It is difficult to imagine spending an entire day without using energy. In a home where electricity supplies all of the energy requirements, the average energy consumption is shown below:
Air conditioner and heater = 50%
Water heater = 20%
Lighting and small appliances = 10%
Refrigerator = 8%
Other = 5%
Ovens and stoves = 4%
Clothes dryer = 3%
Most Effective Energy Conservation Actions– The two most important first steps, which can cut your energy use by half include:
Air Sealing: You can make a lot of progress toward improving the energy efficiency in your home by simply plugging the many places through which air can get in or get out. Plugging your home is called “air sealing,” and it is one of the most important first steps to take when weatherizing your house to increase its energy efficiency.
Insulation: Increasing the amount of insulation in various places in your home should be a high priority. Insulation, in its many forms, helps stop the transfer of heat from one place to another. A good example of this is the insulation in your attic. A thick layer of insulation helps stop heat flow from the house to the attic during the winter. In the summer, that same insulation helps stop heat transfer from the hot attic to the rooms below.
There are many other things you can do that will also save you energy and money at home:
Changing What You Use
* Walk, ride a bicycle, or use mass transit instead of driving; automobile emissions account for about 60 percent of air pollution in our cities.
* Install compact fluorescent light bulbs that use less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
* Air-dry your clothes on a laundry line instead of using a clothes dryer.
* Install a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature when you are in bed or away.
* Buy energy-efficient appliances. There are standard energy use tags attached to most new appliances that can help you determine which appliance will be the most efficient. These appliances may be more costly, but your utility bill savings will quickly make up for the extra cost.
Changing What You Do
* Set the thermostat to 68 °F in winter when you’re home and down to 55° F when you go to bed or are away (programmable thermostats can do this automatically).
* Insulate the ceiling, walls, and floor of your home.
* Plant a tree next to a window for shade to reduce the need for air conditioning.
* Recycle items such as newspaper, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles; recycling these items requires less energy than producing them from brand new, raw materials.
* Wash clothes in cold water and only in full loads.
* Use energy-saving settings on washing machines, dishwashers, and clothes dryers.
Improving Your Housekeeping
* Turn down the water heater thermostat to 120° F.
* Turn off lights when leaving a room.
* Close heating vents and close doors to unused rooms.
* Close drapes and windows during sunny summer days and after sunset in cooler weather.
* Stop air leaks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping. Air leaks can rob your house of heat in the winter or make it too humid in the summer. As much as 40 percent of your heating and cooling costs can be due to air leaks.
* Clean or change air filters on your air heating system in the winter and on air conditioning units in the summer so that they work more efficiently.
Educating Yourself and Others
* Share knowledge and ideas with family, friends, and neighbors.