Last Updated on December 26, 2020
Energy loss in homes affects everyone, both at a domestic and international level.
At one end of the scale, there are the world’s carbon reduction policies, with the United States struggling to meet targets and recently leaving the Paris agreement. At the other end, there are residents in homes across the country who, for one reason or another, are losing energy and paying higher prices as a result.
If your home leaks energy or uses it wastefully, then you burn more fuel to replace that loss. You may not even realize it is happening, as you may just turn up the heating when it gets cold without understanding how you could be improving your energy efficiency. You might not even realize the way you live your life is inefficient and that you could be saving yourselves money on utility bills.
If every home in the United States were to look at these five areas and remedy them, it would have a significant impact on household bills as well as our political international standing on climate change.
Energy Loss Through Insulation
One way you may be losing energy without realizing it is a lack of insulation, both in your walls and your roof. Wall insulation is secondary, but it should not be overlooked as beefing up the protection in your walls can prevent a degree of heat loss. Losing energy through your roof space is a serious issue. A post on energy saving tips by HomeServe explains that if you’re living in a house with an uninsulated loft, you could be losing a quarter of your heat, thus wasting a significant amount of energy. This is perhaps the most important aspect of energy loss you should address if you need to. Renovations within the home often do not come cheap, as we discussed in our article 5 Smart Tips for Any Major Home Renovation or Improvement Project, but if you could cut your heating bill by 20%, then installing adequate insulation in the space above your home could pay for itself.
Energy Used In Lighting
Energy loss is not just about where you might be losing heat from your home, but where you might be using excess energy without understanding properly. One such aspect of your home is the lighting. For instance, an LED bulb uses much less energy than an incandescent one, as much as 75% less. If that saving was spread out across your whole home, you would be paying far less for your electricity. Similarly, leaving lights on in rooms you are not using is another area that you are losing energy unnecessarily.
Energy Lost Through Drafts
If you have drafty windows or gaps under doors, that is another serious area to consider rectifying. As cold air comes into your home, it forces warm air out elsewhere and as a consequence, you turn up the dial to replace that lost heat. Drafts can come from a number of sources, such as windows and doors. You could replace windows with better quality ones, but a temporary fix, at least through the winter, is thick drapes and draft excluders for doors.
Energy Loss From Your Refrigerator
Every time you linger too long at the refrigerator, you are costing yourself money. Why? Because an open refrigerator door allows warm air in. This condenses on the back of your appliance, as discussed by SF Gate, and when you close the door it turns to ice. Therefore, over time, you can get an icy fridge. The more ice that accumulates on the back of the fridge, the more energy it must use to keep your food cold. That is lost energy, a higher bill you could do something positive about. It is also a good idea to keep your refrigerator as full as possible, as an empty one works harder, thus using more energy, to keep food cold.
Energy Lost With Electric Appliances
Electric appliances in general are a major source of energy loss. Leaving items on standby might not seem like a big deal, but it accounts for energy that you would not be using if you simply switched them off. Also, look for energy-efficient appliances over older, less environment-friendly ones. Most appliances these days have an energy rating so you can judge how efficient they are for yourself.
Also, when doing laundry, make sure your machine is as full as possible because a near-empty machine is another example of hidden energy loss – it uses the same energy as a full machine but does less work, which is a net loss you could easily avoid.
Article prepared by Nadia Marshall
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