Fifty-eight percent of the energy the U.S. generates is wasted, according to the Energy Collective. The U.S. Energy Administration reports that energy use by the residential sector has increased dramatically over the past 60 years. Where are you losing energy? Learn about three home energy guzzlers and how to take back control of your energy consumption.
Washers and Water Efficiency
The average American home washes 400 loads of laundry each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many of these households are not using green, energy-efficient options that can save money and energy. The average washer uses 41 gallons of water per load and is the second-largest water user inside of the home. New high-efficiency models use up to 50 percent less water and energy than older washers per load. The EPA states that if all U.S. households were to install water-efficient washers, the U.S. would save upwards of 3 trillion gallons of water a year which could lead to savings of $18 billion dollars annually. Energy Star-labeled appliances are proven to reduce both water and energy use. And, washing machines that have cycle and load setting prove to be more water and energy-efficient than models without the adjustments. So, if your laundry room is a source of water waste, consider upgrading your outdated appliances.
Additionally, washing your clothes in cold water instead of warm or hot water saves energy, too. The Department of Energy recommends washing your clothes in cool water whenever you can. They also suggest switching hot water temperatures to warm or cold settings. Simply switching the setting from hot to warm can cut your energy use in half.
Your Smartphone Uses More Energy Than the Fridge
Believe it or not, your cellphone uses more energy than an Energy Star-rated refrigerator. That’s according to a recent report by the Digital Power Group. The 2013 report states that an average iPhone uses more energy for battery charging, wireless connectivity and data use than a medium-sized Energy Star fridge.
You can easily reduce your energy use at home by unplugging your chargers and other electronics when they are not in use. According to the Department of Energy, five to 10 percent of your home’s energy consumption comes from electronic devices that use standby power.
Enhance your Pools Efficiency
The Consortium for Energy Efficiency reports that standard pool pumps contribute to 70 percent of a pool’s energy use. In some cases, pool pumps will run unmonitored for 24 hours or more, when it only takes six hours of run time to effectively clean the pool, according to Green Building Advisor. The Department of Energy suggests reducing energy use by installing a solar pool heater. The system will include a solar collector, filter, pump and a flow control valve. The Department of Energy states that a solar pool heating system will cost between $3,000 and $4,000, but homeowners will quickly recoup their investments–although cost and payback will depend on your location. Homeowners can even earn a $1,400 tax credit by installing a solar heating system, according to NC Solar.
Solar heated pools require special products to keep them running efficiently. Online retailers like PoolCenter.com will ship your liquid solar heating products directly to your doorstep. Pro Series Liquid Cover, for example, helps to conserve hundreds of gallons of water by decreasing the evaporation of your pool water. The solution is 100 percent harmless and invisible. The liquid cover creates a barrier on the surface even when the pool is in use. The solution also helps to conserve the heat, so you’ll potentially save on energy costs related to heating your pool.