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Energy Conservation and Home Repairs/Improvements

Energy conservation is the conscious act of reducing the amount of energy that one uses. It is an effort that is undertaken by individuals in their home environment and by professionals in a business setting. For many, particularly homeowners, conserving energy is important not only because it is helpful for the environment, but because it also helps them save money on home energy costs. Good conservation habits are something that people of any age can be taught provided they are old enough to turn on and use items that consume energy. Being successful at conservation requires an understanding of how people are using excessive energy and what actions they can take to make an effective change.

Simple Energy Conservation Tips

One of the easiest ways to conserve energy is by changing behaviors that have become habitual. These behaviors are as simple as turning off lights in unoccupied rooms or shutting off televisions when no one is watching them. Because digital devices such as smartphones and tablets have become a common presence in most households, it is important that chargers are unplugged or shut-off when these devices are fully charged. Unplugging unused electric appliances can further help to conserve energy as well. That's because these items continue to use small amounts of energy even when they are not powered up and actively in use.

People can apply basic conservation ideas in every area in their home, without ever making drastic changes. In the kitchen, dishwashers should only be used when they are filled with dishes and one should opt to air dry them rather than use the machine's drying cycle. Keeping refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible is an easy way to keep them from using more energy than is necessary. Using cooler water to shower or even wash clothing reduces the amount of energy that is used by water heaters. Other tips involve reducing how hard energy consuming appliances work. For example, during the summer months close windows and doors that lead outdoors before turning on a home's air conditioner.

Home Repairs and Improvements That Help Conserve Energy

Home owners can also take steps to conserve energy by making repairs or improvements to their home environment. Improvements can be major or minor, costly or relatively inexpensive. Before making these repairs, it is important to determine what improvements or repairs are necessary in order to conserve energy. To do this a homeowner can request an energy audit. A person should then decide if the needed repairs are ones that they can take a class and learn to perform themselves, or if a professional contractor is required. Some of the common, energy-saving home repairs include filling in cracks and seams on the walls, around door frames, and on air ducts, all of which may be areas where the cool or warm air is leaking from the home.

When it comes to home improvements, people often make upgrades that improve the efficiency of their energy usage. The more efficient they are, the less energy is used. Replacing old windows with newer energy efficient ones and adding home insulation, for example, are two common improvements that many homeowners make. Changing to compact fluorescent light bulbs are a far less expensive improvement that can save homeowners money over time. Other home improvements may include the use of solar panels or solar water heaters.

     

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