If you’re a tiny homeowner, you might be more worried about using space efficiently and fitting all your belongings into a small area than saving energy. But saving energy doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it can even help simplify and declutter your life, better aligning it with tiny home living.
You can incorporate energy-saving techniques into your life through building and design considerations as well as lifestyle. It all starts with understanding why it’s so important to be energy efficient. If you develop motivation for your actions, you’ll be more likely to follow through in the long term. With a little bit of extra work, your tiny home can be a model of energy efficiency.
The Importance of Energy Efficiency
The goal of energy efficiency is an important one. It can have long-lasting benefits, reaching much farther than the confines of your tiny home. Your actions today can have an impact on the kind of world the next generation lives in.
Some of the top reasons for being energy efficient are saving money, improving the economy, supporting the natural environment, improving national security, and enhancing the quality of life. If that isn’t enough to convince you, working toward saving energy can even be fun. You can make your goal into a game for yourself, challenging yourself to save more and more each week or month.
However, you look at it, working toward energy efficiency is an important goal that will positively benefit the functionality of your tiny home and the world at large.
Building & Design
Achieving energy efficiency in green building design can sound overwhelming when you’re just starting out. But whether you’re building a home from scratch or working on renovations to an existing property, there are simple things you can do ensure your space is saving energy.
One of the basic ideas for green building and design is that you work with the natural environment, not against it. Something as simple as orienting your house in an east/west direction so it can be naturally warmed by the sun and kept cool by a simple roof overhang can dramatically reduce the need for heat and air conditioning in various seasons.
The idea of passive solar home design is popular for a good reason, working with your building site and climate to prioritize energy efficiency. If you’re doing renovations instead of a new build from scratch, consider installing more south-facing windows to let in more natural light.
Once you start getting ideas for how you can make your tiny home energy efficient, you’ll likely be excited and raring to go. It’s a good idea to pause here and think about a few precautions, including safety.
The building, upgrading, and renovating your home by yourself is a great project, but sometimes it’s safer to use a professional. If you do decide to do the work yourself, be sure to do your research so you don’t put any lives at risk. You should thoroughly research everything, from plans you use to products you build with. Any product with a mistake or faulty element could result in an injury.
Always wear proper safety equipment like a hard hat and glasses when building or renovating, be careful with heavy lifting, and have someone on hand to help you when the need arises. Finally, don’t forget to have fun with it. Working to make your home fits into the natural world instead of standing apart from it can really be a joy.
Now that your home is newly built or renovated, it’s time to learn how to live in it in an energy-efficient way. Lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on whether or not your tiny home is saving energy. Try the following easy ideas to help reach your goal:
- Forego unnecessary appliances: Although many tiny homes have a compact washer/dryer in one unit, it’s far more energy efficient to dry your clothes outside on a clothesline when the weather permits. No washer, no dryer, no problem. This works especially well if you live in a dry climate.
- Align your schedule with the sunrise and sunset: No matter what time you enjoy going to bed at night and waking up in the morning, consider trying to align your schedule with the natural rhythms around you. Wake up when the sun rises and head to bed when it sets. This will reduce your need to turn on lights at night, therefore saving energy.
- Regulate lighting and temperature: You don’t need a light switch or a thermostat to regulate the amount of light or the temperature in your tiny home. All you need is an energy-efficient window treatment to do the brunt of the work. You’ll see your energy bills decrease significantly if you do this and get to enjoy a beautiful blind option for your home as well. This is a great example of a simple fix that can have a huge impact.
All of these things together can help save energy and money in your tiny home. From designing your entire build around the goal of energy efficiency to making a few lifestyle changes to save a bit of energy here and there, you can take action today toward being more energy efficient.
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