A study published in the publication Joule points out that Americans are spending more time at home. No wonder; with the availability of streaming videos, online stores and telecommuting, it’s possible to work, shop and be entertained without leaving the comforts of your office or family room.
The study evaluated a decade of American Time Use Surveys, with information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each year, 11,000 Americans record their daily activities to contribute data to the survey.
The study also revealed that Americans spent, on average, an extra 8 days at home, one less day traveling and one week less in non-residential buildings than in decades past. The greatest change was seen in those between the ages of 18 and 24, who spent 70% more time at home than the general population. Those over age 65 were the only group to spend more time outside the home than in the past. And while less traveling and time spent in commercial buildings may save energy in those locations, spending more time at home likely leads to using more energy.
The study found this to be true, with a national average increase of 480 trillion bTUs used in American homes. While it’s impossible to translate this figure to an amount of extra energy an individual home might use, the info may offer a reason to search for ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Before winter sets in, consider performing one or more of these energy-saving tasks. Not only might you save some energy dollars, but you may also be more comfortable as you cozy up at home to watch a movie or get an early start on holiday shopping:
- Contact us about getting a home energy audit; we can help you determine which tasks might offer the best return in energy savings
- Add extra insulation in the attic
- Check your caulk and weatherstripping and replace or repair, if necessary
- Replace old-style light bulbs with LEDs
- Have your HVAC system checked and prepped for winter; if you need to replace your furnace, talk with us about rebates and the most energy efficient options
- To help make old windows more energy efficient, add storms, film or insulated coverings, and close drapes and blinds at night to prevent cold air from coming in
- For a more complete list, review actions you can take on this list from Energy.gov.