In today's world, energy consumption is a big concern especially with global warming and our extreme weather events. In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, understanding the energy-hungry items in our homes can help us all do our part. Here are the top energy-consuming items found in most households.
1. Heating and cooling: Heating and cooling systems, are among the biggest energy consumers in the home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), residential heating and cooling account for an average of 48% of household energy consumption. Inefficient air conditioners or furnaces can lead to significant energy waste, resulting in higher utility bills and increased greenhouse gas emissions.
Invest in energy-efficient HVAC systems, ensure proper insulation, adopt smart thermostats to optimize temperature control and reduce overall energy usage, and don't forget to clean and maintain your system.
2. Water heaters typically contribute about 18% of the total energy consumption in homes. To reduce energy wastage, insulate hot water pipes, set the water heater to an appropriate temperature (typically 120°F or lower), and consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient water heater.
3. Though individual lightbulbs consume relatively low amounts of energy, the cumulative effect of lighting across a household can be substantial. Lighting accounts for approximately 11% of residential energy use. To reduce lighting-related energy consumption, switch to energy-efficient LED bulbs, which use up to 75% less energy and last significantly longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
4. Household appliances contribute significantly to energy consumption. Items like refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers are common culprits. Appliances account for around 13% of total household energy usage. To cut down on energy wastage, choose ENERGY STAR-certified appliances, which meet stringent energy efficiency criteria, ensuring they consume less power while performing optimally.
5. How many chargers do you have plugged in at your home? Gadgets like computers, TVs, gaming consoles, and chargers consume considerable energy, even in standby mode. These devices collectively account for approximately 9% of residential energy use. To curb energy consumption, turn off electronics when not in use, utilize power strips to completely cut off power to devices, and look for energy-saving settings on electronic gadgets.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy. "Energy Saver: Tips on Saving Money & Energy at Home."