Even those of us who like to think we are living an eco-friendly life can end up wasting energy through thoughtlessness, carelessness, or simply because we don’t know that our actions are wasting energy at all.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most common ways you could be wasting energy accidentally so that you can hopefully avoid doing so in the future:
Not Having Enough Insulation
If you do not have enough insulation in your home, you could be losing as much as 30 to 40 percent of your home’s energy through the roof and walls. Ideally, you should have around 14 inches of loft insulation if you want to keep as much heat in your house as possible and save money on your energy bills too.
Keeping Old Windows
Most windows only have a shelf-life of 15 to 30 years, beyond that, they start to fail and you will need to replace them if you want them to be as safe and secure, not to mention efficient, as possible.
Of course, even before their natural lifespan is over, if windows crack or become impossible to fully close, they can leak air, which means your home will not be as energy-efficient or as warm and comfortable as it could be.
Calling a company like Renewal by Andersen windows to fit brand new airtight windows with double one triple glazing will help to improve your green credentials significantly. Not only that, but new windows will help to keep your home warm in winter, which means your energy bills will be lower, and cheaper as a result, too.
Not Removing Lint From The Dryer
If you are trying to be more eco-friendly, you probably don’t use the dryer much if at all anyway, but even if you only use it occasionally, it is really important that you clean out the filters afterwards. Why? Because when the filters are full, they can block the dryer vents. This can potentially be a fire hazard, and it will definitely cause your dryer to work less efficiently, which means it will take longer to get your clothes dry and use more energy in the process.
It only takes a few seconds to remove the lint, so make sure you do just that!
Not Dealing With Cracks In Your Foundations
Many people do not associate cracks in the foundation with heat loss. But the fact is that if your home has cracks in the foundation, it is another avenue for heat to be lost and it could make your home much less environmentally friendly. It could also push your energy bills up significantly.
Other than that, foundational cracks can also be a sign of subsidence, so it is really important you have them checked out and repaired as soon as you possibly can.
Okay, so we all know that buying used goods is better for the environment. But most of us tend to think in terms of saving things from landfills rather than the fact that buying new means that more energy has to be used to create new goods all the time.
By making an extra effort to buy used, you can absolutely cut down on the amount of energy you waste too.
Overfilling The Fridge
It might seem like a good idea to fill the fridge to the brim so you will need to visit the shops less often. However, when your fridge is too full, it is not able to work as effectively or as efficiently as it otherwise might, which means you will definitely end up wasting energy.
Walk or bike to the shops and avoid overfilling the fridge if you want to save energy in the kitchen.
Keeping The Blinds Closed
If you keep your blinds or curtains closed in the winter, then you may need to turn the thermostat up higher than necessary because you will be blocking out any natural light that will help to warm the place up a bit.
Of course, in the summer, closing the blinds can be a good idea if you would otherwise be using a fan to keep the place cool, because it will keep the worst of the heat out. This means your home won’t be too overwhelmingly hot, and thus that fan may not be necessary after all.
Charging Your Phone Overnight
Charging your phone overnight might seem like a good idea because then you will be guaranteed a full battery for the day ahead of you. However, most phones will charge in 1 or two hours these days, which means your phone will be plugged in and using more power than necessary for 6 or 7 hours!
Try charging your phone in the couple of hours before bedtime instead, then turn it off while you sleep to save energy and ensure a full battery in the morning, instead.
Planting Trees In The Wrong Place
Planting trees is one of the best things you can do for the environment, so we should all, if we can, be planting more of them in our gardens. However, if you position them in the wrong place, you could unnecessarily be wasting energy.
You see, if you plant trees strategically so that they provide shade to your home, you can avoid turning on fans or air conditioning in the summer months altogether. When planting, try to think of locations where the most sun gets into your windows and plant there to provide your home with more shade.
You can also try to plant trees and shrubs on the north side of your property so that, when winter comes, your home will be better sheltered from winds that could cause your property to be cooler, thus enabling you to keep the thermostat on a lower temp, too.
As you can see, there are lots of things you can do that will accidentally waste energy, but now that you know about them, you can make an extra effort to avoid them and hopefully improve your carbon footprint even more one step at a time!