Turn off the lights, turn down the thermostat, and take shorter showers.
We live in a world of gadgets and stuff. When it comes to saving energy, we look to high-efficiency light bulbs or dishwashers. Or we use the advanced weatherstripping to seal our windows or add insulation in our attics. And hopefully we’ll look at fuel-economy ratings when shopping for our next car.
Those are important things to be doing—and we should continue paying attention with all of our purchases. But we should also recognize that behavior is a big part of our overall energy consumption.
The fact is, you can build two identical homes, right next to each other—with the same insulation levels, the same windows, the same appliances, and the same lighting—and the energy bills for those homes can differ by a factor of two, because they are operated differently.
Operating houses in a more energy-efficient manner
So how can homeowners modify the energy performance of their homes? There are lots of ways—many of them so obvious one might be tempted not to even list them. But we sometimes overlook the obvious.