Thinking green and behaving in a way that is environmentally responsible is not about saving the planet. It is about saving us. As the famous tagline from Jurassic Park goes, “life always finds a way”, and you can bet it will find a way without humans. Therefore, in order to stay longer on this precious blue marble, we have to learn how to respect it. The problems are big, you can safely say they are global, but it all begins with you. Here’s how to make your home truly energy efficient.
Energy conserving habits are something each and every one of us can adopt, but when it comes to concrete energy retrofits that can turn your household’s energy efficiency, finances can be an issue. Thankfully, scientific and technological communities have recognised this serious conundrum and as the first decades of the twenty-first century roll by, we are looking at the increased number of options when it comes to upgrades on a tight budget. In other words, at the precipice of the third decade of the twenty-first century, hardly any working-class individual can cite financial difficulties as justification for not applying certain energy efficient retrofits to their home.
One of the cost-efficient upgrades that has become quite ubiquitous around the globe is definitely a switch to LED lighting. LED light bulbs can be bought at your local store for a very reasonable sum, and considering the benefits it brings when compared to incandescent lights, it is the best bargain out there. LEDs eat up less than 10% of energy incandescent bulbs will devour in the same amount of time, with only 5% of their energy is wasted on heat – the remaining 95% is all about light.
Additionally, life expectancy of an incandescent light bulb ranges from roughly a month to three months, but the time window is very flexible and unpredictable. On the other hand, LED lights can last for whopping twenty years. In other words, there are simply no arguments against replacing your entire lighting grid with LED bulbs – you will save energy, have more light and you won’t be bothered with replacing them for a long time.
As far as insulation goes, many people opt for a complete overhaul of their inner walls. This project is not cheap and it can take a lot of time and energy, but the results of such overhauls can be staggering, not just in terms of narrowing down your heating bills.
If you are not in a financial position to do a complete overhaul, you can start off with light fiberglass padding in the attic. Once you find a sound financial plan, you can have professionals in your house, adding a layer of insulation foam as a protective mechanism. Of course, you should know that a lot of energy is wasted through cracks and crevices on your doors and windows, especially if it’s an old home. You should measure the energy efficiency of these weak spots to check if they are ripe for a remodel too.
Solar power systems efficiently convert the sun’s energy into electric power that can be used in your home. From the environmental standpoint, power generated by a clean solar power system is not generated by polluting coal-fired utility plants, allowing you contribute to environmental protection while saving money in doing so. Over time, the money you’ll save from paying lower electric bills (or eliminating it completely, for that matter) will eventually pay for the original cost of your solar power system.
Now, if don’t have sufficient means to cover this project, it’s good to know that there are the so-called property assessed clean energy financing options you can apply for. For example, Ygrene offers a fast and affordable financing model for solar panel installations on your home. You can get prequalified in a matter of minutes, get 100% financing coverage without having to put money down and without payments for the initial twelve months and up. If this does not sound reasonable, hardly anything will – just keep in mind that such plans are exclusively reserved for green retrofits.
Most households own air-conditioning units, and the key to low-cost energy efficient usage of such units is to keep the filters clean. The importance of replacing old filters regularly cannot be overstated – otherwise you might be looking at astronomical monthly electric bills, not to mention wasted energy. Look out for filters on sale and stock up to make sure you have enough of them to last you throughout the year.
In order to truly become successful at green living, you have to differentiate between two things – the notion of producing energy efficient solutions and the notion of conserving energy overall. These days, when man-made climate changes threaten civilization, it is not enough to be successful at only one of these. As a productive member of the global community, you should go out of your way to turn your home into an energy efficient hub and adopt energy-conserving habits.
Author Bio: If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.