Small Space Scribes on July 22, 2020 0 Comments One of the draws to building or buying a tiny home is the idea that with less square footage, you’ll end up using less energy than if you lived in a normal-sized home. This is usually true, but unless carefully planned out you could still be wasting energy even if it’s at a lesser scale. To help you become even more energy efficient within your tiny home we’ve compiled some tips that are as simple as switching off light bulbs to more complex, like the sealing of air gaps. Read on to find out which area you can improve to help make your carbon footprint even less. Switch Out Your Light Bulbs You would be amazed at how many people go to the hardware store and purchase whatever lightbulb they see first. Take a few extra minutes in the light bulb aisle to look for either CFL or LED light bulbs. Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs use around 25% – 35% less energy than regular incandescent light bulbs and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs use around 75% less energy. Programmable Thermostat It’s likely you already have a programmable thermostat within your tiny home, but if you don’t, consider switching to one. A programmable thermostat works by automatically adjusting the temperature when it hits the desired time of day or specific temperature within your home. This automation can greatly increase the amount of energy saved because you aren’t heating or cooling your home when you’re not there. Tip: Make sure that your programmable thermostat isn’t right next to a lamp or any electronics that give off heat. It could trick the thermostat into thinking your tiny home is a different temperature than it really is. Energy Saving Appliances When cooking, try using something other than your oven or range. Counter-top devices can be more energy-efficient, like a microwave or other small appliance. You’ll also want to make sure that the larger appliances you have, like your washer/dryer, dishwasher, or refrigerator have the Energy Star label. The Energy Star label ensures that the “product [you] are purchasing or using was independently certified to deliver the efficiency performance and savings that [you] have come to expect.” Turn Off Electronics Did you know that the electronics you have turned off are still pulling power? According to the US Department of Energy, all the TVs in the US consume the energy of a nuclear power plant each year…while they’re turned off. This type of power usage is known as idle power, which means that the electronic devices you have plugged into the wall still pull power even though you have turned them off. To help fix the issue of idle power, you will first need to make sure that your electronics are plugged into a surge protector and that the “on switch” is flipped off when you aren’t using them. The best time to turn off your surge protector is when you are leaving your tiny home or when you go to bed for the night. Ceiling Fans A ceiling fan can be both aesthetically pleasing and help lower your energy usage by being a substitute for your air conditioning. It still pulls energy, but at a lesser scale than having your air conditioner on for even a few hours. Use Nature to Your Advantage Open up your curtains and use the sun to your advantage to light and heat your home. Depending on where you live, you can also use windows to help cool your home. Keep the windows and curtains closed to block heat-producing sunlight when it’s hot out, then open up the windows and let in the breeze when the weather cools. Use Clothes to Your Advantage During the colder months instead of just having your heater on, wear warmer clothes and always have a blanket handy. Socks and sweatshirts are amazingly comfy to snuggle in, especially with a blanket, when you watch TV or are lying in bed with a good book. In the warmer months, shorts and t-shirts will help to cool down your body along with turning on a portable fan. Purchase Black Out Curtains Normally you would purchase blackout curtains because you don’t want to be awakened by the sunlight. Another reason to purchase them is to keep the inside of your tiny home cool even during warm months. They act as a type of insulation and keep the heat from entering your home in the form of sunlight. Check Your Ventilation Have a BPI certified technician in your area come over and make sure that all your ductwork is well insulated and properly sealed. Air gaps are some of the ways you’ll waste energy without even knowing it. Now that you know some different ways to be energy efficient within your tiny home, you should be saving money and the Earth’s natural resources in no time!