Energy efficiency is something you’ll hear about in conversations centered on reducing emissions or saving money, but you might now know exactly what it means.
What is It?
Being energy efficient is all about achieving the comfort you are used to while using less energy. Better insulating your home is a simple example of being energy efficient. The more insulated your walls and windows are, the less hot or cold air will escape, requiring you to spend less on heating and air conditioning.
Using natural light from windows or skylights during the daytime is another way to achieve energy efficiency. In homes or apartments that don’t allow for much natural light, energy efficient light bulbs (compact fluorescents) can be purchased to save money in the same area.
Energy Conservation vs. Energy Efficiency
Though they achieve the same results (saving money and reducing energy usage), conservation and energy efficiency are not the same things. In conservation, usage may be cut entirely, like turning off your air conditioning to save money. An energy efficient home, however, can save just as much energy without sacrificing a service.
This is done by getting the most from the energy that you do use. Compared to a regular home, a home full of energy-efficient appliances can see the same dishes washed and items refrigerated with a much lower amount of energy input. Newer appliances are typically constructed with energy efficiency in mind, so spending the money to replace your old ones might save you in the long run.
The Pros Outweigh the Cons
So, why practice energy efficiency? The most obvious answer is the money you’ll save. Within the first year of deciding to become energy efficient, typical residents can expect to pay hundreds less on heating and air conditioning costs.
In addition to the obvious, energy efficiency reduces the amount of emissions and there are proven psychological benefits to using natural light in your home. So why not give energy efficiency a try?