Making Your Home More Energy Efficient to Save Power

American homes require a number of utilities to run, from their plumbing to the electric circuitry to the heating and cooling, and a cooling system in American homes can be energy efficient, or it may waste a lot of power per year. Newer homeowners may not realize it, but their energy bill is greatly affected by the efficiency of their heating and cooling system, and energy waste may rack up a lot of extra cash in the electric bill if the home is poorly insulated. The walls, attic, windows, or doors may leak a lot of warmth or cool air during the course of the year, and this forces the heating and cooling system to work overtime, wasting money and also using up excess electricity. Today, the “going green” initiative calls for reduced electric use across the nation, since most electricity still comes from fossil fuel power plants. Ecofriendly home technology can take a variety of forms, and can offer benefits to the home alongside power savings. Ecofriendly home technology may take the form of a new and more efficient heater or cooling unit, or ecofriendly home technology may be fresh new insulation for the walls to reduce HVAC use. Even solar panels can contribute greatly to ecofriendly home technology in the home.

Energy Waste

An eco-friendly home will not use any more electricity than it needs, and this is a collective effort for a neighborhood, a city, or even a county or region. Why is this? As mentioned above, most of the American power grid is derived from fossil fuel power plants, and ecofriendly home technology like solar panels on the roof, while growing in popularity, power only a minority of homes. This means that collectively across homes and public buildings, excess use of electricity means that a fossil fuel plant is working harder to provide that power, and it is emitting harmful waste into the air the entire time. One home converting to ecofriendly home technology won’t save the planet, but if enough do, and if there is enough awareness and promotion of ecofriendly home technology, a big difference can be made.

A home may be contributing to the problem if its energy is not used efficiently. Nearly half of the electricity used by the typical American home today goes toward the heating and cooling system, so if this utility is overworked, the electric bill will spike, and the home is contributing to excess use of fossil fuels, which goes against the “go green” initiative. In some cases, the heating or cooling unit will simply be dirty, and obstructions will impede air flow and thus force the unit to work overtime to compensate, driving up the electric bill the entire time. The air ducts may have dirt or grime in them or even squirrel nests, and the blower fans deep in the system might be coated with dust, pollen, or other waste that lowers their output. And if a heating and cooling system is simply very old, it does not meet modern power efficiency even if it is in good condition. And wear and tear, such as leaking air ducts, will definitely make the system less efficient.

The home may be an issue, too. Drafty doors or windows allow warm or cool air to escape, and this disrupts the climate control and forces the air conditioner or heater to work overtime, and the same may be true if the walls or attic are not properly insulated. But all of this can be fixed. A homeowner can hire crews to add spray foam insulation to their attic or walls as needed, and window repair companies can send workers to replace the windows with non-drafty models, and the same is true of doors. And once the windows are all set, a homeowner can install screens or blinds to block hot sunlight in summer and drapes to keep warm air in the home during winter. Window treatments can really help. And of course, the HVAC system should be repaired or cleaned out by professionals when the need arises, and a very old system can be replaced with a new one that meets modern energy efficiency standards.