World is facing a threat of energy scarcity in future. There is a dire need of saving energy for ourselves and for our future generations. Both the individual and collective efforts are required in this regard. At individual level what is in your access? The answer is your homes. Try to build and make energy efficient homes. Energy efficient homes are those which reduces the unnecessary consumption of energy and demands for nonrenewable resources. If you are going to build your house take care of the following things in your home structure for saving energy.
- Choose a site that orients your house in such a way that its long axis runs from east to west.
- Use the east and west sides of building as buffer zones: place closets, garages, and bathrooms in this area.
- Locate the rooms according to the position of sun. Rooms which are used in early morning should be towards west side. And the nighttime activity rooms should be toward east side of the building.
- Install operable windows on north and south walls for cross ventilation.
Now pay your attention inside the home. Following tips will help you to reach the goal of saving energy:
1. Insulate properly:
Effective insulation will reduce the heat flows in and out of home. Make sure that your attic and walls are well insulated. Hire an expert for advice on material of insulation. Foam, glass fiber and cellulose are good insulating material.
2. Upgrade your windows:
If your windows are leaky replace them immediately. Upgrade the aluminum with vinyl frames. Vinyl is more resistant to heat than aluminum. Place tinted windows on back of your home to keep away unwanted heat and cold.
3. Install a thermostat for water heater:
Just as you turn off the lights when not in use, same is required for water heater. A programmed thermostat will turn off the heater when desired temperature is reached. An additional thing is to insulate hot water lines so that they do not cool off immediately.
4. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs:
Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. They will last eight to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. They cost initially but end result is good saving. They save three-quarters of energy used by incandescent.
5. Change the filter of your air conditioner:
Changing or cleaning the filter will improves the efficiency of your unit. This will also reduce wear and tear of machine as well.
6. Fix your furnace:
Get the high efficiency furnace as it will bun less gas and give greater output. Clean the dirty furnace filters to have good air circulation. It will make furnace doing less work hence consumes less. Close the vents in less used rooms such as guest room. This way you will be heating only occupied areas.
7. Add solar panels:
Adding solar panel to your home allows you to have a bit of your own electricity.
8. Plant trees and shrubs:
Try to plant trees on the west and south sides of home. The shades of trees will obstruct the intense sunlight entering in home.
9. Replace old appliances:
Replace the old energy consuming appliances with energy star certified ones. This will surely reduce electricity costs. Buy energy efficient dryer, washer and furnace for your kitchen.
10. Roof color:
Choose a light color on roof so that it transfers less heat to your attic.
Take advantage of tax incentive for energy efficient homes: Do not forget to take the incentive given by federal government for energy efficient homes. At first you will have to spend in replacing things but with these incentives you will save in future. By following all these steps I bet your electricity bills will go down. It is your responsibility as a good citizen to encourage others also to follow these steps. To produce temptation in others place photo to canvas of your utility bill on and hang outside your home.
Atiq-ur-Rehman is an avid writer. He is a content manager at Just4design Company. He writes about home decoration, traveling and photography.