Home energy efficiency is essential in today’s eco-conscious world and there is little inside a residential property that does not come into play, toward creating more energy efficient homes. From light bulbs to water heaters, from home appliances to the way a home is insulated, energy savings always start in the home and they always lie in the details. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a home uses 42 per cent of its total energy expenditure on space heating, 18 per cent on water heating, 6 per cent for cooling the home, 5 per cent for lighting and refrigeration (each), while the remaining 24 per cent is spent on other uses. This is why regular home energy audits are important and why they can dramatically improve any home’s energy savings standing.
According to the generally accepted energy efficiency definition, a home is efficient in terms of energy expenditure, when its occupants actively manage and maintain energy consumption levels. The more energy efficient a residence, the more performance and services it manages to deliver, for the less energy consumption. The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) with the U.S. Department of Energy designs, improves, and enforces energy-efficient standards and technologies in several aspects that relate to home building and ownership.
Energy conservation is closely tied in with energy efficiency. It is a concept that stems from physics, as the energy conservation definition illustrates. In terms of the home use of energy, conservation refers to cutting down on the amount of power used, by saving energy, reducing waste, and making sure the energy available is used rationally.
Nowadays, with several programs across the country aimed at improving energy consumption levels in the residential segment, it’s actually not that difficult to create a tailored energy conservation plan for your own home. For instance, best practice recommendations from the University of Colorado state that an occupied house can reach its maximum energy efficiency when its thermostat is set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The same recommendations advise against installing a central A/C system, save for the situation in which the whole house requires cooling down. Other tips include recycling old appliances and having them replaced with newer ones, which observe ENERGY STAR standards. Finally, if you’re thinking of building yourself a home, or of purchasing a new residential construction, you shouldn’t underestimate the potential of sun-tempered homes. By using passive solar energy, a super-insulated home of this type stands to cut down your energy consumption levels by up to 40 per cent.
Here are some other useful tips for homeowners interested in devising a customized energy conservation plan: