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Energy efficiency (i.e. the ratio of output of performance to input of energy) in buildings can reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions, but there are barriers to widespread adoption of energy-efficient solutions.
Buildings are an important area for improvement when it comes to energy efficiency. Buildings are seen as primary energy consumers. However, the issue of energy consumption in buildings is not easy because the internal conditions that can be achieved with energy consumption are very different. Measures for building comfort, such as lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation, consume a lot of energy.
Consider the Size of Your Fridge
Your old fridge is probably the largest energy consumer in your home. To overcome this energy battle, you can change the size of your fridge to meet your needs. You can also recycle the old fridge. Selling an old fridge can also make your initial investment more interesting since some of that money is coming back to you through the sale.
Dirt and neglect are the most common causes of inefficiency and failure of the heating and cooling system. If you have older HVAC devices that don’t provide comfort, you should replace them with an ENERGY STAR certified device. When replacing devices, ask the contractor if they comply with the ENERGY STAR guidelines. Heating and cooling account for half of a household’s energy consumption.
Use a Heat Pump
The choice of space heating or cooling technology for buildings can have a significant impact on energy consumption and performance. The bottom line is that heat pumps typically consume four times less electricity to provide an equivalent amount of heat than direct electric heating. Another advantage of the geothermal heat pump is that it can be turned around in summer and used to cool the air by transferring heat from the building to the ground. The disadvantage of geothermal heat pumps is the high initial costs; however, this amount can be returned within five to 10 years due to lower energy consumption and lower energy bills.
Set Your Thermostat
Any degree of change to your regular thermostat setting can help reduce your overall energy costs. If you open the thermostat in summer (or winter), you can save energy. Total energy savings will depend on the climate and the performance of your home. The less you use your heating and cooling system, the more you are going to save on your energy bills.
Seal Your Home
You can save energy costs by sealing your home. You can improve your comfort, reduce draughts, and reduce interior fading. Sealing your home reduces unpleasant draughts and helps prevent moisture problems by sealing holes, cracks, and crevices in your home. Remember to apply sealing compound and sealing strips to windows and doors, as this is where air can escape easily.
Mitigate Energy Loss by Insulating Your Home
According to estimates, homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs (or an average of 11% of total energy costs) by hermetically sealing their homes and insulating attics, floors in creeping spaces, and inbound perimeter beams in the basement. This estimate is based on cost-effective improvements in “typical” homes with a weighted mix of functions.
When estimating energy savings, the house owner or contractor who knows the facts will be able to:
- Lower energy costs thanks to proper insulation.
- Seal air leaks around the home, focus on leaks on the top floor, through the foundation, and around windows and doors, creating a 25% reduction in total air infiltration.
- Add insulation to improve R values in attics, floors above unconditional basements, and crawlers in order to meet the insulation requirements in the UK.
Limiting air leakage through airtightness, proper insulation of the house, and replacement or improvement of the heating system are the three most important ways to reduce heating costs.
Newer homes are generally better insulated than older homes that have not been modernised; this is because building energy regulations have become more stringent over the years. If you have an older home, you probably know that you need to better insulate your home. However, do you know that adding insulation to “new” or “newer” homes can reduce your electricity bill? Unless you are one of the few whose home has been built with particular attention to energy efficiency, you may want to consider insulating your property.
Air leaks are the main cause of heat loss in the home during the winter. Frequent places where air leaks occur are the doors in the house, especially the door from the house to the garage. Insulate the door by sweeping the gap between the bottom of the door and the threshold; you can seal the bottom and prevent cold air from escaping from the house. This will also prevent the escape of warm air. Stopping this airflow makes the heated interior more comfortable and avoids an increased electricity bill over time.
When insulating your home, you can choose from many types of insulation such as:
- Blanket: batt and roll insulation
- Fiberglass panels
- Concrete block
- Foam plate or rigid foam
- Loose filling and blown insulation
- Radiation barriers and reflective systems
- Rigid fiberboard
- Spray foam
Your choice may depend on which part of the house you need to insulate and whether you have easy access to the room. For example, if you want to insulate a wooden post or wall, you have many options in new buildings or renovations where the wall recess is open and easily accessible.