If you are considering making home improvements to address your energy use and utility bill, you may be in for a surprise. The biggest energy change is not what most people think.
There are a couple reasons for improving the energy efficiency in your home. You may realize we are impacting our environment and want to do your part to stop this. On the other hand, you may be tired of paying ever increasing utility bills. Regardless, you are ready to do something, but need to take a quick break before jumping in.
Most people automatically think the biggest cost associated with energy use in their home is heating it in winter and cooling it in summer. This would certainly seem to make sense from a logical perspective. In the case of energy, however, logical fails the test.
The biggest use of energy in your home is heating your water. This may be surprising at first, but think it through. How many times a day is the shower or bath cranked on? How many times a week is the dishwasher cranked on? Do you have a pool? How about a Jacuzzi? Each of these energy requirements adds up very quickly, particularly hot water for showers and dishwashers. The good news is you can make relatively painless home improvements to address these issues.
There is no denying we all need to take showers each day…at least I hope! To improve your shower energy use, there are a couple of basic steps you can take. First, get a low flow shower head. They cost a few bucks, but restrict the volume of water coming out. The less hot water used, the less your water heater has to crank up. Don’t worry, you will not notice a difference. Second, consider going with a solar water heater or a tankless system. Solar works best because there are no energy requirements from your utility, but a tankless water heater has advantages as well because it does not waste energy by firing up over and over during the day when you are not home. Regardless, just make the change.
As to dishwashers, there are two solutions. Again, solar water heaters overcome the problem by heating the water without tapping your utility lines. If you aren’t ready for that, get an energy efficient dishwasher. You are looking for a product that has an Energy Star rating. The rating signifies the dishwasher is designed to minimize energy use with a savings of at least 25 percent compared to traditional machines.
Going green is not nearly as painful as most people think. Making small changes, such as how you heat your water, can make a major difference to both the environment and your utility bill.