Energy Efficient Home Ideas

in Energy

With energy prices on the rise, it is becoming increasingly important to cut costs and save money wherever possible. There exists a multitude of products and ideas designed to do just that. From reducing energy loss to increasing overall efficiency, there's room in any budget.

One of the easiest ways to increase a home's energy efficiency is to change it's lighting. A compact fluorescent lamp, or CFL, uses between one fifth and one third of the energy required to power an equivalent incandescent bulb. While a CFL can cost 3 to 10 times more than a similar incandescent bulb, they typically square the difference in about one month. One article suggests that, a home spending $90 to change 30 fixtures can save between $440 and $1500 over the lifetime of the CFLs (about 5 years.) For low-light applications, such as a reading lamp, LED bulbs can offer even greater efficiency. Most current models, however, don't emit nearly as much light as their counterparts, and tend to be directional in nature. This makes them impractical for everyday use. Where outdoor lighting is concerned, things like timers and motion detectors save money by switching lights off that aren't in use. Solar landscape lighting requires absolutely no outside energy source while adding an aesthetic appeal.

Water heating, on average, accounts for around 13% of utility bills. The quickest ways to reduce this cost include regulating how much hot water is used, adjusting the heater's temperature, and thoroughly insulating the heater itself. For greater savings over the long-term, it may make sense to install a more efficient heater. Solar water heaters save the most, as they get all of their energy from the Sun. This is a great option in locations that receive sufficient sunlight. Tankless "demand" water heaters pass water through heated coils, providing hot water as it's needed rather than storing it. This effectively eliminates the energy loss that occurs when stored hot water cools down on it's own. However, they are not always able to keep up with the high demand of some homes.

When you own a home, investing in energy efficiency is tantamount to investing in your own peace of mind. In financially uncertain times, those things of which one can be certain are more and more important for you, your family, and your way of life.

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Edmund E. Taylor has 1 articles online

Edmund E. Taylor has researched and writes on a number of topics including solar energy, the green movement, renewable resources and recycling. His background is in teaching and higher education. For more of Edmund's articles on green energy, please visit PV Power, a supplier of residential and commercial solar power information.

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This article was published on 2010/03/29