Making the home as energy efficient as possible will not only reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced by the home, it could also save hundreds of dollars a year on fuel bills.
Most of the energy used in our homes is produced by using processes that release carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that artificially warms the Earth’s atmosphere.
This guide will outline the top 5 tips on how to save energy. These are: switching to energy saving lighting, undergoing a loft and wall insulation, using solar power, buying an energy-efficient appliance and purchasing an energy-efficient pool pump.
‘Climate change’ refers to the increase in the Earth’s average temperature (since the beginning of the 20th century), its immediate impacts and the predicted future impacts. Climate change is one of the most daunting issues facing our planet, which is why it’s essential that everyone starts doing their part to save energy.
Evidence of climate change can be seen when examining the average temperature of the planet, which has increased by 0.75 degrees since 1900. Besides increasing the Earth’s temperature, climate change is responsible for rising sea levels, glaciers and polar ice caps melting, as well as the increased likelihood of serious weather events, such as droughts and large-scale floods
The Greenhouse Effect
The atmosphere of the Earth contains gases that ensnare heat near the Earth’s surface. ‘Greenhouse gases’ (such as CO2) are needed to sustain life on Earth as they let the sun’s rays enter, but stop some heat from escaping into the universe- which keeps the planet warm enough to allow life.
But as humans continue to cause more greenhouse gases to be released into the Earth’s atmosphere, the greenhouse effect becomes stronger- more heat is caught and the climate of the Earth changes unnaturally.
Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapour and other gases, such as methane and nitrous dioxide.
Carbon dioxide emissions are the most significant cause of climate change. Since the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by nearly 40%.
The concentration of the carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is now greater than at any other time in the last 800, 000 years.
There are three leading contributions of human activity that is changing the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere:
· An Increasing World Population - more people means more energy used to clothe and feed them, keep them warm etc.
· Deforestation - cutting down forests faster than they are replaced reduces the amount of CO2 emissions absorbed by trees.
· Burning Fossil Fuels – CO2 is produced every time a fossil fuel is burnt.
The amount of emissions that people are personally responsible for is known as their ‘carbon footprint’. The biggest sources of emissions for most people are likely to be using energy at home, driving and flying. There are many government-backed schemes and facilities that allow people to work out their own individual carbon footprint.
Top 5 Tips on How to Save Energy
The top 5 tips on how to save energy are outlined below:
1. Switch to Energy Saving Lighting
One of the best ways to save energy is to switch from traditional (incandescent light) to energy saving lighting. Most homes could reduce the amount of energy they use for lighting by at least 50% by switching to more efficient lights and smarter lighting choices.
There are many energy efficient lighting choices to choose from, including fluorescent lights, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Tubes of light that capture daylight and pipe into the darker areas of the home is another energy efficient way to light the home, as it can reduce the need for other forms of lighting.
A ban on incandescent globes is already in effect in Australia and they will slowly be phased out over the next few years. The Australian government hopes that by 2020 Australians will save around $400 million each year by utilising energy efficient lighting.
2. Loft and Wall Insulation
Insulation keeps the home warm during the winter months and cool in the summer. Insulation acts as a barrier to heat loss and gain, especially in ceilings, floors, roofs and walls. Half of the energy we use to cool or heat our homes can simply disappear without adequate insulation in the home. Insulating the home will also save hundreds of dollars each year on energy bills.
Generally, there are two forms of insulation for the home:
- Bulk Insulation- This type of insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow, keeping unwanted heat in or out of the home. This type of insulation typically uses glass wool, polyester, recycled paper or wool and is available in batts, rolls or boards.
- Reflective Insulation- This form of insulation helps keep the home cool in the summer by deflecting heat. A material like shiny aluminium foil is often laminated onto paper, plastic or cardboard and is available in sheets or batts-form for this insulation type.
Some insulation products that feature both bulk and reflective insulation are also available to purchase.
3. Use Solar Power
Another fantastic way to save energy, especially in Australia, is to install solar power in the home.
Solar power converts the sun’s light into electricity via photovoltaic (PV) panels (also known as solar panels). As of April 2013, Australian homeowners had almost 1 million new residential solar power systems installed.
Solar power is a renewable energy source that is free and clean and environmentally sustainable. Solar panels, however, aren’t the most affordable, but once they are installed, they require very little maintenance and can last for 20 years or more.
Homes using solar power can still be plugged into the electricity grid for mains power when needed, or to batteries to store power. It is also possible to sell unwanted excess energy to the energy provider.
4. Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
Appliances in the home account for nearly 30% of home energy use. As fuel prices rise, along with our dependency on appliances, switching to good quality energy-efficient appliances is a great way to save energy and money.
When it comes to buying a new washing machine or tumble dryer, it is strongly advisable to look at energy-efficient appliances when shopping.
The cost of running some appliances often adds up to more than cost price of the appliance and this will add to the energy bills for years to come. Many energy-efficient appliances also have many features to help further reduce the home’s carbon footprint.
5. Buy an Energy-Efficient Pool Pump
Swimming pools are everywhere in Australia, but they are terrible for using energy. A typical home maintaining an in-ground pool can often account for almost 30% of a household’s energy bills. The pool pump is also one of the largest culprits for using large amounts of electricity in the home. Some pool pumps use more energy than the dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer combined.
It is strongly advisable to upgrade to an energy-efficient pool pump to help reduce the carbon emissions produced by the home. Pumps with multiple speeds are often more efficient and require less energy to operate than standard single-speed pool pumps.
How to Buy Energy Saving Products on eBay
eBay is a great place to purchase energy saving products. From energy saving light bulbs and light fixtures to energy-efficient appliances and solar powered lights, eBay sells a vast range of energy saving products to suit everyone.
In order to have the most successful purchase on eBay, here is some advice to help buyers browse the website in the best possible way:
- Search – To start a search on the website, enter the name or type of the desired energy saving product into the search toolbar. Then from the menu located on the left-hand side of the screen, select ‘home & garden’.
- eBay Deals – Don’t forget to check out the latest deals on energy-saving products by looking in the ‘Home & Lifestyle’ section. Some great discounts can be found there, along with such as bonuses s free postage costs.
Energy saving appliances, products and systems are not only a great way to save money on annual energy bills; they’re great for reducing carbon footprints and contributing to reducing the global greenhouse effect.
Purchasing on eBay should be considered not only due to the potential of finding a great deal, but due to the extensive choice of energy saving products that the website offers. Remember to keep all personal and banking details safe and secure by using payment authority PayPal.