warps. This is why many new homes are fitted with fibreglass storm doors, which ensure a perfect energy seal any time of the year. In the same way, energy efficient double- or triple-glazed windows are designed to keep the interior temperature of the house stable, without increasing the heating- or cooling-related emissions.
Change your lighting game
While energy-guzzling incandescent bulbs have already been phased out in many parts of the developed world, even their successor, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are coming under the environmentalists’ scrutiny due to their mercury content and unnatural high-frequency operation. On the other hand, LED bulbs can last up to 15 times more and provide up to 70% in energy savings. They come in many ‘colours’ of white ranging from polar white to warm yellow, and due to widespread use, their price is becoming lower every day.
Go for Energy Star appliances
Even if your old fridge or range is doing fine, they are secretly working behind your back, skimming of the top, as Tony Soprano says. Older generations of kitchen appliances are simply less effective, and while they do what they’re made to do, they consume much more electricity than the new lines. If you want to re-equip the entire kitchen or fit a matching set, check out these elegant Bertazzoni appliance packages. In a best Italian tradition, these dishwashers, refrigerators, and ranges marry beautiful design to functionality, while integrating with each other seamlessly. Under the hood, they are packed with energy saving features such as LED lighting, induction plates, and low overall consumption.
Cut wasting the water
No less than 25% of the water supplies to an average American household is used for showering. If we know that a standard showerhead uses from 15 to 20 litres of water per minute, by installing a low-flow showerhead, you’ll be able to cut that amount back to 5 to 7 litres. On a macro scale, a $10 shower-head with an aerator can save a family of your 1300 litres of water each week. Now multiply that with 52 weeks in a year! Apart from the water that is used more sustainably, low-flow bathroom fixtures also reduce the amount of energy needed to power the water heater.
Insulate the pipes
While today water pipes are insulated immediately before they are installed, back in the day when most of the homes were built, it wasn’t always the case. The energy.gov data shows that one quarter of an energy bill in an average household is accounted for water heating. By insulating the pipes leading out of your water heater you’ll be able to keep the water temperature longer, which combined with a programmable thermostat makes your home’s energy footprint much smaller. In the same way, you can easily insulate an old water heater by wrapping it with a foil insulation blanket.
While the list doesn’t end here, these techniques are the most reliable, taking effect immediately. Once you begin to implement them, you’ll quickly realise that doing the planet a service and saving money don’t always go separate ways.Follow us on social media