Over the past few years, environmentally friendly practices and sustainable living concepts have gained substantial traction globally. Governments are actively addressing climate change issues, while businesses are highlighting its green products and services to cater to increasingly environmentally conscious shoppers. According to a 2020 research study by the IBM Institute for Business Value, 57% out of international consumers from 28 countries surveyed are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce negative environmental impact.
For those who want to be eco-conscious, it’s probably never been easier with technology playing a major role in encouraging people to go green. Besides providing instant access to information, it has also made it much easier for people and businesses to conserve energy.
Today, there are smart buildings that feature connected systems which monitor conditions in different parts of the building with sensors. Based on the data collected, it can automatically make adjustments to say, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), such as lowering and raising temperatures to optimal levels and controlling humidity. Besides raising comfort for occupants, these actions conserve energy and save money.
Homes today are also more energy efficient than they were 20 years ago. Modern smart homes feature better placement of windows for optimised lighting and use of building materials that better absorb and retain heat. Many household appliances and devices today are designed to use less energy and can be connected to smart home hubs such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home for remote control.
The simple definition of energy efficiency is using less energy to get the same task done. For example, the less water you use from taking shorter showers will reduce the amount of energy that is required to filter the water and pump it into your home. Increased energy efficiency can also lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as other pollutants to the environment. In 2018, the electricity sector was the second-largest source of GHG emissions in the United States, accounting for 26.9% of the total.
Besides helping the environment, saving energy offers other practical benefits such as saving money. For homeowners, energy costs, such as lighting, electricity and heating, make up a big portion of their monthly expenses. The US Department of Energy estimates that by using energy efficient appliances and products, it can help save five to 30% from utility bills. And when energy efficient home owners look to sell their houses, they are usually sold at a higher price as its green features contribute to lower utility bills and fewer needs for repairs and replacements.
Energy efficient home improvements to heating and air conditioning systems can also lead to a more comfortable home living environment for the family. With optimal settings, the systems will ensure proper temperatures so the home is never too hot or cold, while providing cleaner and improved airflow throughout the home.
There are a number of ways to be energy efficient. You can be proactive with changing your everyday habits to conserve resources. These can range from turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth and switching off lights when you leave the room to choosing optimal air conditioning settings which leaves you feeling comfortable while avoiding high electricity bills.
You can see the positive impact of such easy changes to our daily habits in the results of the annual Earth Hour. Held on the last Saturday of March, millions of people in over 180 countries and territories switch off their lights for one hour. A 2014 report on the electricity impact of Earth Hour found that the coordinated actions reduced electricity use by an average of 4% around the world. This year, the Ambi Labs team will once again proudly be celebrating Earth Hour on March 27.
Another way to reduce energy consumption is by using energy efficient home appliances and products. Many older appliances waste a great deal of energy which leads to higher utility bills than necessary. On average, an older model of refrigerator can use as much as twice the amount of energy as newer, better designed models. The same goes for lighting as older incandescent bulbs actually give off 90% of their energy as heat. Consider switching to LED lighting which uses 80% less energy and lasts 25 times longer.
Heating and cooling is another area of the home where energy use can be easily reduced. A home’s heating system can be held accountable for as much as 48% of its energy use, while air conditioners and electric fans account for nearly 20% of the total amount of electricity use in buildings globally. For those who don’t want to undergo an expensive upgrade of their air conditioning or heating systems, there are more low cost energy efficiency measures available today.
Smart home devices not only offer convenience but are also great tools that can ensure only what is needed is used. The Ambi Climate Mini Smart AC and heat pump controller detects temperature and humidity conditions in the home and automatically makes adjustments to provide the ideal living environment and energy use. You can set timers to turn on or off cooling and heating as needed, while the device automatically turns them off when you leave the home, thus eliminating any unnecessary energy waste. You can find out more about what the Ambi Climate Mini can do at its knowledge base.
Other types of green practices can lead to saving energy use as well. Recycling and reusing products eliminate the need for energy-intensive processes such as extracting and transporting materials to make products from scratch. By using recycled materials, it can skip those processes and manufacture the same products with a lot less energy use.
This comes to show that all actions are connected in one way or another. One small change can be the beginning of a domino effect that leads to something greater.
In case you missed it, learn what other things you can do to upgrade your home into a smarter and more economical one.