The path toward creating energy efficient homes usually begins with insulation. In other words, finding and sealing up any leaks on your property that may be venting out air your home is generating or letting in air that your house's heating or cooling system has to deal with. Insulation is the most obvious solution to establishing proper energy efficiency at home.
Another is being mindful of how much power your variety of household appliances consumes on a regular basis. Replacing light fixtures with LED bulbs is a good start, but while many already know about this, they may not be aware of the not-so-obvious machines they have lying around that contribute significantly to their electric bill.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its latest report, "Miscellaneous Energy Loads in Buildings," identifying some of the most energy-draining devices in your home. Here are a few, courtesy of Greentech Media:
- Computers: With people owning more computing devices – laptops, tablets and smartphones – that's more opportunity for electricity consumption, especially if you leave these machines plugged in and charging all day and night.
- Microwaves: Even in standby mode, microwaves are not very efficient, and end up using large amounts of power to heat food.
- Televisions: While new models like LCD and LED televisions have become more energy efficient, more than half of all U.S. homes are reported to have at least three TVs. Additionally, while TVs have grown slimmer, they've also grown larger, offsetting gains made from efficiency.
Residents in the Washington metropolitan area should with speak with DC home inspectors to take a look at their property and highlight significant energy drains and how best to amend them. A home inspection can go a long way in making your house eco-friendly and lowering your utility bills.