Personal Choices about energy use make a huge difference in how much energy you use and how much money you spend on energy. Personal choice impacts energy use in a variety of ways. Lets do some exploring.
Lets first differentiate between Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation
Both involve reducing overall energy use, but each achieve that goal in different ways. Conservation involves cutting waste of energy by your choices you make at this moment. Turn out that light. Close that door. Turn down the thermostat in cold weather so you use less heating energy. Turn up the thermostat in hotter weather to use less energy for cooling.
There is a certain amount of personal sacrifice involved with conservation we can reduce the amount of sacrifice by being in a thoughtful state of mind.
Lets consider cooling down our home during some hot Texas weather. People might think they need to leave the air conditioner on so they can come home to a cool home, or figure the cats and dogs might be uncomfortable in the Texas heat during the day- if the Air Conditioner is not on.
You can invest in a much more energy efficient home and invest in a highly efficient HVAC and we are saving money and energy with energy efficiency. If we buy a programmable thermostat that lets the house temperature range up a few degrees during the day, and maybe even coming home before the house is back to our favorite cool temperature, we are now conserving energy.
The bottom line is- the more air tight and well insulated the home, the more comfortable you feel with less intrusions of drafts, the home heat up much more slowly, and you hear less mechanical noise in the house. Well insulated homes can sit for hours in the hottest weather and interior temperatures change very slowly. There are no hot spots. So wise investment in energy efficiency can make it much less cumbersome and uncomfortable to conserve energy.
A well insulated house makes the decision to not leave the AC running all day much easier. It can help deal with hectic schedules and short cooling spans, if someone does come home early to a house that is not pristine cool. It helps everyone get more comfortable and participate better in basic energy conservation.
Anybody else tired of differentiating between conservation and energy efficiency? Lets move on.
How you and your family members use energy- your personal choices have an enormous impact on your own energy bill. How many people know people who cannot close doors when they walk through them? How many people cannot turn off lights when they leave a room? How many people come home to a hot house and crank down the thermostat to cool the house off?
New technologies are helping us share the house more easily in relation to cooling temps. Zone cooling allows cold blooded people and warm blooded people to coexist with less strain and less energy use.
New sensors and new apps help remind us when we need to do something and help us turn on the cool when we are not at home yet.
In todays busy schedules, it can be hard to conserve cooling while people are out of the house. People come home at different times… peoples schedules change. All these variations in timing are gradually being better accommodated with technology to help us conserve energy by being thoughtful and without a lot of sacrifice.
Cooling and heating schedules can be easily planned with a programmable thermostat. Your HVAC can relax for a few hours before it brings the home back down to a comfortable temp. But who lives by a set schedule anymore? Things happen. Schedules change. You can be home early to a too hot house or come home late to a house that has been staying cool for too long.
New phone apps can help. You can come home and be met with a welcome coolness to your home when you know you will be home. You just phone home and turn the AC on when needed- of course, giving it plenty of time to cool things off comfortably.
Back on the subject of sacrifice, there is a game site where you can register with other citizens, describe your energy use situation and play a game of how much energy you can save. Can you imagine? Well, it sounds entertaining to me although I have not enlisted into the process. Here is information if you feel competitive urges coming on.
There are a huge number of ways people can impact their energy bill by being thoughtful and thinking before they start using too much energy. In fact, there is a whole industry where companies come in and help company employees or school personnel or factory workers understand how they can help their employers save huge amounts of energy. Unfortunately in your home, you are the leader with the vision to make a difference. Good luck to you.
Personal choice and thoughtfulness can save energy, save money, and help create fresh air for our planet.
We will be adding a variety of energy saving tips on this website- look for them under the energy tips category. You can search for energy saving tips and you will find smart and surprising ways to save energy without too much personal sacrifice of comfort.
And, don’t forget you can make it all into a game and kick some butt in the energy saving field. That game link again is here.
Feel free to chime in. Is there some energy saving tip that you learned and surprised you? Let us know.