Energy conservation refers to the efforts made to use less energy. Walking instead of driving, turning off the lights and computers when they are not in use, and even using a rake instead of a leaf blower are all energy conservation efforts.
Energy efficiency is a different concept, but like conservation, the end result is the use of less energy. With energy efficiency, you are using technology that requires less energy. An example of energy efficiency is using an electric car instead of a gasoline car.
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Why is It Important to Conserve Energy?
The main sources of energy are natural resources such as fossil fuels. We are using these resources at a higher rate than they can replenish. Even if it takes centuries, it will reach a time when these resources will not sustain the world.
The main purpose of conserving energy is to reduce the demand for natural resources to produce energy. By doing that, these resources are allowed enough time to replenish.
Energy conservation also involves finding alternative sources of energy and cleaning up the negative environmental effects of traditional sources of energy.
7 Key Tips for Energy Conservation
Energy conservation is not a very popular school of thought as most people think it is difficult and expensive. Truth is, some energy conservation techniques are so effortless, yet have a great impact on energy usage.
1. Reduce Driving
In the USA, vehicle emissions contribute to about 27% of total greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, cars are one of the major contributors to global warming. As we wait for the development of sustainable alternative fuel sources, how about we drive less.
Instead of driving to work, walk. Not only will you conserve fuel, but also exercise. Another option is using mass transportation means such as trains and buses. You can also try carpooling. Let’s say you stay close to some of your work colleagues. Make plans to use one car to get to work instead of all of you driving to the same destination.
2. Turn Off Lights
Turning off lights that are not in use is one of the basic energy conservation techniques that is highly ignored. During the day, use natural lights whenever possible. At night, turn off lights when you go to sleep.
Replace your incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient options such as LED and CFL bulbs. These bulbs cost more but use 25% less energy. In the long run, you will save both energy and money.
3. Repair Air Leaks in Your AC System
According to the department of energy, 6% of all electricity produced in the US is used by heating and cooling system. In most homes, the air conditioning unit consumes the most energy.
Air leaks in the AC unit contribute to energy losses. The escaping air compromises the efficiency of the unit. Dirty air filters also cause large energy bills. They reduce airflow; therefore, the system has to work more to keep your house cool or warm.
Set reminders for when to replace air filters and service your AC unit regularly to fix air leaks. Also, consider installing an energy efficient AC unit as it can save up to 30% of your current energy bill.
4. Turn Off Electric Devices that are Not in Use
Our homes are full of devices that use electricity. Even when not in use these devices still sip power from the sockets – a phenomenon called phantom load.
Always turn off any electronic device that you are not using. Alternatively, invest in smart power strips. They sense when a device is in rest mode and shut it down.
5. Do Full Loads
Efficient use of the dishwasher and washing machine will cut your energy bill. One way to efficiently use these units is to make sure they are full before turning them on. Save more energy by using cold or warm water instead of hot water. Also, whenever possible, air dry your dishes and clothes.
6. Use Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save up to 15% of your energy bill. Set the thermostat to automatically turn off the heating and cooling system when you are not around. You can also remotely set it to start up 15 to 30 minutes before you arrive.
7. Performing an Energy Audit
Do you want to be sure you are conserving energy and using it efficiently? Get an energy audit. Energy audit experts will help you identify the areas in your home that are losing energy, and how to fix the energy losses.
If you look at the global warming statistics then you will realize energy conservation is no longer a reserve for government agencies and environmental enthusiasts. Making the world a cleaner place should start at home. Let's go green with the tips given above. Read our brief review of DIY Home Energy System by Jeff Davis - Step-by-step guide that will help you build home energy system at the comfort of your home.