10 Tips on How to Conserve Energy in Home Use and Beyond

Learning how to conserve energy is important for you as an individual and for the environment as a whole. It allows you to reduce humanity’s strain on the environment while also bringing down your own electricity expenses. Taking measures like using lights only when necessary, reassessing your appliance use, and insulating your home – all of these can go a long way toward reducing your carbon footprint.

Fossil Fuels vs Energy Conservation

We have consumed fossil fuels at an increased rate since last century. This consumption has been a capital contributor to the degradation of our environment, especially in the form of greenhouse gasses. Climate change, increase in air pollution, extinction of several endangered species, and depletion of ozone layer are just a few of the negative effects straining our planet.

Even though many governments are trying to move toward clean and green energy sources (such as wind energy, solar energy, and geothermal energy), we still have a long way to go before we become independent of fossil fuels. Therefore, what can we do to depend less on these natural sources of energy?

How to Conserve Energy

Not a lot of people consider the source of their electricity when they turn on a light or let their computer on overnight. Most of us have grown up in homes where electricity was a given, which is why we take energy for granted. In addition to the fossil fuels you won’t be using, conserving energy is also about the health and wellbeing of life on this planet. Using fossil fuels and some other traditional energy sources pollutes the environment in several ways.

How often do you think about the cost to both your bank account and to the environment? Here are some tips on how to conserve energy at home and in the office.

Rethink Lighting

1. Create a “bright room” in your house. When the sun sets, turn on the lights in just one room in your house (usually the living room), then encourage the family to spend the evening there. Our energy-consuming tendency is to scatter around the house and turning on the lights in every room. Lighting just one room will translate in energy and financial savings over time.

2. Use candles from time to time. Going green in terms of lighting can also mean taking new approaches to everyday conveniences. For instance, the ability to flip on all the lights is something we take for granted. We don’t suggest you stop using electric lights completely. However, you could use candles a few nights per week as a great way to save energy. It’s also a good strategy to allow you to reevaluate your approach to energy. Breaking out the candles can also provide inspiration for activities that do not require electricity, such as telling stories or reading at candlelight.

3. Make the most use of natural light. Sun should be your primary source of light during the day. If need be, rearrange your home to take advantage of its rays. Do not flip on the overhead switch when you could easily open the blinds or shades and let the light pour in. Set up your family’s main daytime activity area in the brightest room of the house so you won’t need to turn on electric lights.

4. Replace incandescent light bulbs. By now you probably know about the energetic benefits of getting rid of incandescent lights. Instead of producing light, these old-fashioned light sources burn off most of their energy as heat. It’s time to make the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or LEDs – both are much more energy efficient.

Handling Cooling & Heating Efficiently

5. Insulate your house. Keeping the warm or cool air in (depending on the season) is an important strategy towards saving energy. If you leave a window open, your AC unit or furnace will go into overdrive to keep things at a steady temperature. You can find tips on how to insulate your attic here.

6. Turn off the air conditioner. Sometimes, conserving energy will require small sacrifices, such as getting more familiar with summer’s heat. Leaving the AC on all the time will not only use a lot of energy, but it will also send your electricity bills through the roof. Schedule your air conditioner to turn off when you leave home. Why keep the house cool when you’re at work? Use the air conditioner just in the rooms where you actually spend time, while also closing the doors of those rooms to keep the cool air inside.

7. Keep your thermostat a few degrees lower. Heating the house during winter is another big energy drain. You can reduce the amount of energy used by your household simply by lowering the thermostat by a few degrees. Keep warm with blankets and by wearing multiple layers of fluffy clothing.

How to Conserve Energy in the Office

8. Switch off lights in unused rooms. Your office building probably has archive stores, photocopier rooms, kitchens, and store rooms. Teach everyone to switch their lights off by labeling the switches with “turn off this light” stickers. Next step would be to install motion sensors in restrooms, where they can reduce lighting use by 80%. Place them properly though.

9. Switch computers off when not in use. Even if you switch your monitor off as you go for tea and lunch break – that’s enough to prevent excessive heat from building up in the office. Also, do not leave equipment on standby mode, as they continue to use up to 70% of regular power consumption. When replacing devices, purchase energy-efficiency rated equipment.

10. Use label light switches. As we’ve already pointed out, using labels for light switches can get you and your coworkers in the habit of turning off unused light. It seems mundane, but labels can make a difference, especially when it comes to multiple light switches. Stick-on labels prevent people from coming into the office and switching on all the lights (more often than not, no one has really paid any attention to which switch operates which lights). It’s an easy win at no cost.

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William E. Eubanks
 

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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