Top Energy-Wasting Areas in Your Home

Energy Wasting Areas at Home
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Despite numerous calls for alternative energy sources, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that 63% of the energy we consume still comes from non-renewable resources like coal, gas, and petroleum. This means that we have to try to reduce our energy consumption to help save the earth. Moreover, energy doesn’t come cheap. So to reduce your monthly bills, you should conserve energy any way you can.

That being said, our households consume a lot of energy. From TVs and refrigerators, to phone chargers, all of these contribute to your monthly energy consumption. However, some areas consume more energy than others without you realizing it. In this post, we’ll reveal the areas in your house that waste a ton of energy and how you can put a stop to it.

We all have to live in the new reality, but there are ways that you can save money on your energy bills, even in the middle of a crisis.

Lighting fixtures

While it’s nice to have a well-lit house, unnecessarily leaving your lights on is a waste of energy. What’s worse, is that most lighting fixtures use multiple bulbs instead of just one. If your lighting fixtures use 10 light bulbs that’ll cost you about 6 cents an hour. While that may initially seem like a minuscule amount, this one light fixture might cost you approximately $10 a month if you leave it on for a minimum of 6 hours a day.

The best thing you can do to save energy wasted on lighting fixtures is to transition to energy-saving LED bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs use a ton of energy and don’t last a long time. Moreover, they can get hot, which could become a problem during hot summers while wasting the energy used on your cooling system. And even though LED bulbs have a higher upfront cost, CNET highlights that they can save you more cash in the long run since they have an average life of 25,000 hours. Compared to incandescent bulbs that have less than 1,000 hours of life, LED bulbs are the far superior lighting option.

Drafts and air leaks

Here’s the thing: Even if you have a really smart and efficient HVAC and a thermostat system like Nest or Honeywell, it won’t do its job effectively if your home has drafts and air leaks. HomeServe highlights how heat can get out through cracks and gaps in your home, which can also let the cold in, and vice versa — making your home’s HVAC systems work harder over time. If left unchecked, drafts and air leaks may render your HVAC systems inefficient and unnecessarily add to your monthly energy bill.

The good news is fixing the issue is relatively straightforward and inexpensive. Start by detecting air leaks inside your house. You can use a thermal leak detector to read the surfaces of your walls, floorboards, and doors. If the reading is colder than the temperature displayed on your thermostat, you have an air leak. For cracks on the walls, you can use spray foam to fill it and seal the warm air inside. But if the problem is bigger than what you’ve anticipated, don’t be afraid to hire a contractor to fix air drafts inside your house. By doing this, it can let your HVAC system run smoothly ⁠— helping you cut down on energy wastage.

Washer and dryer

It’s understandable that the typical washer and dryer consume a lot of energy ⁠— they’re huge machines after all. However, you can easily tweak your washer and dryer settings to make sure that they don’t eat up too much electricity. For one, try washing and drying your clothes as quickly as you can. The quick wash setting might not be as intensive as a full wash, but it can clean your clothes just as well, given that they don’t have stains. Additionally, you should never overload your dryer as this might obstruct the airflow inside the machine, and you might have to do more loads in order for your clothes to fully dry.

But, the worst culprit when it comes to energy consumption in the laundry room is the in-washer heating system. In fact, Cold Water Saves points out that water heating accounts for almost 90% of the total energy use in a heated wash cycle. So, as much as possible try doing your laundry with cold water and turn off the heated wash option.

By Allina Protter

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