As fossil fuels become scarcer and more costly, it has become apparent that the future of energy is uncertain. To help transition away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable energies, changes in energy consumption need to start now. The least dramatic action we can take to begin the shift would be to simply increase efficiency.
One of the simplest ways to increase the country’s overall energy efficiency would be to improve efficiency of homes.
Home efficiency can be improved by purchasing Energy Star rated products. To achieve an Energy Star Rating, products must be significantly more energy effect than traditional products, the increased product cost must to be displaced by the amount of energy it saves, and it must have the same level of productivity of other products.
All Energy Star rated products must prominently display this symbol to make it recognizable as an energy efficient product.
There are a wide variety of Energy Star products available for every room in the house. By purchasing several Energy Star products, the overall efficiency of the household will increase.
Heating and cooling systems account for nearly half of energy usage in homes. To reduce this, several measures can be taken. Programmable thermostats allow temperature to be adjusted automatically. This allows higher/lower temperatures when the house is unoccupied or when the residents are sleeping to reduce overall energy usage. Dehumidifiers can decrease energy used for cooling during the summer months. Dehumidifiers condense the water vapor in the air and remove some of the humidity. Reducing humidity makes the air feel cooler, and therefore reducing the amount of energy used by air conditioners to cool the home.
To further reduce heating and cooling costs, insulating walls and installing insulating windows can make a major difference in a home’s energy use. Insulation can decrease heat loss by 40% during the winter. To add to the green properties of insulation, eco-friendly materials are widely available and highly effective. Insulation for homes can be made from cotton, wool, and recycled denim and a variety of other recycled and renewable sources.
Above is an image of recycled denim insulation