REAL ESTATE MINUTE :With Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh
In a follow up to my recent article on operations management for high performance homes, we looked at water efficiency and conservation measures to optimize the performance of your buildings.
Today, we will offer simple tips on how to achieve energy efficiency to make your home a bit more comfortable and a bit more merciful on your pocket through reduced electricity bills. Everyone likes a good tip and definitely one that involves cost savings, shall we cut to the chase then?
Your AC management has to be right
It will surprise you that a few changes in how you use your Air Conditioner (AC) goes a long way to conserving energy and making your home more energy efficient.
The default mode for anyone who wants to cool their rooms on a hot day is to set the AC temperature to as low as say 18 degrees celsius right? What this is actually does is to put more pressure on the AC to draw out the hot air and invariably use more energy. A simple hack which on the face of it might not look like saving on energy however is the go to solution.
Set your AC temperature to about 23 degrees celsius and turn on a fan which not only augments the ACs cooling effort but reduces the pressure on the AC in drawing out hot air. This simple hack thus saves cost and makes your AC unit more energy efficient.
In addition to the above, the outdoor unit also needs to breathe and shouldn’t be placed in a super airless spot or with overhangs that block free passage of air that make the outdoor unit over heat and work overtime.
Consider Replacing Your Windows
These days, especially in this side of town, its trendy and cool to fix ACs in our homes, but then again the reality is that it is way hotter these days, so the ACs may actually be a practical measure.
In trying to make your home more comfortable however you may end up spending too much money on electricity if your home does not have windows that are airtight and have cool air escaping through the gaps.
You may need to consider retrofitting or more specifically changing your louvre blades windows for double panel windows that are a bit more secure. Now, if you can’t afford ACs you may rather consider replacing your windows in a way that allow in natural air or cross ventilation.
Schedule Energy Efficiency Audit
In as much as we may put in our best efforts to make our homes energy efficient, there may simply be areas our untrained eyes and minds may not be focusing on. This is where you need to put in a call to the experts.
Call an energy auditor who is skilled and can identify where your home currently stands in terms of energy efficiency, where the leaks are and which areas need to be plugged.
This one will surprise you. Do you know that a simple act of lid management can save you loads of money on electricity bills? Placing lids on pots and pans will heat food more quickly than cooking in uncovered pots and pans which draw on a lot more energy. So go on and work that lid!
Get your lighting right
So LED bulbs are popular these days and for some people it’s all about picking a pack off the rack in the believe that their energy usage will be efficient.
There is however more to optimizing the benefits of LED bulbs then making a simple purchase. In picking the bulb off the rack, please pay attention to the wattage and the lumens.
The lumens indicate level of brightness while wattage measures energy used hence a 9-watt LED bulb may actually be brighter than the traditional 45-watt incandescent bulb. So focus on lumens rather than wattage.
There you have it folks, try these hacks and let me know if they work.
The writer is the Executive director of Yecham Property Consult
& Founder of Ghana Green Building Summit.
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh
YouTube: Real Estate Minute