The Energy Drain: How Much Do Empty Rooms Waste Energy?

Life as we know it – where and how we live – is not possible without electricity. Many people take energy access for granted, but that number is shrinking as awareness of the importance of energy savings increases.

Energy Habits in the Home

The most common energy saving habits – like turning off lights or not falling asleep with the television on – are some of the easiest-to-develop good habits. It just so happens that they’re fixes to the least wasteful energy usage in a home.

Energy use in residences amount to an average of roughly 22% of all the energy consumed in the US annually.

Energy Waste

The top 10 ways energy is wasted are:

1.Sleeping with the television on

2.Inefficient light bulbs

3.Lights on in an empty room

4.Fans on in an empty room

5.Energy vampires – appliances in standby mode

6.Devices plugged into charges after they are full

7.Standing in front of open refrigerators and freezers

8.Old filters in HVAC systems

9.Baking during hot summer afternoons

10.Unused programmable thermostats

Reducing Energy Waste

Armed with the right information, you can make great advances in reducing energy waste.

To counter light-related energy waste, turn off lights or invest in occupancy sensors for your rooms. For maximum energy savings, replace incandescent bulbs with energy efficient alternatives such as LED bulbs.

To eliminate “energy vampires,” consider installing electricity usage monitors or switching to advanced power strips. More simple tips include using your television’s timer function, organizing your refrigerator so you know where things area, turning off fans in empty room, and unplugging fully charged devices.

Energy savings in HVAC systems start at a structural level – identify air leaks in ducts, windows, doors and so on. Add insulation in vulnerable areas such as basements, crawl spaces and attics. These steps help a home retain its temperature and reduce the strain on heaters and AC units.

Air filters are important as well. Dirty air filters force HVAC systems to work harder, drawing more energy. Installing air filter whistles help you remember to replace them. Also, learn how to operate your programmable thermostat. The EPA estimates that programmable thermostats can save a household as much as 9% of their energy.

Download the Energy Vampires infographic