If you look at a chart of dollars of economic output per unit of carbon, you’ll find that the figure has been rising rapidly over the last two decades. We’re no longer burning as many fossil fuels as we used to, and yet GDP continues going up. It’s quite remarkable really.
The savings are coming from all over the place — better efficiency, new methods of energy generation, and product substitutions. But there’s one arena in which the biggest differences are being felt — and that’s our homes.
In this post, we take a look at some of the ways that cleaner technologies are leading to cleaner homes and more efficient use of energy.
Energy-Conserving Light Bulbs
Old incandescent technology did the job of lighting a room, but it was incredibly inefficient. More than 90 percent of the energy coursing through the luminescent filament was lost as heat.
LEDs are much better and convert 90 percent of electrical energy into light, creating a massive saving. But that’s not the only innovation we see in 21st-century lighting. We’re also witnessing the emergence of bulbs that automatically switch off the moment you exit a room or leave your house in the morning.
Efficient HVAC Systems
There are several ways that HVAC systems are evolving to meet the energy conservation demands of the future. And that means that consumers have more power than ever to choose technology that allows them to go green.
Here’s what homeowners can do:
- Purchase self-learning thermostats that gain an understanding of your family’s heating and cooling habits over time as they vary with the seasons
- Use smart thermostats that you can control from your smartphone, allowing you to turn on and switch off the system as needed, instead of relying on a timer
- Conduct regular air duct cleaning to remove any contaminants from the systems’ internals that could hamper energy efficiency, create pollution in your home and shorten the life of your units
- Choose devices that recycle hot water and use green solutions, such as quiet-duct wrap to provide thermo-acoustic insulation
Aerators are small devices that you attach to the end of your faucets to add air bubbles to the flow of water as it falls into your sink. It sounds like a small innovation, but it helps to “spread out” water more evenly, providing better coverage when you wash your hands, reducing the amount you need to use.
Lastly, electric vehicles allow you to make your transportation cleaner and more efficient, even if fossil fuel power plants supply your home. While it’s not yet being used on a large scale, some industries are already making the most of electric vehicles to show that they care for the environment.
Electric vehicles offer the ultimate in low-cost, low-carbon transport with the flexibility to travel that homeowners want. Given that around 20 percent of all CO2 emissions created by the economy come from traditional gasoline transport, it makes sense to make the switch and reduce toxic exhaust fumes in our neighborhoods.