Saving electricity usage in your home is really the first big step in the process of going solar. In most cases an average solar power system will not supply you with 100% of your energy needs, so to make the whole thing more cost effective it is vitally important to find as many ways as you can to make your home as energy efficient as possible. Whether you are looking for ways to make sure that your household is living in a more eco-friendly manner or you are just searching for ways to reduce your electricity bill, you'll find that employing the following measures will help enormously.
Saving Electricity: Perform an energy audit
An energy audit is a complete and thorough analysis of your home and its energy usage. You can do this type of audit yourself but it is pretty time consuming. There are professionals that you can pay to perform an audit but most energy companies will do this for you either at a low cost or for free. I suggest contacting your energy provider to see if they offer this service, and if they do, have the audit performed. It will give you a very clear picture of where you are at and exactly what you need to do to fix any problems and improve your energy efficiency. If you would like help with doing an energy audit there is a great product called the 'Kill A Watt' . It is a very simple and useful device that lets you assess how efficient your appliances really are.
Saving Electricity: Reduce the use of air conditioners
Your air conditioner is one of the of the biggest electricity hogs in your household. When you want to keep your home cool, why not turn on a ceiling fan instead? Another great way to make sure that you keep your electricity bill down and your home cool is to encourage a cross breeze through your living area by open two windows that happen to face each other. You can also install a solar roof vent and solar attic fan to get rid of unwanted heat from your attic.
Saving Electricity: Keep warm with space heaters
Conversely, when you are looking at making sure that you can conserve electricity, turn down the central air in your home and consider getting space heaters for individual rooms. This can help you make sure that you are going to be able to stay warm while keeping the heating-related electrical costs low. You may also want to turn the heater down when no one is going to be in the house as well.
Saving electricity: Put your computer to sleep
Especially if you have a desktop, you will find that putting your computer to sleep, or even turning it off when you are not using it can improve your electricity costs. Turning it off overnight, when you are not going to be using it, or while you are work can help you save some cash on the electricity usage in your home. If you own a laptop computer you may want to consider a solar charger as opposed to a charger that draws power off your electrical system.
Saving Electricity: When not in use, turn off the lights
This is certainly a basic trick, but the truth of the matter is that it is one that people forget about far too often. Consider all the rooms in your home and how often the light really needs to be on. Take some time to walk around your home and shut off the lights that are not being used. Some people put up little notes or reminders above the switches to help them to remember to turn them off.
Saving Electricity: Use energy efficient light bulbs
As your standard light bulbs burn out you should replace them with energy efficient flourescent bulbs. They will last way longer and do not use up power like the standard bulbs do.
There is a brand of high tech bulbs called EarthLED that we use that, while pricey, can give you up to 50,000 hours of use. That's 11 years! Here is a couple examples, highly recommended:
Save Electricity: Make sure your house is properly insulated
Proper insulation is key to good energy efficiency. If you are not sure that your house is well insulated have a home inspector check it out for you.If you do need insulation you should consider some of the greener alternatives available today. There are products available that are made from recycled blue jeans for example. Make sure your house is tight where you have windows and doors by attaching gaskets under the doors and resealing or caulking around windows. Or-
Save Electricity: Upgrade your windows
Getting windows with a higher efficiency rating can help save electricity in two ways. First, you can prevent unwanted heat and UV from getting into your house, thereby reducing your A/C usage and second, you can have windows installed that will allow heat into areas that you want to have warmed. In the second case, a thermal mass like a dark stone or concrete floor, would adsorb the heat and passively warm your room.
Saving Electricity: Get a clothesline
Did you realize that your clothes drier is sucking up a lot of your electricity usage? There is a lot of energy usage in general that goes into washing your clothes, but remember that you can prevent a fair amount of it. Put up a clothesline or a drying rack and take advantage of clothes that are fresh and clean!
Saving Electricity: Unplug your adapters
Take a look at your power outlets, especially the ones that are in your office or bedroom. Lots of people leave a dozen adapters all plugged whether they are being used at all, ranging from cell phone adapters to battery chargers and even when they are not actively in use, they are going to be causing a small amount of drain on your electricity bill all the time. There are also various devices and kits available, like the Power-Save Energy Saver Kits that eliminate wasted electrical consumption and can allow you to install a much smaller and less expensive solar system.
Saving Electricity: Change your air filters
When you are looking into saving electricity for your home, you will find that an air filter check is important as well. An air filter that is dirty can cause your heating and cooling system to work much harder than it needs to and this can cause an appreciable difference in your electricity usage.
Saving Electricity: Turn off your television
A lot of people leave their televisions on when they are not watching them, and this is something that can greatly impact your electricity usage. Turn it off when you go to the bathroom or the kitchen, particularly if you have a large screen. The bigger your screen is, the more energy it will consume.
Saving Electricity: Turn things off during the daytime
Are you a household that has lights that intended to prevent thieves? Do you have a home security system? Many experts will recommend turning these things off in the day time hours, especially if you are at home. Take some time to really look into what good they do for you during the day, and if you feel comfortable with it, turn it off.
Saving Electricity:Clean your lint filter
When you go to dry your clothes, make sure that you check the lint filter. If the lint filter is clogged, you will find that your drier is working much harder than it needs to. Taking the time to clean the lint filter can save you quite a bit later on.
Saving Electricity: Close your doors and windows
Do you remember your parents telling you not to air condition the whole block? When you are running the air conditioner, remember to stop and close all the doors and windows in your home. This will help you get the temperature that you need for the least amount of energy.
Saving Electricity: Use energy efficient appliances
If you are serious about saving electricity and working on a more green way of life, your thoughts will generally turn towards getting green appliances. There are definitely energy conservative models of practically every appliance you might want out there, so take some time and make sure that you consider what your needs are going to be when you go shopping.
These are just a few ways to save electricity. We all just need to pay attention to how we use it so that we can determine how and where to cut back. Her are some ways you an save on your gas and water usage.
Saving gas, the planet, and your wallet: Reducing gas consumption is a great way to shrink your carbon footprint. You will find that one of the best ways to do this is to take a look at how and how much you drive your car.
When you realize that fresh water makes up less than 1% of all the water on the planet, and when you think about the fact that far too many people use it like there is no tomorrow, you'll find that you are going to be interested in saving it.