The 5 Biggest Energy Hogs In Your Home (& How to Fix Them)

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If you’re trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, recycling and buying more organic food are great places to start, but did you know that the largest part of your carbon footprint comes from your home itself? Here are the 5 biggest energy users in your home, and how you can reduce their impact – on the planet, and on your wallet!

One of the best ways you can help reduce your impact on the planet is to make sure you are wasting as little energy in your home as possible.

There are 5 main areas of the home that either consume or waste the most energy. By addressing each of these items to reduce waste and/or choose more efficient options, you can both reduce your energy bills and your impact on global climate change.

The 5 areas you will want to take a look at are, in order of impact:

  1. Windows
  2. Heating & Cooling
  3. Water Heating
  4. Appliances
  5. Lighting

Windows and HVAC systems are intrinsically linked, and by targeting these areas most aggressively you can save the largest amount of energy. While heating and cooling our homes accounts for nearly 50 percent of its energy use, windows are literally holes in our homes through which 10 percent to 25 percent of our energy bill flows. Replacing old, drafty windows with new, air-tight Energy Star-qualified windows is one of the most effective ways to decrease your home’s carbon footprint.

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Installation of windows is critically important—if they are incorrectly installed, the seals will fail quickly. This is not a DIY job: Badly installed windows are likely to leak air and water and may rot and cause structural problems….

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Water heaters. The easiest way to cut your energy use for heating hot water is to use less of it. Switch to Water Sense plumbing fixtures. Water Sense is the Energy Star equivalent for products that consumer water. Look for certified high-efficiency toilets, ultra-low-flow faucets and aerating showerheads. Insulating is also key to reducing energy use: Insulate your hot-water storage tank and the first six feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.

Appliances. By choosing Energy Star models when replacing worn out electronics and appliances, you can dramatically reduce energy use, especially when it comes to the refrigerator. The fridge is the biggest individual energy hog after the heating and cooling system, accounting for about 13% of a household’s appliance energy use.

Lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting, in particular LED bulbs, is one of the fastest and easiest ways to cut your energy bills. Timers and motion sensors save even more energy by reducing the amount of time lights are on but not being used.

For the full article, visit MotherEarthNews.com

 

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