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Helping to make our society more green and energy independent one blog post at a time

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LizzieWeakley

The Green Home How Your Roof Can Impact Your Energy Efficency.JPG

 

The roof protects your home interiors from snow, wind, hail, storm, rain and sun. It also ensures that heat from either the outside or inside does not leak to either side. If the roof is energy-inefficient, it may be costing hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling costs. Here are factors of your roof that may impact on the energy efficiency of your home.

 

The Level of Insulation

Ideally, energy efficiency is ensuring that the temperature out there does not affect the indoor temperature. One of the areas where outdoor temperature may influence your indoor temperature is the roof. The insulation levels in your attic determine whether the house losses some of the cool air during summer or gets cold during summer.

 

Inspect the attic insulation regularly. Install additional insulation when necessary. Quality insulation also protects the roof from damage due to condensation in the attic.

 

Ventilation

Your roof requires some ventilation to offload the excess heat that may be hidden in the attic. During the cold weather, the trapped heat in the attic may thaw the snow prematurely and create ice dams. Ice dams eventually become points of weakness and leakage on the roof. You may end up with expensive leak repairs or roof replacement.

 

During the hot weather, trapped heat may make your cooling systems less efficient. Therefore, it costs you more to cool the house that you should. Moreover, poor ventilation may tap moisture under your roof and cause damage to the holding beans and the roof structure. Trapped moisture can lead to mildew growth and rust on your metallic fixtures.

 

Color

The color of the roof also affects the energy efficiency of your home. Dark-colored roofs usually absorb lots of heat during summer. They can heat up to over 150 F° in a hot summer.

The extra heat is transmitted to the attic and other materials in your home. This increases the indoor temperature thereby raising the energy consumption of your air conditioning systems. You end up paying more to keep your house cool.

 

Consider light-colored roofs or roofs made from light-reflecting materials. You can also seek the help of professional roof contractors such as Stevens Roofing Corporation to help determine best colors to reflect heat. This enhances your energy efficiency and keeps your home cooler.

 

Cut your energy costs by improving the energy efficiency of your home starting with the roof. Install the right roofing when building or refurbishing the house. Check the above elements to lower your energy costs.

LizzieWeakley

Home Air 5 Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality.JPG

If you’re like most people, you want to live and work in the cleanest, healthiest environment possible. One of the most significant factors in maintaining a comfortable space is by improving your indoor air quality.To help everyone fine-tune their indoor air conditions here are five tips for you.

 

Follow Your HVAC Maintenance Schedule—Your HVAC System is essentially the Control Center for your comfort. Air Conditioning Units last from 10 to 15 years, so getting regular maintenance helps assure that it operates at peak performance when the heat and humidity rises. Additionally, scheduled maintenance helps with early detection of operational issues so you can avoid expensive repairs later.

 

Ductless or Mini-Split AC Units—Ductless and Mini-Split Air Conditioning Units are a convenient and cost-effective way to add cooling capabilities to older homes without traditional ductwork, as well as apartments and workspaces with little or no access to air conditioning. The absence of access to ducts no longer has to be a reason to be uncomfortable and suffer in the sweltering heat. Ductless AC Units from companies like All American Air & Electric, Inc. are affordable, flexible, and can be customized to maximize the air comfort and quality in your home or office.

 

Duct Cleaning—in homes and buildings that use Forced Air Heating and Cooling, ducts play a significant factor in determining overall air quality. Ducts are notorious for collecting dirt, dust, and dander, allergens, and irritants which degrade indoor air quality. Reduce the accumulation all of these contaminants to breathe easier.

 

A UV Light System—for those who are serious about optimizing their indoor air quality, a Continuous Air Purification System (CAPS) offers an ongoing mechanism for air purification using UV light treatment technology. All air gets filtered. Microscopic contaminants including spores, viruses, and other bacteria are trapped, so they don’t get circulated.

 

Portable Air Treatment Systems Investing in a high-quality area air treatment system is an affordable option. They offer an alternative for cleansing the air without making a significant investment. These systems remove odors, bacteria, dust, and dander in the immediate area they’re used.

 

Air quality is something that everyone should be concerned with since it directly affects your health and wellbeing. Regardless of your budget, there are steps you can take to decrease the dust, dander, germs, and irritants that get dispersed throughout your home or office, which result in improved air quality.

 

 

LizzieWeakley

5 Renovating Ideas to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient This Winter.JPG

The cold wind is about to start blowing outdoors, and your home will need to work hard to keep you comfortable and warm indoors. For you to stay warm your home may need to work harder than necessary, and this will inflate your energy bills. However, by making some home renovations before winter, you will save money, boost energy efficiency and add the value of your home in the long run. Listed below are some renovation ideas.

 

Get a More Energy Efficient Furnace

Upgrading to a more reliable and energy efficient furnace is an excellent idea to consider before winter. For instance, you can get a variable speed fan and a gas furnace with a modulating gas valve for consistent warmth at your entire home. This kind of unique technology offered by products such as the Trane XC95m eliminates temperature swings and moderates the energy usage of your system.

 

Change the Furnace Filter

Dirty furnace filters restrict the airflow, hence increasing energy use in your residence. By keeping the furnace clean, properly adjusted and updated, you will a save on heating expenses during winter. For best results, consider replacing or cleaning the filters once every month this winter.

 

Minimize Heat Loss from Windows

According to the Department of Energy, 10-25% of the heating bills every month can be attributed to the heat lost via the home windows. You need to replace your old windows and doors with energy efficient ones. This will prevent the heating system from working hard to manage the desired temperature. Companies such as RWC Windows, Doors & More provide quality products aimed at improving energy efficiency at an affordable cost.

 

Purchase Energy Star Products

Energy appliances use approximately 20% of energy in your home. Because of this, you need to consider buying energy star products. These products use 10-15% less energy compared to other products. This way you will save on utility bills.

 

Install New Flooring

You can easily maintain the temperature and reduce energy costs when you get the right flooring. Rugs and carpets, for instance, can trap heat, keeping your home warmer during winter. Flooring professional can provide options you can rely on to cut energy costs.

 

Consider these ideas to ensure that your home is ready for winter. Some of them might seem like major projects while others are just minor adjustments. In the end, you will realize considerable savings on energy costs.

LizzieWeakley

Home Heating 3 Ways to Make Sure Your Home is Heated Properly this Winter.JPG

 

As Winter approaches, there are normally a few duties and projects that you do around the house in order to prepare. This year, why not enjoy a warm and toasty home all winter long? If you start today, you can ensure that your home is heated properly for years. Here are three ways that you can make certain that your heat is working properly.

 

Infrared Camera Service:

A few years ago, people put together infrared cameras that could sense minute differences in temperature. Many of those cameras found their way to remodeling contractors that use them to point at your home from all angles so that they can show you specifically where your home is losing heat.

 

The warmer that it is near the outside of your home, the more warmth you are losing- and the more money that you are losing. Therefore, when a contractor finds a flawed spot and repairs it, you will see automatic savings on your heating bill.

 

Pipe Wrapping:

Another annoyance for some homeowners is that they have one or two rooms in their house that are never heated properly because somehow the air that gets to them is a few degrees cooler than the air that they get in other rooms.

 

This type of problem normally occurs because most of the pipes on the way to those rooms have not been wrapped properly. A secondary cause could be that the foil pipe itself has a rip or tear in it. Having a trusted professional like those from A & E Heating and AC Inc. work on your home heating system, you should be able to have the full potential of your furnace restored to all the rooms in your house.

 

Furnace Optimization:

Furnace optimization is another service that companies like a & E Heating provide because it ensures that your furnace will not break down on you during the course of the Winter, and it might also identify other areas in your heating system that you are losing hot air.

 

One of the most common areas near a furnace that might need patching is on the pipe that leaves the boiler or furnace itself. One nice thing about asking for experts to come out and optimize your service is that they are very efficient and won’t take long to both find and fix what is necessary.

 

So if you are looking at keeping your home warm this winter, consider calling and setting up an appointment. Staying warm and saving money can be a good combination.

LizzieWeakley

The Green Business How to Make Sure Your Company is Energy Efficient.JPG

Energy conservation has become an essential part of doing business. The American Council for Energy Efficiency states that office equipment has some of the highest electricity consumption rates at 7% of the total commercial electric power. Businesses must, therefore, find ways to minimize the amount of energy utilized to not only save money but also reduce carbon footprint. Many opportunities exist for entrepreneurs to drive their companies towards green business.

 

 

Equipment Use

Your enterprise can save energy by switching to laptops instead of desktops. Computers are necessary in every office building, but that doesn’t mean you can’t minimize the amount of power they use. Laptops consume less power than desktops plus they don’t have to be plugged in all the time.

 

 

For other office equipment like photocopiers, printers and POS systems, always buy energy-rated products. Provide proper maintenance to ensure that all devices are running optimally for maximum efficiency. Installing energy efficient lighting fixtures is effective as well. Occupant sensors can help turn lights off and on, which eliminates wastage.

 

 

Green Company Culture

It’s not enough to have energy efficient light bulbs and proper insulation in your commercial premises, the people who work there must do more to build an eco-friendly business. Adopt a corporate culture that encourages energy conservation in every form like going paperless.

 

 

Employees can use emails, phones plus other messaging apps for communication and apply electronic signature for important documents. Workers should take advantage of the power management settings on computers to save power when machines are idle. Reducing office waste is another concept that can help your enterprise develop a more eco-friendly culture.

 

 

Energy Efficient Buildings

For a company that owns a building, LEED certification is one way to turn the entity eco-friendly. Commercial property owners are steadily moving towards green construction by using materials, designs, and operations that are sustainable. A good number of business premises are now LEED certified, and your enterprise can rent space in one.

 

 

The Green Globes rating system is another recognized standard that you can use to gauge the sustainability of your commercial building. Industrial businesses can also do their part by implementing environmentally friendly solutions in their operations such as green transformers from a provider like Solomon Corporation. From offices to factories to hotels, business owners can earn Energy Star status and ensure that their premises conserve energy as much as possible.

 

 

Everyone has a responsibility to save energy and company management can implement various ways for individuals to pitch in. Simple actions like unplugging laptops and phones once they charge can help your company with its energy efficiency efforts.

LizzieWeakley

Cool Metal Roofing How it can Make Your Office Building More Energy Efficient.JPG

 

As the world becomes more educated on the importance of sustainability, more people are trying to implement the knowledge into everyday living by recycling, saving water and eco-friendly buildings. One of the most recent sustainable solutions in the construction industry is using cool metal roofing which is basically a roof designed to reflect and re-emit back sunlight and heat instead of absorbing it like other roofing materials.

How Cool Roofs are Made

Cool metal roofs are made from tin, aluminum, steel or copper and then covered with a highly reflective white paint, sheet covering or reflective shingles. A cool roof can stay around 55 degrees Fahrenheit during summer while ordinary roof goes as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit reducing your energy bill by 40%. Companies like Wespol have been at the forefront of installing sustainable roofing solutions and insulation for commercial, industrial and residential buildings.

1. They Do Not Absorb Heat

Unlike other roofing materials, cool roofs reflect sunlight and re-emit the heat back into the atmosphere immediately instead of absorbing it. This means that even on the hottest day, the building under that roof will remain cool and there will be no need to use an air conditioner or other cooling gadgets. The coating used in the best cool roofing can reflect and re-emit up to 90% solar radiation away from your building.

2. Prevent Urban Heat Island Effect

Once the heat has been absorbed by the building and the roof, it has to be emitted slowly into the air overnight and this causes a heat island effect which means the entire area will feel hot and more power will be needed to cool. However, there is no heat absorbed by a building when you have cool roofing so the effect will be prevented.

3. Reduce Peak Energy Use

Peak electricity demand happens when a lot of buildings are used too much power to cool or heat and it causes power outages. Cool roofs can prevent pea energy use and preserve your backup generator.

Other Benefits of Cool Roofs

  • Metal is very tough and durable so you will get unmatched longevity.

  • Metal roofs can withstand the worst of Mother Nature.

  • Metal roofs are fire-resistant and impervious to pests.

  • Metal is highly sustainable because it can be recycled severally.



Metal roofing is a great cost-saving investment that will not only benefit your household but the environment as well. It is a green home product with Energy Star and LEED Ratings so you know the benefits are real.

LizzieWeakley

How to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient and Warm During the Fall and Winter Months.JPG

The fall and winter season is the coldest time of the year when harsh weather conditions are common. For many households, it can be difficult to stay warm and cozy without causing your energy bill to increase dramatically. If you want to keep your home energy-efficient without sacrificing your level of comfort, there are a few important steps to take.

Eliminate Drafts

Drafts that are present in the home can increase your energy usage and make the heater work harder as it attempts to raise the temperature of the interior setting. Eliminate drafts by caulking holes or cracks that are present, which can allow air to enter the home and also escape it, according to energy.gov.

Tune Up Your HVAC Unit

Hire a professional to inspect your HVAC unit before the fall season arrives to determine if any issues are present with it. They can examine the parts and clean up the system to ensure that it runs more efficiently during the colder months of the year. You can also have heating oil delivered to your front door from a company like Bucksfuel.com to ensure that you keep your energy costs low with a convenient service that will allow you to stay indoors. The furnace filter should also be replaced once a month or every few weeks, depending on how frequently it's used.

Cook in the Oven

Using the oven to cook casseroles and baked goods is an easy way to feed your family while also heating the interior setting. You can enjoy comfort food throughout the fall and winter seasons while reducing the use of your HVAC system when the oven is in use.

Use the Fireplace

Rely on the fireplace to stay warm and cozy with wood that can be burned to heat the home. The fireplace will keep your energy usage to a minimum and is a natural way of keeping the chill away on gloomy days.

You can also set the thermostat to prevent it from fluctuating throughout the day. Turning it down by 10 degrees will also allow you to save while sleeping at night when extra blankets can be used to stay warm.

Keeping your energy usage low doesn't mean that you have to freeze during the fall and winter season. With the right steps taken, you can reduce your global footprint and avoid spending more to create a cozy setting that is comfortable to spend time in until spring arrives.

LizzieWeakley

The Green Business How to Ensure Maximum Energy Savings.JPG

 

Thousands of hours are spent powering buildings day and night. Running a business includes running the building and paying attention to the energy bills. You will notice a big difference when you make a few minor changes in the way you handle electricity. Increase the amount of energy you save every day using these few tips.

Retrofits and LED Lights

Light-emitting diode (LED) technology is designed to use less energy to power the lights. The fixtures last for several decades with minimal maintenance. Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out and replaced by LED lights that are manufactured in different colors and sizes.

Retrofits improve energy efficiency by replacing outdated fixtures. Retrofitting includes the use of new lights, thermostats and windows. Find energy-efficient LED lights and retrofits from brands like
Always Earth Friendly.

Increase savings by installing motion sensors that switch on and off whenever someone walks by. There is little more effort needed after the first installation. Use timers to turn the lights on automatically at preset times.


Surge Protectors

Many appliances run continuously without being turned off, which wastes large amounts of electricity in the building. Use a surge protector to save energy and cut monthly bills in half. The device prevents the damage made by spikes that are caused by blackouts and lightning strikes.

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat helps you to avoid paying for unused heating and cooling bills. Set timers to turn the system on and off at certain times of the day. Most people do not realize that they waste energy by heating or cooling rooms that are unused. A thermostat with zoning technology works to prevent this problem.

Electrical Appliances

Energy-saving appliances are easy to use and install in any home or building. Find appliances clearly marked with energy-saving labels at many stores. Like surge protectors, invest in appliances that reduce your energy bills by half and require little maintenance.

Another option is to measure the amount of household energy usage. A smart meter tells you about all of the electrical events that occur throughout the day. Learn how to save energy during peak hours that lead to higher costs.

Going green is an easy effort that is beneficial for any business. It takes little effort to switch incandescent lights with LED versions. Instead of remembering to turn off the lights, use motion sensors that work automatically. It takes only a few small changes to transform your energy savings.

 

LizzieWeakley

Reducing Emissions Why You Should Heat Your Business with a Boiler System.JPG

Energy is an important component to keep a business running smoothly. No company can operate without energy. The energy used by most businesses emanates from combustion of fossils fuels like coal, natural gas and oil. However, this energy has some harmful effect as it produces greenhouse gases which are harmfully to the surrounding. The most common gas produced by human activities is carbon dioxide. Therefore, it is advisable to use a boiler system to reduce carbon dioxide emission among other advantages which include;

1. Economical

When operating a business one of the factors to consider is the cost. This is done by cost-benefit analysis where you determine the difference between cost and profit gained. A boiler system helps in reducing the cost on energy. It consists of a tank, cylinders, pump and a piping system. These components harness, store and convey energy to where it’s needed in the company. There is less operating cost since the water used is recycled over and over again. On the other hand energy is stored and transported effectively and efficiently with minimal loses.

2. Produces Clean Energy


Everyone loves clean environment and clean energy is one way to ensure the surround is clean. The energy produced by a boiler system is mostly heat which is conveyed in form of steam or hot water through pipes. This means that it is free from dust and other particles hence making it clean. Therefore a boiler system produces environmental friendly energy.

3. Reduce Environmental Hazards

Environmental degradation and dirtying the surround causes many businesses to fall. This is due to the fact that people living around a certain business will be affected by the company’s emissions especially when it is producing energy. These emissions are commonly carbon dioxide produced when burning fossil fuel. Installing a boiler system or renting a mobile one from firms like Nationwide Boiler help reduce these carbon dioxide emissions.

4. Easy to Install

This is facilitated by the fact that boilers appear in different forms. These include; temporary plant boilers and fixed boilers system among others. Therefore, one can get a boiler depending on how long they want to use it.


Boiler systems have advantages compared to other heating system available like furnace. As we have seen above boilers store energy to be used and their raw material which is water is recycled. Also clean energy and environment friendly energy is produced.

LizzieWeakley

Going Green 5 Innovative Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient.JPG

Improving your home’s energy efficiency not only saves you money, it increases your comfort year-round. These five tips offer durable ways to lower the amount of energy it takes to cool and heat it. Some are do-it-yourself projects, while others require the help of a specialized contractor.

Energy Recovery Ventilator

These affordable HVAC appliances exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air without increasing energy costs. The energy recovery ventilator (ERV) traps the energy in the outgoing air and puts it into the incoming air. ERVs also remove humidity from the incoming air, which lightens the cooling load in the summer.

Window Sealing Kits

Unless you have thermal or Energy Star windows, you could be losing a good deal of heat to the outdoors during the winter. Clear plastic window sealing kits are available from home centers and online stores. They don’t interfere with the view and block air leaks and thermal transfer to the outdoors.

Air Leaks and Ice Dams

The air leaks from the ceilings into the attic reduce energy efficiency, and for the most part, they’re easy to seal with caulk and expanding foam. Besides the heated air that escapes into the attic into the winter, air leaks from the ceilings cause ice dams in the winter.

Once you’ve sealed the air leakage, check over the integrity of the gutters. If they’re clogged or broken, rain or snowmelt won’t be able to drain quickly, which could also trigger ice dams. Companies like
Innovations Siding & Windows can inspect your gutters and siding to make sure your home will withstand the damage that moisture causes to the attic or the envelope.

Shade Screens

Popular in the southern states for their ability to block solar heat on south- and west-facing windows, shade screens are effective in any climate. Screening materials are available online or at home centers. Some eliminate 90 percent of the heat entering through the glass. They don’t block the view and most homeowners take them down in the fall to take advantage of solar passive heating.

Solar Cooking

Cooking outdoors with a solar cooker on a hot sunny day requires no fuel. Solar cooking is an inexpensive and effective way to harness the power of the sun to cut energy consumption and produce delicious food.

Bottom Line

These suggestions will help you deal with the climate unique to this area. They won’t break the bank, and even if you need an expert, are easy to execute and will last for years.

LizzieWeakley

If you're constantly surrounded by clutter in your life, you're bound to be stressed and anxious. Believe it or not, but the best way to get a personal jump start in your life is to clean up and declutter. Getting rid of the old to make way for the new, revamping a space in your room, and picking a new healthy habit to adopt can help you cleanse your life so that you're happier and healthier. Amazingly enough, your mission to improve you can help the environment in the process. Here are 3 ways to clean up your life all while helping reduce your carbon footprint:

Reduce Your Reliance on Cars

Do you jump in the car to go around the block to pick up milk? One way to cleanse your life is to start adopting healthier habits. Instead of getting in a car and contributing to greenhouse emissions problems, you can start cycling or walking more. You don't have to be reliant on a car every time you need to leave your home. By getting physical, you can improve your physical and emotional well-being and exude energy all while you minimize your environmental impact.

Donate Your Car to Help Others and the Environment

If you don't need your car any longer, donating your car, to businesses like Action Donation Services, could make a huge impact. As a donor, you can help a family in need or help the environment in the process. By giving a foundation with a cause your old car, you can get environmentally unfriendly cars off the road and turn the old steel body into steel that's used in the production of new cars, buildings, elevators, airport hangars, and more. Who knew that car donation made such an impact?

Grow Your Own Green Thumb

Did you know that American food travels an average of 1500 to 2500 miles from farm to table? Transporting meats and other farm goods to local grocery stores aren't cheap. It required packaging and fuel that can all damage the environment. If you want to help cleanse your body and reduce your carbon footprint, grow a green thumb.

By growing your own produce, you can benefit from a body cleanse. You don't have to worry about what pesticides are used at local produce farms and you can reduce worldwide pollution. Not only can you grow delicious greens, you can even sit outside and enjoy your backyard garden when you need to de-stress.

Cleansing your life now can certainly help lead to a cleaner environment in the future. If just a fraction of Americans adopt the same small habits that you're adopting, it can make a major difference. Make these changes for a positive impact on your well-being and a positive impact on the globe.

3 Unexpected Ways You Can Cleanse Your Life And Help The Environment.jpeg

LizzieWeakley

Have Poor Indoor Air Quality 5 Ways to Purify Your Space.JPG

Most people maintain a clean interior setting each week while spending time at home. The air quality in your home has an influence on the health of residents who live on the property and will determine how well you breathe while spending time in the building. If you want to purify your space, there are a few important steps to take.

1. Use an Air Purifier

An air purifier is a useful product that will remove dust, pollen, and pet dander that is present in the air. Use the product in the most used rooms in the home and keep it running for several hours each day to clean the air.

2. Replace Your HVAC Filter

The filter on your HVAC system needs to be replaced every 30 to 60 days, depending on how much you're using it for each season of the year. The HVAC filter can become dirty over time and can cause dirt and dust to begin to circulate in the home. You can also have your air ducts cleaned and remove pollutants in the home, which includes synthetic fragrances and cleaning products that contain chemicals, according to apartmenttherapy.com. Opt for using household ingredients when cleaning and use soy candles indoors.

3. Schedule an HVAC Inspection

Hire professionals from a company like Smedley & Associates to perform an inspection of your HVAC system and look for any repairs that are needed. The technicians can clean the parts and inspect them to ensure that cleaner air circulates in the home.

4. Close Your Windows

Closing the windows is necessary to prevent pollen and environmental elements from entering the home to maintain a clean interior setting. You'll also want to use screens on the windows if you keep them open at certain times of the year.

5. Use a Vacuum Cleaner with a HEPA Filter

When cleaning your home, use a vacuum that contains a HEPA filter to ensure that the dust and dirt aren't released from the product and go back into the air. Vacuum each week and shake out rugs every few days.

Although you may suffer from allergies, asthma, or respiratory issues, there are ways to increase your indoor air quality. With the right products used and steps taken, you can create a cleaner interior setting that allows you to breathe deeply and improve any health issues or ailments that you may be suffering from throughout the year.

LizzieWeakley

Sunny D Why Solar Power is a Greener and Cleaner Way to Power Your Home.JPG

 

Generating energy to power our homes and businesses, especially in the United States, is an expensive task, both economically and environmentally. The best way to produce that power is the topic of many research studies that seek to keep the process of energy production as efficient as possible. Solar power is quickly becoming a more reliable, affordable, and cleaner way to power your home.

The Old Way of Generating Power
Most energy produced in the US today is produced by coal- or natural gas-powered plants. These are fossil fuels, which emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned. This is the number one cause of climate change.

Producing energy produced by fossil fuels is a dying industry. Jobs in this industry are historically some of the most dangerous jobs you can have. Each year it employs fewer and fewer people.

The Greener Cleaner Way to Power Your Home
Solar energy is at the beginning of a revolution. Just as coal powered the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries, solar along with other renewable sources will power the 21st Century. The price of making and installing solar panels drops 20% every time the world capacity for solar power doubles. This means that each year, more and more people can afford to install solar panels on their homes and end up selling energy back to the grid. Companies like
Renogy are making solar power accessible and portable for more and more people all the time.

The true cost to the environment of using solar power is more than you might think. Sure, when the panels are installed and energy is being produced, there is no carbon by-product. Creating the panels, transporting them, and installing them does generate carbon. Solar panels are made of silicone which has a high melting temperature. The power used to create the panels themselves immediately puts the solar panel into a "carbon debt".

Presently, when a new solar panel is produced, it pays off its carbon debt in two years, then continues to produce completely clean energy for decades to come. The current manufacturer's warranty on solar panels is 25 years. After that time, the panels may produce energy less efficiently.

Powering your home with solar energy is a responsible choice for the planet. It can also mean real savings on your utility bills. If you are thinking about making a difference, you should think again about solar.

LizzieWeakley

How to Achieve Maximum Energy Efficiency for Your Air Conditioner.JPG

If you are like a lot of people, you might just turn your air conditioner on when you need it without really putting much thought into its efficiency. However, focusing on air conditioning efficiency is smart for a few reasons. These are some tips that can help you do so.

Have Your Air Conditioning System Professionally Installed

If you are having a new air conditioning system installed in your home, it is not a good idea to try to do it yourself. Even though you might be tempted to try to figure out how to do it on your own so that you won't have to hire someone, you'll probably want to call a company like A-1 American Services to do it for you. Then, you can ensure that your system is installed properly so that you can avoid future problems.

Create "Zones" in Your Home

If you have a larger home with a fair amount of square footage, you may want to consider creating "zones" in your home. For example, you may want to cool your bedrooms separately from the rest of your home. Then, you can keep the more commonly used areas of the home nice and cool without wasting money on cooling other parts of the house that won't be used as often.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat can be a wonderful decision for just about any family. With this type of thermostat, you can set your thermostat so that it suits you and your family's lives. For example, if you and your family members are gone all day at work and school, you can adjust your system so that it only turns on right before your family members get home. This can help you greatly reduce your cooling bills, since you'll only be cooling the home when there are people there rather than cooling a completely empty house.

Keep Your System Properly Maintained

Springing for regular system maintenance for your air conditioner is important. Even though you might want to skip an appointment if your system seems to be working properly, it's not a good idea to do so. Instead, keep it maintained so that you can ensure that it operates properly and to prevent future issues.

If you are someone who is concerned about wasting energy, then you probably know how important it is to ensure that your air conditioning system is as energy efficient as possible. Additionally, working to achieve maximum energy efficiency with your system can also help your system last much longer with the need for fewer repairs. Fortunately, giving these four tips a try can help you make your system as energy efficient as possible.

LizzieWeakley

Summer Heat How to Get the Most out of Your Air Conditioner.JPG

Making sure that your air conditioning system works properly is probably very important to you and your family during the summer months. If you are concerned about your system or if you want to ensure that it works as effectively as possible, however, you shouldn't worry. Instead, follow these tips to get the most out of your air conditioner when dealing with the summer heat.

Block Out the Sun

First of all, if you have the sun shining into your home on a hot, sunny day, it can make the temperatures rise in the house and can make your air conditioning system work that much harder. To give your air conditioner a fighting chance at keeping your home cool and to reduce your cooling bills, it's a good idea to cover up your windows during the daytime so that you can block the sun out. Luckily, there are plenty of light-blocking shades available on the market that can help.

Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced

If you have not hired a company like A-1 American Services to service your air conditioner yet this year, it's a good idea to do so. By hiring a technician to come out now, you can determine if there are any issues with your system. Then, you can ensure that it's working as it is supposed to. This can help prevent system failures on the hottest days of the year, can help your system last longer and can help you prevent having to pay high repair bills later on.

Change Your Filters Regularly

If you aren't in the habit of changing your HVAC system's air filters each and every month, now is the time to get in the habit of doing so. Failing to change your filters can pose a problem because it can prevent your system from being able to do its job properly. It can also affect your indoor air quality. Luckily, these filters are usually pretty affordable to purchase and are typically pretty easy to change, so swapping them out monthly shouldn't be too much of a challenge.

Set Your Thermostat Properly

Using a programmable thermostat so that you aren't cooling an empty home and setting your system to the right temperature can help your unit run more efficiently. Then, you can keep your home cool without driving up your cooling bills too much. It's also a good idea to leave your system alone once it's programmed rather than adjusting it back and forth if you want to maintain a steady, comfortable temperature.

If you are like most people, you probably really rely on your air conditioning system to keep you and your family nice and cool during the hot summer months. However, you might be concerned that your air conditioner is not really working as it should be. Luckily, following these tips can help you get more out of your system.

 

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Green Homes How Your Roof Can Impact Your Energy Efficiency.JPG

If you have a green home, you already know that the key to green living is to make the most of your energy consumption. Did you know that having the right roof can make the biggest difference in your home’s energy usage and the size your energy bill? Much of your home’s heat loss in the winter, and source of heat in the summer is the roof. Let’s learn more about how your roof affects your green home.

Dark Roofs in the Summer

Did you know that darker roofs can heat up to 50 to 60 degrees hotter than the outside temperature in the summer? If you live in a warm climate, a dark colored asphalt roof can heat up to 175° if the temperature is 95° outside. This makes your cooling system work much harder and also contributes to the heat island effect if you live in a city. A lighter colored roof decreases the solar gain and heat retention of your home. If you want to same on summer cooling costs, then replacing your roof will make a difference.

Winter Heating Woes

While a dark roof may not be ideal in the summer, if you live in a climate that has a longer winter than summer, a dark roof will help to reduce heating cost. Dark asphalt roofs absorb more heat than metal or rubber roofs. This not only helps to provide additional heating for the home, it helps snow melt off faster too. This is especially true with a properly insulated attic.

Proper Insulation

Having a properly insulated roof with the right color and type of roofing material means that you can run your furnace at a lower setting, which can result in big savings for your green home. Companies like Leon Construction can help you choose the right roof for your home and replace your old roof with new materials that are more sustainable than those used in the past.

If you want to improve the efficiency of your green home, then your roof is the first place that you should look. A roof that is leaky and old can cost you more in the long run than replacing your roof with one that is more cost and energy efficient. A new roof is an investment that will pay for itself in the long run through lower heating and cooling bills. Not to mention, it will also improve the value of your home.

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5 Reasons to Take Your Home Solar This Summer.JPG

Summer is coming and the sun is shining. But the sun serves as more than just a backdrop for long summer days and vacation memories. Those same solar rays that illuminate your days at the beach and your backyard picnics can also serve to provide energy to your house. Listed below are five ways in which switching to solar energy benefits your lifestyle and your bank account.

Energy Savings

One of the greatest befits of going solar is the amount of savings incurred on monthly electricity bills. Although savings rates vary by location, most homeowners can see a savings of at least 40% or more on their monthly statements. This savings calculator gives a good estimation of potential savings by city: https://www.energysage.com/solar/calculator.

Improve Property Value

Solar panels improve not only a home’s utility bill, but also its property value. According to a study by the Lawrence Berkley National Lab, homes with solar panels generally sell at a greater price than those without. Companies like
ML Solar have the ability to create personalized design plans to maximize the potential property value increase of each individual home according to size and location.

Tax Incentives

Home owners who install solar panels are entitled to a federal tax credit under the law. Currently, The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) offers a 30 percent federal tax credit applied against the tax liability of a residential (Section 25D) property. These savings can be converted into other home improvement projects or applied to a perfect summer vacation.

Protect Your Roof

Solar panels protect your roof by adding a second layer of protection against the elements. Because the panels are slightly raised, wind and rain help to rid the roof of debris without causing damaging. Installing panels increases the overall life of your roof.

Protect the Environment

Perhaps the most important aspect of taking your home solar is the fact that you will reduce your carbon footprint. Solar homes protect the environment by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and combating greenhouse gas emissions. Solar energy reduces the toxins that pollute our air and water such as carbon and nitrogen dioxides as well as mercury and particulate dust.

Upgrading your home to solar energy is an investment in both your home and your community. With more confidence in your home, and more money in your pocket, you’ll have the ability to increase your enjoyment of your home both this summer as well as the many summers to come.

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Home Energy Efficiency How to Stay Cool in Your Home and Save Money This Summer.JPG

The summer season is rapidly approaching, which means we will start to experience hot weather very soon. Staying cool inside your house is one of the best ways to beat the intense summer heat, but it can also lead to high energy bills. These are the four best ways to stay cool in your home this summer without spending a lot of money on energy bills.

Install an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner

Purchasing and installing a new energy-efficient air conditioner may seem like a big expense, but it will actually save you money in the long run. An energy-efficient air conditioner will be able to cool your home to your desired temperature without drastically raising your monthly energy bills. An AC unit similar to the ones offered by
Seliga Heating and Cooling will ensure you never have to suffer in your own home just to save a few dollars.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are great in the summer because they can increase your comfort level by a few degrees without using much energy. A ceiling fan is able to provide a cooling effect by circulating the air in a room. While they are not powerful enough to cool an entire room on their own, they can cut down on your usage of the air conditioner. Make sure to limit your energy consumption by turning off the ceiling fan when you leave the room.

Block the Sun with Shades and Curtains

If you want to keep your house cool during the summer, then you need to do everything you can to keep the sun out. You may be tempted to open the shades and curtains for some natural light, but this will only make the house hotter. Blocking the sun with shades and curtains may create a dark atmosphere, but it is a completely free way to cut down on your cooling bills.

Program the Thermostat

There is absolutely no reason to cool your home when you are not there. Programming the thermostat to your work schedule is a great way to cut down on your energy bills without having to sit in a hot house. The programmable thermostat will prevent the AC unit from running during the day, but it will turn back on to cool the house to your desired temperature before you return from work.


Summer is a beautiful time of the year, but it also brings unbearable heat to most of the country. There is no reason to sweat in your home this summer when it so easy to avoid. Just follow these four tips and you can cool the house without ruining your budget.

 

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Commerical HVAC Why You Need to Optimize Your System Before Summer.JPG

 

During the warm summer season, your business may heavily rely on your commercial HVAC system for climate control. Summer months are known for high humidity levels and intense temperatures, and both of these issues can combine together to create an unbearable indoor environment unless you have cool air from your HVAC system streaming into your space. Now is the ideal time to set up maintenance service for your commercial cooling system by reaching out to a reputable HVAC service provider. By doing so, you can enjoy several important benefits throughout the summer and beyond.

Save Money on Energy Costs
Preventive HVAC maintenance is designed to clean the system’s components as well as to replace damaged or deteriorating components. Both dirty and damaged components can make your system operate less efficiently. Some aspects of the system may overcompensate to make up for damaged or dirty components resulting in the system running for longer periods of time or turning on more frequently than it otherwise would need to. This ultimately means that your system will use more energy throughout the summer months than it otherwise would need to. You can save money on energy bills by setting up preventive maintenance service.

Improve System Longevity
The last thing you want is to pay for an expensive HVAC replacement service before it is absolutely necessary. These systems can cost thousands of dollars or more to replace, and you understandably want to maximize the life of your HVAC unit. Companies like
Ragan Mechanical Inc. can perform annual system maintenance on your HVAC unit. This can help your system to function more efficiently to decrease wear and tear.

Keep Repair Issues at Bay
Through unnecessary wear and tear on your system’s components, you can keep repair issues at bay. HVAC system repair issues can result in expensive repair services. They can also lead to downtime that can interfere with the operation of your business, and this can be costly to endure. Preventive maintenance can identify developing repair issues before they cause a complete system malfunction. Furthermore, because preventive service decreases wear and tear, fewer new repair issues may develop.

Given the importance of your commercial HVAC system, it is imperative that you ensure that it is in great working order before you turn it on for the first time this summer. You can easily schedule preventive maintenance service for your system today, and you can take advantage of these fabulous benefits all summer long.

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Plumbing Blunders How Bad Plumbing Can Affect Your Home Efficiency.JPG

 

Many homeowners are focused on improving home efficiency in various ways. Running an efficient home can ultimately save you money and even maintain or improve property value over time. You may think that you have thoroughly covered all of the bases through your property maintenance projects, but there may be one area that you have overlooked. Your home’s plumbing system impacts efficiency in several ways, and you cannot overlook this component if you want to enjoy a truly efficient, well-maintained home. By exploring the reasons why this is true, you may be able to take steps to further improve your home’s efficiency.

Water Waste from Leaking Pipes
Pipes can leak in older and newer homes alike. Many leaks are gushers, and you may be immediately alerted to their presence as water streams through your home. Other leaks, however, are smaller and may be more difficult to identify. For example, you may have a small leak in a pipe in your foundation or in your yard. They may be caused by poor workmanship, poor materials, the home settling naturally and more. You can request a plumbing inspection from a company like Highpoint Plumbing, a group of
plumbers in Heber City, Utah to learn more about the condition of your pipes. These leaks can result in a tremendous amount of costly wasted water, and repairing them is a great way to keep your water bills as low as possible.

High Humidity Levels Impacting the HVAC System
When you have even a small leak or a dripping faucet, the humidity level in the home can go up. Your HVAC system is responsible for maintaining the home at an ideal temperature, but humidity can impact this dramatically. If you have a leak that is causing humidity levels to rise in the home, there is a chance that your HVAC system is not working as efficiently as it could be. When your plumber identifies and fixes small leaks in your pipes, you may notice that your HVAC system functions more efficiently. This can decrease HVAC repair needs, lower usage costs and extend the life of your HVAC system.

Mold Growth Concerns
Any time water and humidity levels are not controlled in the home, the issue of mold becomes a concern. Mold commonly grows in moist, darkened areas that are difficult to find. It can spread considerably in a short period of time, damaging many areas of the home without your knowledge. It also can cause moderate to serious illness or even death in you and your loved ones when exposed to mold spores. If you have been told that you had a water leak or high humidity levels, it is wise to get a professional mold test completed for your home. Mold remediation should begin immediately if you determine mold is growing in your home.

The Issue of Water Quality
Your home’s water heater plays a direct role in water quality in the home. Sediment and other debris in the hot water heater can enter your home’s water supply. In addition, there are times when the sewage line leaks back into the fresh water supply. Both can cause illness or worse. A plumbing inspection can reveal if this is a problem in your home. You may also spot signs of this through foul-smelling or discolored water. These are signs that plumbing repairs are urgently needed.

It is easy to overlook the condition of your plumbing system as long as everything appears to be functioning as needed. However, you can see that hidden issues with your pipes, sewage line and hot water heater can cause serious issues that require urgent attention. These issues can impact your wallet in the form of extra expenses, and they can also affect your health. Consider scheduling a plumbing inspection soon to learn more about the current condition of this vital system and to make repairs as needed. By doing so, you can dramatically improve the efficiency and condition of your home.

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5 Home Repairs in Spring and Summer for Optimal Energy Efficiency.JPG

 

As the weather turns warm and thermostats get turned down, many people will see a spike in their electric bills. Fortunately, there are a lot of options to make your house more energy-efficient. From simple steps that can be done in minutes to more intensive projects that may require hiring a professional, these tips can help lower your energy costs and make your home more environmentally friendly.

Install Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can drop the temperature of a room up to four degrees without using much electricity, but a four degree difference in your thermostat can lead to a huge difference in your electric bill. A window fan can also be used to cool a room much more efficiently than turning on the air conditioning, especially in early mornings and later evenings.

Maintain the Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner is in good condition, it will run more efficiently. Change the air filters regularly, vacuum and clean dust out of registers and vents, and clean around the exterior unit to ensure smooth airflow and not overwork the unit. It's also a good idea to have it professionally serviced once a year to troubleshoot any repairs and make sure it is running at peak condition.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

When you aren't home, don't keep the thermostat set low. If you are going to be gone at the same time every day, you can program the thermostat to raise while you are gone, then program it to lower to your preferred temperature about thirty minutes before you come home. This way you don't need to worry about re-setting your thermostat every day or forgetting to raise the temperature before you leave.

Repair or Replace Old Windows

Old windows can leak, and while the drafts in the winter are noticeable, they let a lot of warm air in in the summer, too. Caulking or weather-stripping around frames and leaky areas can help, but if your windows are old or single-paned, it may be worth it to replace them to a more efficient style of window.

Have Your Home Insulated

Insulating your home can make a huge difference in your home's energy efficiency. If your home is older, your home may be lacking insulation, or it may have lost its effectiveness. Having Reflective Optimizing Insulation installed by
Parsons Construction Group in attics can reduce energy bills drastically and make your home significantly more efficient all year and has a lifetime performance guarantee.

As the mercury creeps up, don't let your electric bill follow suit. Follow these tips to make your home more energy efficient to save money without sacrificing comfort.

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Your Well Water Supply How to Keep it Green and Clean.JPG

Well water is not processed in the same way as a municipal water supply. Since there is no water treatment plant, you will have to take action to protect your well water. These four tips can help you to keep your well water supply clean and healthy.

Avoiding Pesticides and Herbicides
Although you will not be able to control what your neighbors do on their property, it is a good idea to avoid using pesticides and herbicides on yours. These chemicals can leach into the groundwater and contaminate your well water supply. Even a low quantity of these chemicals could lead to serious health consequences. If you must use an herbicide or pesticide, look for one that has been extensively tested and shown to be non-toxic.

Well Maintenance and Repairs
Even if the groundwater itself is clean, a malfunctioning well could introduce contaminants. Well pumps require some lubricants in order to pump in sub-freezing temperatures. Improper placement of the lubricant could cause some to contaminate the water. Bacterial, parasitic or viral growth could also occur in the water because of a pump malfunction. Be sure to schedule regular well pump maintenance and repairs.

Testing Your Well Water
Testing your well water is critical for your family's health and safety. The testing process should be done once every one to two years. Keep copies of the results so that you can track any changes over the course of time. Each state has different hazards that may be present in the water. Companies like the
Water Systems Council offer guidance on a state by state basis so that you can determine which types of tests are needed for your location.

Septic Maintenance
Most people with well water also have a septic tank for the processing of waste water. Be sure that your septic tank is located away from the well, preferable downstream from it. Regular septic system maintenance is key to ensuring that none of the raw sewage is able to escape from the pipes or tanks and reach the well. Be sure to schedule a septic tank pumping service about every three years.

A clean and green supply of well water is essential to your health. Keeping contaminants off of your property and scheduling regular maintenance will help to keep the well's pump and your septic system working properly. Regularly testing your water will provide you with the information you need and the peace of mind that comes from knowing your water is safe.

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Propane Efficency Why You Should Use it as a Heating Source.JPG

 

Whether you plan to heat the house, office or warehouse, using propane is the right choice for your budget and the environment. People using propane vehicles notice the differences when they stop using petroleum and save more money on their rides, according to research by the U.S. Department of Energy. Today, people count on propane as the ideal source of clean energy in homes and buildings.

Propane is Not a Hazard

Propane is a colorless, odorless gas that is nontoxic. Whether it's referred to as a natural gas byproduct, liquid or fossil fuel, it is clean and produces far fewer toxins than gasoline. Propane vehicles promote clean cities by releasing fewer smog-causing particles. In your home, a propane heater does not release harmful gases into the air or cause environmental pollution.

Affordable for All Households

Homeowners use the Btu formula to compare the costs of heating a home with propane, electricity or natural gas. Determine the amount of power you need before you determine the cost per energy unit.

Know that propane is a highly energy efficient source that works well throughout the winter. Find air, water, space and tank heaters that are all powered with propane fuel. The heaters vary in volume capacity from 100 to 1,000 gallons.

Avoid the highest costs of electricity when you have a propane device in its place. There are no electrical cords, so the equipment is portable and convenient to use. The liquid propane tanks are ideal for use in mobile space heaters. Preserve the heat inside of your propane tank with a cover, which is found only through companies like
Powerblanket.

A Backup Source of Energy

Anyone not sure about the reliability of propane should use it as a backup. During a power outage, families do not have to wait for the utility company to restore power, which is a process that could take days or weeks.

Many homes have standby generators that run on propane or natural gas. The device runs automatically after it detects an outage and continues running for weeks or months later. In case you are away, certain companies have monitoring systems that allow you to monitor the status of a generator remotely.

Emissions regulations have changed the ways that people look at energy. Now, more of them see propane as the clean, alternative option that works in homes and businesses. They will continue to rely on propane as an important source of heating, comfort and significant energy savings.

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Well Water How to Make Sure it Stays Clean and Drinkable.JPG

 

If you own a home supplied with well water, you are in a surprisingly large company. According to the EPA, approximately 15% of Americans get their water from a private source. But with it comes responsibility. You don’t have a city service regulating your water. Taking short cuts or not knowing what you are doing could lead to bad-tasting water, or even severe illness. You can take several steps to help make sure you and your family keep drinking clean refreshing water.

Research

Call a local water expert or check the EPA website or a company like
Water Systems Council to find out about common water contamination in your neighborhood. Wells can be a source of a variety of contaminants, some are nature-borne, and others are attributed to humans. One of the most common infiltrators is bacteria. Most of these microscopic organisms are harmless to humans, but some, such as E coli could cause serious illness. You will also want to test for water hardness, concentration of minerals, and other contaminants such as pesticides and nitrites, which in high doses, can be dangerous when consumed by infants.

Know State Regulations

State regulations on private wells vary. Check with your local water expert or local health department for your state’s policies or guidelines on water testing. In some states, you may need to obtain a permit for your private well. Other states require a home seller to pay for a water test and show the results to potential buyers. Your state may also require an annual testing of your well water. IF that is the case, make sure you get a complete explanation on what the results mean.

Keep Test Results

Keep all of your test records and any other problems or inconsistencies in your water. Check for bad taste, odd color, visible contaminants or foul smell. After a while, you will probably find patterns in your well water, making them easier to eliminate. And showing personal and professional records to a potential buyer will give you some added leverage in the negotiation.

Owning your own well can be wonderfully satisfying to a home owner. If properly cleaned, well water tastes better and because you don’t have a monthly water bill, is economical. But you must follow cleaning and state guidelines. Doing so will greatly increase your odds of maintaining a well that will meet all the needs of you and your family.

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Powering the World How to Become More Energy Efficient.JPG

 

Creating an energy-efficient environment can benefit you in many ways. It can cut down your electric bill and provide you with the means to claim a tax break in some cases. If you have not yet transformed to living an energy-efficient life, these tips can help you get started.
 

Have Your Insulation Checked

 

The first and quickest way that you can be energy-efficient is by checking the insulation in your home. You contact a professional to have an inspection. If the inspection reveals poor insulation, then you know you need to tighten things up to maximize energy efficiency.
 

Buy Energy Star Household Items

 

The golden rule of energy efficiency is not getting too attached to one's old appliances. Look for the Energy Star logo whenever you shop for any household appliances. Examples of items that you may need to replace are items such as washing machines, clothes washers, refrigerators and the like. The Energy Star symbol is a guarantee that your new device is going to use as little energy as possible to do the job it needs to do.
 

Renovate by Swapping Out Major Equipment

 

You will need to conduct some major upgrades if you want to receive the tax breaks and truly get the most out of your energy efficiency potential. For example, you may want to replace your current boiler with one from a company like Nationwide Boiler.
 

Obtain a Special Energy Measurement Sensor

 

Many people would use less energy if they could get on-demand usage stats. Therefore, you may want to buy a gadget or device that measures the amount of energy that you are consuming on any given day. You can then manipulate the amount of energy that you use. Such devices do exist, although they are probably few and far between.
 

Regularly Maintain Your Appliances

 

Another way that you can ensure that you maintain an energy efficient environment is if you perform regular maintenance on your appliances. For example, you can dust your air conditioner and change the filters so it doesn't have to work harder than normal to cool the room. You can do the same with the heating system, fridge and other appliances. Have a professional come in and provide maintenance to the items that you don't quite understand.


Use the previously mentioned ideas to get yourself started on an efficient path. You can apply the tips to a business or a large-scale project, as well.

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