10 Ways to Save Energy at Home and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Energy generation is essential for the functioning of the modern world, with billions of people relying on electricity for domestic use every day.

However, it has a substantial environmental cost—a large percentage of energy generation depends on burning carbon-rich fossil fuels.

Energy generation emits vast amounts of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases and particles into the atmosphere. These significantly contribute to climate change and cause other impacts that harm the planet.

In 2017, global greenhouse gas emissions reached a record high of 32.5 gigatons, much of which came from inefficient energy production and usage. This only emphasizes how vital it is to find and apply methods of improving energy efficiency.

Thankfully, people are becoming increasingly aware of the concept and want to live a more energy-efficient lifestyle.

This article will discuss a wide range of energy-efficient appliances and equipment in the home, which lowers the required amount of electricity—the less energy wasted, the less that needs to be produced.

10 Ways to Save Energy at Home & Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

1. Use Energy Star-certified Products

Using Energy Star-certified products has been proven to help the environment. During the past 30 years, evidence has shown that Energy Star has effectively reduced carbon emissions.

The program has saved about 2.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, equal to around 670 coal-fired power stations.

The program has money-saving benefits, too: purchasing Energy-Star-certified products has also been shown to save households $4.50 for every $1 spent on electricity.

2. Look for the Energy Star Logo

Consumer choices can help achieve an energy-efficient appliance. In 1992, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy launched the Energy Star program to promote energy efficiency.

The program certifies a wide range of products and services that consume less energy than competing products but still work just as effectively.

Look for the blue Energy Star logo on the packaging when shopping for any home appliance. Over 75 appliances and electronics carry the logo, and the range is expected to expand.

3. Use New and Efficient Appliances

The newer an appliance is, the more likely it is to include up-to-date energy-conserving technology. It will also work the most efficiently and emit moderate amounts of carbon.

It is easy to see why—an Energy Star-certified refrigerator uses three-quarters less electricity today than it did in 1992. In contrast, new clothes washers certified by the same program also use around 25% less energy and 45% less water than conventional models.

Even outside the Energy Star program, new products will likely be much more energy-efficient than old, worn-out appliances. In general, new technology is produced with environmental protection – and energy-saving measures – in mind.

Replacing old appliances with new products also reduces the cost of bills, with the average household saving over $500 a year if they make the change.

4. Replace Your Old Water Boiler

Did you know water heating uses almost one-fifth of a home’s energy? Whether gas or electricity is required to power a boiler, a huge amount of fossil fuels is used. Replacing an old boiler is beneficial as new heating equipment often includes up-to-date energy-saving technology.

Greener boilers are specifically manufactured to reduce heat loss and maximize the amount of energy converted to heat. If just 10% of all American households bought an Energy Star-certified boiler, 13 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions would be avoided yearly.

5. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a room thermostat, a programmer, and a thermostatic radiator in each house dramatically reduces energy usage. These allow you to set specific times when the heating should turn on and off, meaning that a home is only warm when people are there.

This technology also means that individual radiators can be set to run at specific times, preventing energy from being wasted by heating empty rooms.

Using these controls effectively has been proven environmentally friendly by helping a household cut its carbon footprint by around 660 pounds (300 kg) annually. Turning the thermostat down by a degree could save an extra 660 pounds (300 kg) of carbon annually.

6. Use Smart Controls

Smart heating controls, usually provided via a cell phone app, can remotely manage your home’s temperature. For instance, just before you return home, intelligent controls allow you to turn the heating on remotely.

Also, if you forget to turn the heating off after you leave your house, the app can do its job.

More advanced features include geo-location, which automatically turns off the heat when the last person leaves the home and detects if any windows have been left open when the heating is on.

Similar app controls can be applied elsewhere. These include controlling the temperature of air conditioning units, switching lights on and off when needed, and ensuring that appliances are not left on standby.

This technology has the potential to save significant amounts of wasted energy and is easy to install and use.

7. Use Super-Efficient Electric Heat Pumps

In recent years, new technology that is two to three times more efficient than boilers at heating a house has emerged.

Named ‘super-efficient electric heat pumps,’ these require far less energy than traditional heating methods, which use significantly more fossil fuels to produce the same heat.

A range of different pumps are available on the market. They are suitable for different types of homes and come in several sizes.

8. Install Efficient Cooling Systems

Air conditioning is a large energy guzzler, using up to 6% of America’s total electricity consumption annually, which releases around 117 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Using up-to-date air conditioning systems is an excellent way of improving energy efficiency, with Energy Star-certified units using around 15% less energy than conventional models.

However, there is an even more efficient cooling system – a ceiling fan. In many places that receive warm weather because of seasonal variations, these are far less energy-consuming and cheaper cooling methods.

Ceiling fans have been found to make a room 10% cooler while using only a tenth of the energy of a large air conditioning unit.

Again, when shopping around for these, look for the Energy Star logo. Ceiling fans with this rating are 60% more efficient than conventional fans due to improved blade designs and motors.

9. Use Energy Efficient Lightbulbs

There are two main types of energy-efficient bulbs on the market: compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The CFLs found on the shelf today use 75% less energy than the traditional incandescent lightbulbs – and if every home in the United States swapped traditional bulbs for more Energy Star-certified CFLs, it would save the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as 800,000 cars.

However, they are currently being outdone by a new arrival – LEDs. These are even more energy-efficient than CFLs, converting 90% of all input electrical energy into light, requiring far less energy to produce the same amount of light as a traditional lightbulb.

Installing either lightbulb in the home is an easy way to improve the lighting system’s energy efficiency.

10. Use Appliances Less

Although this may seem an essential point, it is also rather important. In the home, a wide range of appliances and other electrical items could be used for less time while being just as helpful around the house.

Lighting is often left on by accident in rooms where no one is present – ensuring that all light switches are flicked off when leaving a room helps to reduce a surprisingly large amount of a house’s total energy usage.

Similarly, leaving appliances on standby requires small but significant amounts of energy. Ensure that they are switched off when not in use.

Turning on air conditioning only when it is uncomfortably hot and using heating systems when it is noticeably cold also helps to reduce electricity consumption. Using less hot water in the bath, showering, and washing clothes at a lower temperature are also important.

If you can, use many common appliances less frequently. Using the dishwasher and clotheswasher only when full lowers a household’s total electricity usage.

Why is Saving Energy Important?

In 2016, around a fifth of all American greenhouse gas emissions were produced through domestic use. This shows just how vital energy efficiency is in the home.

Reduce Dependency on Fossil Fuels

If all households in the United States—and other carbon-producing countries—took energy efficiency seriously, this would reduce dependency on fossil fuels and, therefore, significantly lower the concentrations of carbon dioxide (and other pollutants) emitted into the atmosphere.

Lower Utility Bills

Being energy efficient raises many people’s environmental consciousness by allowing them to feel that they are making a difference to the world, and it also helps to lower utility bills.

In 2020, the US Department of Energy estimated that the average household could save up to 25% on its energy bills if it adopted a wide range of energy efficiency measures.

Environmentally Friendly

While being energy efficient sounds great, where does the average person start to become more environmentally friendly around the home?

The steps above describe various approaches and methods, from small-scale consumer choices to cutting-edge energy-efficiency technology you can use in your home. Each of these is reasonably affordable for the average household and will allow you to reduce your impact on the environment.

Final Thoughts

Becoming more energy efficient is much easier and more cost effective than you thought. You may not wish to follow all the steps listed above, but it’s excellent to keep to at least some of them if you want to help the environment.

However, make sure you start with some more straightforward methods first and then ease your way toward steps that involve making new purchases rather than trying to adapt to these methods in one go. Otherwise, you may find it tricky and then give up.

However, you will see the benefits of being energy efficient early on, with monthly utility bills lowering and your environmental awareness increasing.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, please share it with your friends! Many thanks.

You May Also Like