If you are dedicated to energy conservation and creating an energy-efficient home, then you probably do a lot in service of those goals, like piling on an extra sweater in the winter or sweating it out in the summer. Almost everything we do these days uses energy, and, in response, there is a lot of advice out there about how to reduce your impact and reduce your bills. Whether you have pulled tips and “hacks” from online articles, or you are simply following what seems like a logical way to minimize power waste, you have probably changed your habits. Some of those changes may be easy, while others are more than a little inconvenient.
Here at Healthy Home 365, we are dedicated to helping you craft an energy-efficient home, and we want to help you choose new habits that actually make a difference. Our energy-saving products are designed to be eco-friendly and truly useful, unlike some misguided ideas you may have found on the web, like leaving the lights on in order to save on small surges in power. Explore our site to learn more about the innovations that could reduce your bills by 35%, review part one of this series, or keep reading to learn more about what energy-saving “tips” can do more harm than good.
Turn Off Your Electronics
Powering off your devices certainly saves more energy than leaving them on, but it might not be as effective as you think. Many electronics still draw energy even when they are not in operation, the effect often called “vampire power” or “phantom power.” The biggest culprits are laptops, chargers, and devices with a continuous display, like a digital alarm clock. The amount of energy they use even when off is obviously small, but most households have dozens of these kinds of devices, and those tiny wastes of energy can really add up. To truly shut off the draw of power, unplug your electronics or switch off a power strip when you’ve finished your task. If that sounds inconvenient, there are other solutions, like advanced power strips (ASPs)! You are sure to find an option that fits your lifestyle, whether you need an ASP with a timer, an activity monitor, or simply a remote switch.
Keep Your Home Temperature Consistent
One particularly persistent idea about heating and cooling systems is that it takes more energy for your HVAC system to change the temperature of your home than it does to maintain your preferred temperature. Not true! The best way to conserve energy and keep your utility bills low is to actually let your home return to a more natural temperature while you’re gone.
The Department of Energy recommends a temperature of about 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer for most U.S. homes, and 68 degrees Fahrenheit for the winter. Just eight hours at these temperatures – a workday – can lead to lower utility use and less painful bills. You can kick the temperature back to where you like it when you get home, or use a programmable thermostat like Nest to do it for you.
The energy it takes for your HVAC system to change the temperature hardly compares to what it would use to maintain the same temperature all day. After all, your home is constantly losing heat or cool air to the outdoor environment as it tries to reach an equilibrium. You can learn more about that process and the science behind energy conservation in another blog post, and check out our page on the Nest smart thermostat to learn more about its benefits!
Use Ceiling Fans to Cool Your Home
Summer heat can be brutal, especially here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. You have been probably scouring the internet for ways to cool down your home without using more energy than necessary. If you stumbled upon advice telling you to use ceiling fans to help out your HVAC system, then we can tell you with confidence that you stumbled upon a misinformed website.
The utility of ceiling fans stems from their ability to circulate air, which helps us feel cooler. They don’t actually do anything to lower the air temperature. Using them while you’re at home to feel more comfortable without turning down the thermostat can be effective. Leaving your fans running while you’re away to help cool down your house? Not so much. You would simply be wasting electricity.
If you want to invest in energy-saving products and tips that actually work, turn to Healthy Home 365. We are dedicated to designing products that are eco-friendly and useful, from a PROA formula that can help you get more out of your air conditioning system to attic insulation that can better protect your home from outside temperatures. Call one of our representatives today to learn how we can contribute to your energy-efficient home!