The ever-increasing demand for energy is adding to the stress on the finite energy reserves of our planet. This is leading to the rapid depletion of these resources, which makes one ponder over a grave issue – if this continues, what will our future look like? The picture doesn’t necessarily have to be gloomy. Although it is true, we cannot reverse the damage that’s already been done, but we sure can take a stand to improve things.
You can save energy either by making small adjustments to your everyday habits or by making extensive improvements in the structure and interior of your house. In the process, you will not only save a lot of money, but you will also be protecting the environment in a significant way. Let us look at ten practical ways to conserve energy.
1. Make small changes in your everyday habits
Yes, by making little changes in your everyday household habits, you can help in saving a lot of energy. For instance, unplugging your chargers after use, switching off fans/lights and other appliances when not in use, air-drying your dishes and clothes, etc. These changes go a long way in reducing the overall energy consumption.
2. Welcome energy efficient appliances in your home
You might be very fond of that vintage fan in your drawing room that’s been with you for ages. But do know that it is one of the primary contributors to your rising electricity costs? The same goes for incandescent light bulbs. These are energy hoggers. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs such as CFLs and LEDs. Today, there are energy efficient variants of almost every household appliance such as fans, coolers, ACs, refrigerators, TVs, to name a few. These appliances consume very less energy compared to their conventional counterparts, thus, save a lot of energy.
3. Opt for energy efficient windows
What most of us don’t know is that windows are one of the major sources of energy loss and can amount to about 10-25% of your heating costs. You can minimize heat loss during winters by installing double pane windows. Also, caulking and weather stripping around windows, doors, and vents greatly helps in preventing heat loss, thus, keeping your home warm.
4. Consider upgrading your HVAC system
An HVAC system is comprised of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Replacing the old HVAC system with energy efficient models can reduce the total energy consumption of your HVAC system and lower your utility bills significantly. Purchasing Energy Star certified HVAC equipment is the best option.
5. Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats can be set to turn off automatically and even to lower the heating/cooling when you are asleep. These features help minimize energy wastage without you having to compromise on your comfort. Estimates suggest that a programmable thermostat can help you save around 11,000 INR annually!
6. Minimize your water heating costs
Water heating costs form a large part of the total utility bill. To combat this, first, choose an energy efficient water heater. Apart from this, setting the thermostat of the water heater at a lower temperature and insulating the water heater and also the hot and cold water pipes will minimize heat loss and help you save a lot of money. You could do this by wrapping insulating blankets around the water heater which would reduce heat loss by 25-45%.
7. Reduce your showering time
Adopt the habit of taking shorter showers. A standard shower head ejects around 2.5 gallons of water/minute on an average. Thus, by reducing your shower time, you are not only helping conserve water but also reducing the costs of running your pumps very often.
8. Use kitchen appliances wisely and efficiently
Heating up leftovers in microwave uses less energy compared to doing so in conventional electric ovens. When cooking on a stove, make sure you close the lids of the cooking pots. This reduces the cooking time of the food. Use your dishwasher only when you have to wash a full load of dishes. Try air-drying your dishes. If you wash the dishes at night and keep them out to dry in the open, you’ll wake up to dry dishes in the morning, without having consumed any energy!
9. Wash clothes in cold water
Washing a full load of clothes once or twice a week ensures that your washing machine works to its optimum potential. Using cold water to wash clothes helps you cut down on water heating costs.
10. Plant lots, and lots of trees
Planting trees around your house provide shade and hence, keeps the interiors of the house cool during summers. So, you don’t need to turn on the AC every time, and even if you do, you can maintain it a lower temperature. This will reduce your cooling costs to a great extent.
By adopting these simple changes in your daily lifestyle, you can help to conserve energy. If each individual did his/her part to save energy, just imagine how much of energy the world could save annually!
Remember, change starts from you, so start now!