Although solar power is more than we can use, the amount we can harness is limited. Therefore, it is essential to save energy to reduce high electricity bills if your solar panel system is grid-tied. For off-grid solar power systems, the storage system can only last a certain period, and misuse can lead to a power shortage.
Energy conservation not only reduces utility bills but also eases the strain on natural resources. For electricity generation, you must use water, wind, fossil fuels, or sunlight, and they are not always in surplus.
Tips to Save Energy at Home
1. Switch Off Appliances not in Use
Although the consumption of most gadgets at home is almost unnoticeable, if you leave all your electronics plugged in overnight, you will notice the change. Cumulatively, you could save a unit or 2 per day if you manage your appliances well.
Any electronic that you plug and switch on consume some electricity, no matter how little. You can either switch off or unplug the gadgets which consume power. Some of the appliances you should always check are laptops, desktops, TVs, and sound systems. Some of the high electricity consumers are water heaters, fridges, dryers, and washers. Efficient regulation of electronics can save up to $200 every year.
Apart from saving energy, unplugging your electronics prevents fires due to a power surge. If you are not near the appliances to identify any faults, they could cause disaster.
2. Use LED Bulbs
Unlike incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), light-emitting diodes (LEDs) consume less power. The bulbs consume less than 40% of what the other types use. Apart from that, LEDs maintain their cool (do not heat up) after use for an extended period.
Another advantage of LEDs bulb is the durability. Do the bulbs compromise on emitting light? No. A 9-watt LED can produce the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent or halogen lamp. However, you expect to pay more for the bulbs, but they are worth the extra bucks in the long run.
3. Use High Power-Consuming Appliances during Off-Peak
Another way to conserve power is shifting high energy-consuming activities to off-peak hours. If possible, you should avoid engaging in such uses altogether. However, if you must, you can alter the schedules to ensure you do not use your oven alongside the dishwasher or the washer and the dryer. Appliances generating a lot of heat and steam are power-hungry, and they tend to consume a lot of energy. The timer in most of these appliances allows you to delay and begin operations later. For example, you can load your washer before dinner but delay the wash to late in the night. The perfect time is when there is less demand for energy.
4. Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
Appliances consume roughly 13% of the total energy used in the house. To save on solar energy consumption, you can purchase devices containing the ENERGY STAR label. The label is the federal guarantee that the appliances are power efficient. Additionally, these appliances consume less energy, even when on standby. An ENERGY STAR certified washer uses 45% less water and 25% less energy than a regular clothes washer.
5. Behavioral Adjustments
Have you visited homes where lights and TV are on in every room, even vacant ones? In such places, the consumption of energy is very high. Practicing small, simple changes can have a significant impact on saving energy around the home. One, you can practice leaving all the lights off and appliances unplugged.
Switching off unnecessary electronics during peak hours and setting timers on power-hungry appliances can conserve electricity. Developing the habit of adjusting the HVAC system or opening and closing the windows depending on the weather is good. This energy conservation behavior collectively saves on the power and, ultimately, the natural resources.
6. Reduce Water Heating Expenses
Another major contributor to energy consumption is heating water. Selecting an energy-efficient water heater can help ease the burden. However, you need other practical solutions to save energy. First, you can reduce the number of times hot water is used in your homestead. You can wash your clothes using cold water. Also, you can use lower temperatures for the water heater. Alternatively, you can insulate the storage tank to keep water warm for long.
7. Get a Smart Thermostat
You can program a smart thermostat to automatically reduce heating or turn off when you fall asleep or away from the house. This way, you save energy by cooling or heating your home when needed. They come in different forms, and they can revolve around your schedule. You should upgrade your HVAC system when you install this thermostat. Also, it can alert you when the air filters of the system need changing.
8. Insulating Your Home
Insulating your home can help reduce the overall energy consumed in the house. A well-insulated home retains heat during winter, and it can keep the home cool during the summer.
9. Seal Air Leaks in Your House
Vents, doors, windows, or cracks can leak air into your home. The leaked air can cause you to adjust the HVAC system to heat the room, which consumes energy. To prevent this issue, you can weatherize your home.
10. Get Energy Efficient Windows
Did you know that windows can lead to an increase in the heating bill by 10-25%? To prevent loss of heat, use double pane windows. If you are in an area that experiences adverse weather conditions, storm windows are a perfect fit.
Using a solar system for your home gives you freedom and flexibility. Connecting the system to the grid allows you to enjoy credit back. However, even with this newfound freedom, it is vital to preserving the resource. Simple behavioral changes such as switching off lights behind you and using energy-efficient appliances can help save energy.