Energy efficiency in these modern times is all the more vital in sustaining energy sources and protecting the environment. In the last two decades, there has been a drastic change in climate and global temperature. Global warming and climate change has become even more apparent and experienced in various parts of the world. With these alarming effects, introducing energy efficiency in homes and buildings has become critical to sustaining the environment and reversing the effects of global warming.
Energy efficiency is the concept of reducing energy consumption by taking advantage of certain materials and practicing methods that can prevent unnecessary consumption of energy. More than just saving energy at home by turning off appliances when not in use, energy efficiency is incorporating appliances that have lower energy consumption and making sure there is less dependency on coal-powered electricity for the household.
A homeowner can make his/her household more energy efficient through various methods. On the other hand, energy efficiency can already be considered and incorporated in the initial design and building plans of a new home to achieve an ideal green home. This kind of house design can offer better value and long-term savings for a homeowner.
Passive Solar Energy
Unlike solar energy harnessed through photovoltaic cells or solar panels, passive solar energy doesn’t require extensive installation and devices. If you have south-facing windows, you can light up or heat a room by keeping the curtains or blinds open to let natural sunlight and heat come in. Others have sunrooms to better attract heat and light. During cool weather, you can protect the room from heating by keeping curtains or blinds down.
Energy efficiency can also be adopted when designing and building a new home. Basically, an architect would integrate energy efficiency concepts in how he or she will plan and design the home or building. For example, the placement of a home in north-south direction can be achieve a home with less heat energy input and increased overall ventilation.
Thermal mass or thermal capacitance is a concept used in building green homes. It is the heat capacity or ability of a material to absorb thermal energy and store heat. In your home, you can incorporate building materials like walls, ceilings, and floors to have a good thermal mass or heat capacity. What it can do is keep temperature balance and prevent any fluctuations. If you have a room with high thermal mass, rooms can be cooled during the summer because heat can be stored in walls, ceilings, and floors built with high thermal mass. During the cooler months, heat can be easily absorbed in one room and then released distributed to other adjacent rooms for better temperature and ventilation in your home.
At the outset, by choosing structural materials for your home with good thermal mass, you then improve ventilation in your home and reduce the need for heating and cooling systems, therefore cutting down on energy consumption.
Energy Star Rating
The US Environmental Protection Agency has introduced the Energy Star standard to the public and private sector in 1992. It aims to label products based on how energy-efficient they are. Consumers and businesses can then make guided choices when purchasing products so that they can improve their energy efficiency and gain more cost savings. From major appliances to other home electronics and devices, the Energy Star rating has provided useful information to many consumers. It is highly recommended for users to refer to the Energy Star rating and technical information of certain appliances before purchasing.
Some home appliances on the other hand are now available with an hourly energy consumption rate. You can basically go to an appliance store and compare one appliance from another in terms of this bench mark. On the other hand, older appliances are expected to consume more energy and electricity, most especially if not properly maintained.
Energy efficiency is something everyone should practice actively in their homes and offices. Find out more tips in the related video and featured lenses below.