Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
  • entries
    145
  • comments
    15
  • views
    21,868

About this blog

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

Entries in this blog

LizzieWeakley

How Green Roofing Can Help Your Office Improve Energy Efficiency.JPG

 

The type of roof you choose plays a major role in the amount of energy your company uses for heating and cooling. Given that climate control is responsible for the lion’s share of your energy usage, it makes sense to take steps to lower those expenses as much as possible. Today’s business owners are looking to green roofing solutions to lower their costs and to conserve natural resources for future generations.

Cool Roof
Roofing materials that absorb heat create several problems. Overheated attics that result from these types of materials shorten the lifespan of the roof and radiate heat into the building, stressing the HVAC system, driving up energy usage and shortening the serviceable life of the HVAC unit.

Modern roofing materials are engineered to reflect the sun’s energy and to quickly re-emit absorbed heat. Thanks to modern materials engineering, cool roofs can be covered in asphalt, metal or tile, and they can come in a wide array of colors.

Cool roofs are instrumental in lowering energy bills and increasing the overall energy efficiency of the buildings they cover.

Long Life Roof
Traditional asphalt roofs are designed to last an average of 20 years, but a long life roof can last 50 years or more. These roofing systems are green in the sense that they divert waste from the landfill because a traditional roof will have to be replaced an average of three times for every long life roof installation. These long-lived roofs are typically metal or slate, but modern engineering and innovation have created 50-year roofs from rubber, recycled tires, and even asphalt.
What makes these shingles last so long is their ability to reflect the sun’s energy which also makes them energy efficient.

Living Roof
Covered in vegetation, some roofs are literally green. This type of roof goes by many names: vegetative roof, green roof, and living roof. A living roof can be flat or pitched. It can be covered in grass or artfully landscaped.

The popularity of green roofing in cities is increasing as people recognize the combined benefits of natural outdoor spaces and the energy saving properties of a roof that doubles as a park. In addition to increasing your office’s energy efficiency, they have been proven to benefit the environment and your employees’ morale in immediate and direct ways.

All green roofs can increase your office’s energy efficiency, but a vegetative roof can also provide a pleasant escape from the city’s heat and barrenness. Whatever route you choose to go green, you will be benefitting both your bottom line and the environment.

 

 

LizzieWeakley

3 Reasons to Convert Your Office to Propane Heating This Fall and Winter.JPG

 

Propane heating is a smart move for heating your office this fall/winter. It is innovative, and it has a variety of benefits. It is a more "green" choice, it saves money and it is a safe and reliable option compared to electricity. Detailed below are three reasons why you may want to convert to propane heating.

Clean Energy

Propane is on the approved clean fuel list according to the 1990 Clean Air Act. Propane is actually one of the cleanest fossil fuels to burn. Using propane to heat your office space conserves energy while being friendly to the environment. Efforts are continuing to use less gasoline, and propane is the top competitor that the world is turning to. It is readily available and 90% of the propane used in the U.S. is actually produced in the U.S. as well.

Saving Money

Everything in your office that currently runs on electricity can be powered by propane while also being cost effective. Because propane is more effective than electricity, it saves your business money. Heating your business with propane could also mean more affordable maintenance. A propane heater lasts longer and in most cases, is cheaper to repair than an electric furnace. Propane heaters are also very small and do not take up a large amount of space in your office. When using propane in the colder winter months, a Powerblanket can be a great resource to optimize the temperature of the tank to keep it running efficiently.

Safe and Reliable

Despite rumors, using propane to heat your office space, or any space, is very safe! In the event of a leak, propane vaporizes in the air rather than causing a potentially harmful and serious problem for your office space/employees. Using propane is also reliable. You are not at the mercy of the electrical companies. If there happened to be a power outage during the winter months, your office space and employees would continue to be comfortable and able to work, rather than waiting for the power to come back on.

Propane is the smart choice that many businesses and homes are choosing as a heat and power source this winter. It is clean, cost effective and safe. It is readily available and propane heaters come in a variety of different sizes to accommodate very large or small office spaces. As winter approaches, be sure to look at the benefits that heating with propane could offer your business.

LizzieWeakley

Greener Business How to Reduce your Negative Impact on the Environment.JPG

 

There are some business practices that are obviously bad for the environment, such as mailing out unsolicited advertisements and giving away disposable, branded bottles of water. However, some green practices aren't so immediately obvious. If you're looking for ways to reduce the negative environmental impact your business has on the planet, there are plenty of options that may work for your company.

Reduce the Paper You Use

Even recycled paper has a huge impact on the environment. Instead of printing the company newsletter, email it to everyone. Instead of printing out fat bundles of materials for meetings and promotional events, put everything online. With the proliferation of cloud computing and document sharing, there is little need for the vast majority of printed materials.

Reuse Your Paper

Any paper that is used can be run through a shredder, crumpled and used as eco-friendly packing materials. Instead of paying for packing peanuts or plastic bubble wrap, using shredded paper gives you nearly free packing material and reduces the amount of waste your company produces.

Encourage Distance Learning

Encouraging your employees to continue their educations is great, but the never-ending procession of textbooks, commuting to and from class and climate control in enormous lecture halls makes online learning a much more Earth-friendly option. For example, a student earning their
online civil engineering master’s degree may have all of their books and materials made available online, with no commuting necessary.

Give Out Company Mugs

The amount of plastic bottles and paper cups used by a company in just one day can be staggering. Give every employee a spill-resistant mug and then remove all the disposable options from the building. Not only is this a boon for the planet, it will save you a ton of money over the course of time.

Consider Green Cleaning Supplies

For most sectors of business, there is absolutely no reason to be using ammonia, bleach and other contaminants for cleaning. There are plenty of green options available that clean just as well without resorting to harsh pollutants. If you have a cleaning service, inquire about green products. Green products also have the added attraction of being less-irritating to those with allergies or sensitive skin, which in turn could improve productivity and employee happiness.

There are plenty of small ways companies can reduce their negative impact on the environment. Carefully consider these strategies to reduce waste and be kind to the planet at the same time.

LizzieWeakley

How to Make Waste Disposal Environmentally Friendly in Your Community.JPG

 

If you are in charge of waste disposal in your community, you will be responsible for making sure that waste products are disposed of in a manner that is green. Community waste products that are normally safe can become hazardous if they are not managed properly. For example, motor oil is normally safe, but can contaminate drinking water in large quantities. Even products that are not hazardous will fill up landfills.

Renting a Dumpster

When it is time for your community to dispose a lot of waste, it is important to do so in a rented dumpster from a company like
Tri-State Disposal. Disposing of large quantities of waste in any other way would be terrible for the environment and may also be against dumping laws. More dumpsters can be rented as needed when the volume of garbage is larger than expected.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

The best way to make waste more manageable is to follow the three R's: reduce, reuse and recycle. While you cannot force residents of a community to perform these actions, you can remind residents and provide them with tips on how to achieve this ideal. To also ease the burden of disposing of hazardous waste, encourage residents to use safer alternatives. For killing pests, for example, encourage residents to use less toxic pest control methods such as the use of boric acid.

Hazardous Waste Pickup Day

Communities should implement programs in which residents can mail hazardous waste to a facility where the waste can then be disposed of. The hazardous waste should be kept separate from the regular trash. The type of products that need to be disposed of in a particular manner include:

  • Household cleaners

  • Garden chemicals

  • Sharps

  • Mercury

  • Paint

  • Batteries

  • Automotive products


Many of these products can be recycled. Others will need to be sued up and will then no longer need to be disposed of. For example, homeowners who need to dispose of household cleaners could simply give them to a neighbor to be used.

Changing the habits of your community to make it
more eco-conscious can be challenging, but with a little practice, your members of your community will make habits and good recycling practices of their own. Then, your community will reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills and will protect the environment from hazardous waste.

 

LizzieWeakley

Home Cooling How to Optimize Your AC for Energy Efficiency.JPG

 

A humid hot summer can be utterly miserable sometimes. Even worse, running your air-conditioner may seem too expensive to do a lot of the time. However, with some tweaks to your system, you can make your AC far more energy efficient and cost effective. Below are a few tips you can use.

1. Check Your Air Filters

The filters are what the air passes through to reach the rest of your home. They prevent airborne contaminants from flowing through your air and help protect the health of your family. However, air filters are not designed to last forever. They eventually become clogged, and that can badly affect the efficiency of your system. According to
HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, checking and replacing your air filters on a regular basis is one of the most important steps to keeping your system running efficiently.

2. Clean the Condenser

The condenser is the part of your outdoor air conditioning unit that transfers heat to outside your home. For your system to have good energy efficiency, you need to keep it clean. Make sure to inspect it especially before you turn on your system for the first time at the beginning of the summer. Remove anything that could obstruct the condenser’s airflow such as leaves, twigs, weeds, dirt, etc. To remove dirt from the unit, you can wash it down with a hose.

3. Make Sure the Air Flow Is Unimpeded

You can think of an air conditioning system as being similar to the circulatory system in the human body. Much like you would not want to impede the flow of blood through a vein, you should not impede the flow of air through your system by blocking vents. Make sure all air vents are open and not blocked by things like furniture and rugs. If they are blocked, your system will have to work much harder to keep your house cool and that will result in higher utility bills.

4. Only Run the System When You Need It

If you want to lower your utility bills and increase your home’s energy efficiency, make sure to only run your air conditioning when you need it. There is no point to running air conditioning in an empty house. Program your thermostat to not run the air conditioning when you are at work.

Overall, try to make sure you provide your
HVAC system with proper routine maintenance and inspect to see if it’s working properly. If your system is well cared for and there is nothing impeding the flow of cool air through your home, your system’s energy efficiency will certainly be increased.

LizzieWeakley

5 Ways to Encourage Environmental Safety and Responsibility in Your Community.JPG

 

There's no question that the earth is important. It's where we live, work, and raise our families. Sometimes issues like pollution and environmental responsibility seem too big to address. After all, we are talking about the entire world! The best that you can do to address these issues is to begin on your local level. Check out these five ways that you can encourage environmental safety and responsibility in your community.

Education
Education is crucial to the beginning of any environmental program. You should be sure to teach your own family how to be responsible, as well as share ideas and materials with your local schools and universities. Most importantly, educate yourself on what you can do every day to make a difference.

Start or Join a Program
Education doesn't stop in schools. If your town doesn't already have a recycling program in place, be prepared to present ideas to local councils. If you starting clean-up programs seems out of reach, research programs nearby. It may be possible to make share arrangements with county recycling agencies or to cut deals with local businesses for time and funding.

Group Up
Whether you take your family to the beach or attend community festivals, take advantage of groups! The best way to help the environment is to set an example. If you see trash while you are out on a hike or on the beach, pick it up and encourage your family to follow suit. Also, ask your city council to provide both trash and recycle bins for big events. When presented with options, people will usually do the right thing.

Encourage Corporate Responsibility
You are able to make choices about where the money you earn goes. Do your best to spend your money locally and with environmentally responsible companies. You can learn more about a company's environmental programs by visiting their websites. For example, a good website for this would be
The Freo Group. By spending your money at responsible businesses, you are encouraging good behavior and setting an example for your community that can spread rapidly.

Use Your Influence
Do you own a business, head a book club, or organize extracurricular programs? Use the groups you are already a part of to spread awareness.


One person can do much more than you would think. By encouraging good environmental behavior and sharing information with others, your community can improve by leaps and bounds!

LizzieWeakley

7 Ways to go the Extra Mile for a Greener and Cleaner Environment.JPG

 

Although there are many ways to go green, it can be difficult to know how to take the first step. Luckily, there are many small and large scale ways to join the movement for a cleaner environment. Read on for some inspiring ideas about how to take initiative and make the world a greener, cleaner place.

Read and Recycle

Reading is an appealing past time, but buying books can become expensive and there is also the issue of what to do with them post reading. Why not practice recycling and support your local community at the same time? Donate gently used books to your local library and shop for new reading material at your local library's used book store, or at local yard sales. If you do not have a local library, consider setting up a book swap with friends. Instead of everyone having their own magazine subscriptions, set up a magazine trading circuit as well.

Carpool

Gas is expensive and everyone driving independently puts a strain on traffic and the environment. Look into sharing a ride to work or to run errands. Not only will it ease your gas budget and release less pollutants, but it just might make your traveling experiences more enjoyable.

Eat Local

Make it a habit to shop for foods at your local farmer's market or farm stand. The food that you find there is seasonal and fresh, and has not required excess gas and transportation to reach consumers. Consider also eating at small businesses that use local food products, or join a community supported agriculture program.

Pursue an Environmental Career

If you are choosing a career or changing career paths, consider looking into
environmental law degrees. This is a way to impact the world around you by advocating for preservation of natural resources. It is a great choice for individuals interested in jobs that blend science and law.

Set Up Online Bill Payment

Junk mail is annoying and time consuming to pick up and sort through. The excess paper involved is also an environmental strain. Do yourself and the earth a big favor by streamlining and switching to an online bill payment system.

Check Window Caulking

It may seem minor, but deteriorated window caulking can allow warm and cool air to escape your home. This air release causes an increase in energy costs and unnecessary environmental demands. Use energy wisely and keep some extra money in your pocket by taking the time to check window caulking and replace it as needed.

Clean with Non Toxic Products

There is no reason to support chemical heavy cleaning product companies and further pollute the environment. Chances are, your cupboards already contain all the items you need to thoroughly clean your home. Simply check for practical items such as vinegar and baking soda, and get ready for a sparkling non-toxic living space.

Make an earth friendly resolution today and encourage friends and family members to do the same. Choose from a myriad of small and large steps that give the satisfaction of knowing you are doing something beneficial. A greener cleaner environment really is worth the extra effort involved.

LizzieWeakley

5 Ways to Make your Community Greener and Cleaner.JPG

 

Sustainable living is becoming more popular over time. Plenty of people are trying to reduce their ecological footprint by doing things such as eating less meat, composting food waste and using reusable shopping bags. While all of these things are great, creating a greener community will increase the effects of these efforts. Here are five ways to get your community to live greener lifestyles.

Eat Local

Transporting food thousands of miles increases emission output into the air. This increases pollution, and experts tell us that this effects our climate. Purchasing local also keeps resources in the area and benefits local farmers.

Create a community garden! This is a great way to get family and children involved in a project benefiting the residents and environment.

Recycling

Everyone knows our trash output is too high. Trash sits in landfills for decades before composing, if it ever does decompose. Communities need to have multiple recycling drop off points, and have a skip bin in each location from their local waste management company.

Electronics often end up in the landfills as well. This is the improper way to dispose of old and broken electronics. Set up drop off points so residents have a safe way to get rid of these items.

Transportation

A large portion of the pollution in our air is caused by transportation. Reducing this will clean up the community. Here are some ways to help.

 

  • Organize a carpool group.

  • Have a walk-to-school program. This decreases emissions and provides exercise times for children.

  • Petition for bike lanes on the roads.

 

Encourage Political Participation

Everyone has a voice that should be heard. Creativity is one of the things needed to create greener communities. Getting involved in local politics can make these visions come to life.

This is also a great way to get the residents involved. Let them know about local butchers or farmers so they know where to purchase food products. People will participate if they know how.

Volunteering

People who volunteer their time can help create preserve and aid the land. Organize a group of people who are willing to take time and pick up litter along the roads. This is a great way to get children involved as well. Cleaning up the area and streams is beneficial to the land and animals as well.

There are so many ways to get involved in the community. The first step is spread awareness and encourage a discussion on methods to better the community.

LizzieWeakley

Home Energy Efficiency Why you Should Consider Solar Energy.JPG

 

There are very few things in life that we can be 100 percent sure of. One of these things is the fact that the sun will rise every single day. Because of this and as a result of increasing energy prices, more people are opting to rely partially or solely on solar energy. The following are a few reasons why.

The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow

The honest truth is that if the sun does not come out tomorrow, the world will have a lot bigger problems to face than finding inexpensive environmentally friendly energy. However, scientists believe that the sun will continue to shine for at least another 5 billion years. That’s more than enough time for you to recoup any amount of money you invest in installing solar panels. Additionally, enough sun reaches the United States every single day to provide power for the entire country for 10 years. This means that there is literally no limit to what could potentially be done with solar energy.

Solar Technology is No Longer in Its Infancy

Although many talk about solar energy as if it were a future tech, the truth is that solar systems have been in use since the 70's. And many of the solar energy systems that were installed 40 plus years ago are still working today. Over the past four decades there have been a number of technological improvements that have increased the reliability and energy production capability of solar panels.

Solar panels have very few moving parts. They don’t need a lot of maintenance. They are simple to install. And the technology behind them gets better every single day.

Solar Technology Saves You Money

Investing in solar technology for your home and business makes financial sense. Solar energy lowers your energy bill every month. Additionally, in some states tax incentives are given to homes that use solar energy. And while the practice is diminishing, some utility companies will pay homeowners for the extra electricity they produce. As the price of solar technology continues to plummet and the cost of fossil fuels rise, using solar energy makes more financial sense every day.

Solar Energy is Good for the Environment

Conventional power relies on processes that damage the environment. Even so-called clean forms of energy like wind energy and hydraulic energy can have a negative impact on the environment where they are located. Solar energy does not produce harmful emissions. It is a truly clean source of energy.

Solar Energy Can be Used All Day Long

When it comes to discussing
solar power panels, companies like Legend Solar that specialize in providing solar panels in the Utah area, are educating the public on the difference between solar energy myths and the reality. Many mistakenly believe that solar power only functions if the sun is out.

The truth is that even if a person has solar panels installed in their home, most of the time they are still connected to the city’s energy grid. The only difference is that during the daytime, when they’re not at home, their solar panels are collecting electricity, and this electricity is being pushed back to the electric grid. The result is that the electric meters on their home actually spin backward. In the evening time, if they do need to pull electricity from the grid, they are using credit energy that they’ve earned throughout the day. The neat thing about this credit energy is that it never expires.

Solar energy is the wave of the future. By investing in solar energy now, you put yourself in a position to be ahead of the curve. You save money, you protect the environment, and you help make the planet you live on a better and safer place for everyone.

 

 

LizzieWeakley

5 Reasons Why we Need More Energy Efficient Cars.JPG

 

The federal government is putting a lot of pressure on today’s automakers to produce fuel-saving vehicles. Modern innovations such as cylinder deactivation technology are now being used on a regular basis. Here are five reasons why we need more energy efficient vehicles.

Reduce Pollution
Environmental pollution is the top reason why fuel use needs to be minimized. Research shows that automobiles can certainly taint the air. In heavily populated metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and New York, up to 90 percent of air pollution comes from vehicle emissions. Meanwhile, China’s thick smog can actually be seen from outer space. As a result of burning gasoline and diesel, the ozone layer has become depleted.

Helps the Economy
It is no secret that fuel can be a major expense. Keep in mind that the average driver travels more than 13,000 miles a year. If you commute on a daily basis, you understand the value of reducing fuel consumption. Cities also spend a lot of tax money on refueling public transport vehicles. By purchasing less fuel, governments will have more money to spend on other things.

Less Dependence on Crude Oil
The overwhelming majority of the crude oil reserves are located in the Middle East. This means that countries such as the United States must import oil. To reduce petroleum use, the U.S. government wants the average car to return at least 45 mpg. By using engine dynamometers, automakers can fine-tune a vehicle’s efficiency without compromising any performance. Companies like
Power Test Inc. also design dynamometers to handle large engines. Trucking companies will be able to dramatically improve the fuel efficiency of their fleet.

Prevent Climate Change
Climate change is a subject that a lot of people tend to overlook. According to scientists, the amount of greenhouse gases released by vehicles has a direct influence on global climate change. Powerful hurricanes and tsunamis have been linked to the changing climate. The advancement of hybrid and electric vehicles can certainly help us to overcome this problem.

Ability to Travel without Breaking the Bank
A lot of Americans love to take road trips. However, the cost of fuel can put a major dent in a person’s budget. When more fuel-efficient vehicles start to hit the market, drivers will be able to travel more often. They can visit their family and friends for a far cheaper cost.

Engineers are working hard to improve fuel efficiency. Hopefully, we will see big improvements in the near future.

 

LizzieWeakley

4 Ways to Conserve Water in your Home this Summer.JPG

 

On average, American families use about 320 gallons of water daily; moreover, about 30 percent of that amount goes to outdoor purposes during summer months such as filling swimming pools or wading pools, watering the yard, washing the car and taking more showers.

As the southwest and other regions approach another year of drought or near drought conditions, it falls on Las Vegas homeowners and business owners to think of ways to conserve water.

Water is not an unlimited resource on planet earth; moreover, more water is consumed during the summer months than other times during the year. That said, according to some industry experts, such as
Rakeman Plumbing, it's recommended that the following seven ways be used to help conserve water during the hot summer season.

1- Setting Your Appliances Right

If you don't already have any in your household, then perhaps it's time to be thinking of gradually getting rid of your old appliances and replacing them with Energy Star efficient clothes washer and dishwasher appliances. Taking it even further, getting a low-flush, energy-efficient toilet alone shaves up to 40 to 50 percent off your water use.

2- Other Appliance Hacks

Using aerators or water flow-reducer attachments on your tap, faucets and shower-heads are other practical means to save on water as well. Also, running your clothes and dishwasher on a full load and on the shortest possible cycle goes a long way in conserving water as well.

3- Running Water

Never run water continuously when hand-washing dishes, brushing your teeth or even taking a shower. When washing dishes, partially fill a container or the sink with water and then use a spray attachment to rinse off the residue.

Brushing your teeth with the water shut off and using short bursts of water to rinse saves up to 60 percent of normal water use. That being said, if you have a house full of small children, then try putting them in all at the same time in the shower or the tub.

4- Using shut-off timers

When possible, and not turning on the sprinklers while you're at work, will further add to significant energy savings.
 

Saving water is not rocket science, but it does take discipline. However, by using the above mentioned top seven ways to conserve water, we'll all be off to a more water-sufficient summer. Choose wisely.

LizzieWeakley

571ea53a470d4_HowtoHelpyourCommunityBeco

 

A more energy-efficient community is a goal that is reachable nearly anywhere. There are a number of different ways that a community can become more energy-efficient. The key is to find those areas of the community that use the most energy and then work to lower that use. It is also helpful to work to increase to the overall green nature of the community at the same time.

Cutting Energy Use and Lower Costs

The first step in creating a more energy-efficient community is to cut energy costs by lowering use. It can be hard to do this without affecting users. One of the best ways to not negatively impact others, but still lower energy costs, is to install more energy-efficient lighting. Just a few years ago this was not a cost friendly proposal. But with the rise of cheaper high quality LED lighting and lower wattage traditional bulbs, it is a far easier choice to make.

Great Green Space Use

Heating and cooling urban areas uses a lot of energy. Finding a more energy efficient way to keep humans comfortable as they go about their day is very important. Smart use of plants and other natural features is the smart way to lower energy use. Trees and green spaces help to soak up the summer heat during the day. At night, they act as biological filters to remove greenhouse gases from the air. Plants and green space can be set up either on the ground or as part of the building themselves. A living green roof made of soil and hardy grasses can naturally absorb the sun's heat. This reduces the workload that the air conditioning units have to handle.

Public Transport Options

Putting in well-designed mass transport and cycling lanes is another way to cut down on energy use in a community. The skills of someone with a
master’s of civil engineering can be used to create routes that will encourage community residents to ditch energy hungry private vehicles. By using buses, trams or subways larger numbers of people can travel for the same energy costs. If citizens are encouraged to ride bicycles instead of driving for short trips, energy use will go down. Public systems succeed worldwide when they are planned well.

There are many great ways for a community to lower its energy use. Choosing the best option for each community is important. Whether it is as simple as screwing a new LED light bulb into every lamppost or as complex as putting in cycling infrastructure, the world is better for it.

 

 

LizzieWeakley

Energy Control How to Maintain Energy Efficiency at Home this Spring.JPG

Although the spring season is when more people spend time outdoors, it's also when each household's energy bill begins to increase. More homes begin to use more energy due to an increase in use of the HVAC system to keep the property cool with the change in weather. To stay comfortable and maintain energy efficiency this spring, there are several steps to take to avoid a high bill.

Unplug Idle Electronics

From televisions to DVD players, there are a number of electronics in the home that continue to use energy when they're not in use. Most people assume that the electronics only use electricity when they're turned on, but they actually continue to use energy when they're plugged in. Make it a point to unplug idle electronics and use power strips to make it easier to turn off multiple items at once. This includes shutting down your computer at night, which are the biggest energy users and can be shut off 40,000 times during their lifespan.

Switch to Energy Star Appliances

Although your appliances may be working well, they are likely using a significant amount of energy each day if they're outdated. Upgrade to Energy Star appliances to reduce your energy bill by 10 to 50 percent, which can equate to thousands of dollars during the lifespan of the product.

Inspect and Clean Your AC Unit

It's important to keep your HVAC system running efficiently throughout the year, which is why you should schedule for an inspection and cleaning of your AC unit before spring arrives through a professional company like
C B Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning. This will allow the product to run more efficiently for added energy savings while also increasing the lifespan of the product over time.

Contact a professional to inspect your AC unit once a year and perform the necessary repairs to ensure that cool air is blowing out.

Apply Chaulk to Cracks

Cracks or gaps that are present in the walls can cause air to leak out and for hot air to get into the home. Make it a point to apply caulk to the gaps to reduce energy loss and insulate the inside of the property.

Although it may not be possible to avoid using your AC unit this spring, there are ways to maintain your energy usage and prevent it from surging. By taking the necessary steps, you can enjoy the warmer season while avoiding extra energy costs.

LizzieWeakley

How to Make sure your Home is Energy Efficient for Spring.JPG

Spring brings sunshine and warmer weather, and this means it is a good time to evaluate your home for energy efficiency. Drafts and other issues can mean higher electric and gas bills all year long, but there are steps you can take to ensure your comfort and savings. Here are things to do right away.

Check your Water Heater

Turning the temperature down just a few degrees can save you money. In addition, if you haven’t had the tank flushed in a while, now is a good time to do it. Sediment in the bottom of the tank reduces efficiency because it can block the heating element, in addition to other problems the sediment can cause.

Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance

Schedule a seasonal preventive maintenance visit with a local HVAC company such as
Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. A technician will inspect your AC to make sure components are clean, and in good repair, which is necessary for the most energy efficiency once the cooling season is in full swing. Dirty or poorly maintained systems use extra energy to keep your home cool.

Check Your Windows

Wet your hand and move it slowly around the window frame to check for drafts. Sometimes winter weather causes things to shift, including weatherproofing, and you might need to re-caulk or add weather-stripping. For even more energy efficiency, purchase solar curtains if you don’t already have them up. They help block any residual drafts and they keep the hot afternoon sun from raising indoor temperatures too much. The cooler you can keep your house through methods like this, the less electricity your air conditioner will use.

Check the Attic

A hot attic leads to a hot house if you don’t have the right amount of insulation or the insulation has been damaged through pest activity or moisture. Even if you had it checked before winter, it is a good idea to recheck it in case the roof leaked or other problems occurred.

Invest in Fans

Fans make the air feel cooler because they help move heat away from the surface of the skin. This allows you to put off using your air conditioner for longer or keep your thermostat set higher to reduce energy usage. Ceiling fans are best, but any fan will help.

When you do all you can in spring to make your
home more efficient, you will have less to do in the heat of summer. In addition, you should see energy savings quickly. It is easy to imagine all the other things that saved money can be used for this season.

LizzieWeakley

How your Plumbing can Hurt your Home Energy Efficiency.JPG

 

One thing that affects many households is high energy bills. However, many people are left confused about what in their home could be causing their bills to skyrocket. While there are many possible causes, one thing most people don’t consider that often is their plumbing. However, issues relating to plumbing can certainly contribute to home’s energy inefficiency. Here are a few ways how.

1. It Is all About the Water Heater

According to
South West Plumbing, the number one source of plumbing energy problems is a home’s water heater. In fact, if you aren’t careful, energy consumption by your home’s water heater could balloon up to a quarter of your home’s entire energy use. The water heater is in fact the second largest user of most homes’ electricity right after the air conditioning system.

With that in mind, the water heater is a likely culprit for high electricity bills in your home. So what can you do about it? The first choice is rather straight forward. You can lower the setting on the thermostat. It really doesn’t have to be higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Installing a water heater insulation blanket will also do a good job of helping it better retain heat and waste less energy. Third, you could install a more energy efficient water heater with the Energy Star label.

2. Protect Your Pipes

The second likely cause of a home’s plumbing system resulting in high energy bills is a lack of insulation around pipes. If pipes aren’t insulated, the hot water sent from your water heater to fixtures in your home will not remain at the same temperature. Instead, a good portion of that heat will escape to the surrounding air right through the pipes.

Installing insulation around those pipes made out of foam or rubber, however, will do a good job of helping your hot water stay hot as it moves from the water heater to your bathrooms and kitchen. Insulation is also needed for plenty of other good reasons too like preventing your pipes from freezing up during the winter.

3. Use Less Hot Water

Lastly, one way to cut down on your electricity bill is to use less hot water in general. Does every load you wash in your washing machine really need hot water? For many kinds of clothing, cold water will certainly suffice. There’s also no reason to use hot water when washing dishes or washing your hands. Taking shorter showers can go a long way too.

There’s a few different ways your plumbing can inflate your energy bills. However, if you make sure your water heater is running efficiently, your pipes are insulated and hot water isn’t wasted in your home, you can certainly bring your electricity bills down significantly.

LizzieWeakley

How to Keep your Home Energy Efficient During a Power Outage.JPG

 

Many of us have experienced power outages at one time or another. They can be inconvenient, but your can be prepared by keeping your home energy efficient with these simple tips.

Stay Out of the Fridge!

During a power outage, fight the urge to peek in your refrigerator. Refrigerated foods should be fine for up to 4 hours, but this time is significantly decreased every time you open the door. If the power will be out for more than 4 hours, pack perishable items into a cooler with ice. Dispose of any items that have been above 40 degrees for more than 2 hours as they may no longer be safe to eat.

Keep Heat In

To minimize heat loss, avoid opening doors during an outage. Keep drapes and shades closed on the shady side of your house, and open shades to bright sun to allow heat in. If you think your house may drop below 32 degrees, open faucets and allow them to drip a small amount to prevent your pipes from freezing. Turn the breaker off to your water heater to prevent damage should the power be restored when the tank is empty. Lastly, having an energy efficient home before an outage will pay big dividends all year. Ensure your home is properly insulated, has energy efficient windows, and cracks are sealed.

Consider a Home Generator

With such a wide variety, home generators are a responsible option for homeowners and business owners such as Free Service Tire Company who are worried about extended power outages. Customers can purchase small portable units than can be hooked up to critical appliances like the refrigerator, a few lights, and a space heater all the way up to larger units that can be hardwired into your circuit breaker to provide power to your entire house. Companies like
Wade Sales & Services have a variety of units to fit your energy needs and budget, and a knowledgeable service representative can help you find the right one for you. When properly installed by a licensed dealer, a home generator is the perfect way to provide seamless power generation to your home that is safe and secure.

Power outages can be inconvenient, but they don’t have to turn into a disaster with these simple tips to increase the energy efficiency of your home. During an outage, contain heat as much as possible, and consider a back-up generator to provide for your needs when the power grid fails.

LizzieWeakley

3 Energy-Efficient Benefits to Having a Tankless Water Heater in your Home.JPG

 

If you're in need of a new water heater for your residence, you may want to consider taking the tankless path. Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more common in homes these days due to their numerous energy-efficient advantages. These types of water heaters can be terrific for households that are serious about using less money.

Tankless Water Heaters Last Long

Tankless water heaters generally have longer lives than their standard water heater counterparts. They also don't cost anywhere near as much money to run. The majority of tankless water heaters out there can stay in good condition for more than two decades. If you want to enjoy reduced energy and running costs for 20 plus years, a tankless water heater in your home can indeed be a wise and energy-efficient option to consider. If you want to get a tankless water heater, a company like
Knights Plumbing & Drain can help you with the installation process.

The Frustration of Standby Heat Loss

Storage water heaters are often linked to drops in standby heat. The H20 in storage water heaters is being heated nonstop. That can lead to wastes of energy at all times, which is referred to as standby heat loss. If you want to avoid the stress of wastes of energy, getting a tankless water heater can be highly beneficial for you. Tankless water heaters are the sole water heaters that don't trigger standby water losses. If you want reduced monthly utility bills and a mind that's totally free of worries about standby water losses, then a tankless water heater can indeed be a good thing for your property.

Power Needs

Tankless water heaters are convenient because they solely require sufficient power to heat the exact amount of H20 you need for the specified time. If you don't like the idea of being wasteful and heating water that you simply don't need for the time-being, a tankless water heater can be a source of immense peace of mind for you. These kinds of water heaters, simply put, only heat what they immediately need. There's no simpler way to put it.

There are truly many exciting
energy-efficient perks that are part of owning a tankless water heater. There are also, however, a number of advantages that don't involve energy efficiency. These go beyond money savings, too. Tankless water heaters can be great for compact residences such as apartments. They don't require anywhere near as much space as other types of water heaters. They also are great because they can always provide you with nice hot water, no matter what.

LizzieWeakley

Soil Excavation How it can Help Create a Cleaner, Greener, Better Earth.JPG

 

Soil excavation is a process of digging soil with an aim of cleaning the soil, making trenches for water drainage and infrastructural purposes. The excavated soil may be used for treatment or for disposal in a landfill. Excavation has various advantages as it helps to unravel the harmful debris that could contaminate groundwater and also pollute the soil. Agriculture makes the back born of different economies in the world. Soil fertility is of key importance for plant growth and development. When a soil is contaminated, agriculture is affected negatively and hence affect productivity of a nation.

The excavation process might take long depending with status of the contaminated soil. It may take long if the soil is highly toxic and requires extra safety precaution. It will also take some time to dig a deep, large or below the water. Time will also be consumed if the soil contains a lot of rocks, debris etc. Excavation is a process that involves various stages including;

Identification of contaminated areas: This involves a thorough research of the site by identifying what could have led to soil contamination and testing the soil for impurities.

Choosing the right instrument for exaction: After the soil has been found to be contaminated, right equipment is used to dig the soil. Depending with the purpose of excavation there are different types of excavators. This equipment are mainly leased as they are costly and purchasing them for a single project might not be cost effective. Therefore, various companies offer these hire business e.g. Eastern Plant Hire. The contaminated or unwanted soil is excavated by standardized excavators such as backhoes and excavators track hoes. It all depends on the location of the site e.g. a site surrounded by buildings will require a smaller excavator. Some sites may have soil contaminated in a deeper situation requiring use of long arm excavators which can dig up to one hundred feet below ground. In some cases, soil might be excavated from below the water table which require pumping of water to facilitate dry excavation.

Soil transportation: When the soil is disposed of, it may be loaded directly into a dump truck to the landfill. It is deposited elsewhere for treatment and covered to prevent soil erosion through water, or by the wind. If excavation is aimed at infrastructural purposes, the soil is used to fill holes and landscaped to prevent erosion.

In conclusion, excavation is a soil engineering technique with more benefits such as cleaning the environment for healthy plants and landscaping to make planet earth beautiful.

LizzieWeakley

4 Major Reasons Why the World Needs Efficient Energy.JPG

Efficient energy is something that the world desperately needs now. Growing populations in many areas of the world have stretched the needs of energy suppliers who often need to struggle to keep up with the demand. For many populations in need, the existing infrastructure cannot keep up with the demands. In other cases, the supply of energy is too expensive for the community.

1. Much of the World Lives Without Electricity

Many find it hard to believe, but experts estimate that, by 2035, there will still be one or two billion people living without access to power. Most of these people live in developing countries where economic resources to get electricity are rare. Some of the solutions that people in this situation require use a lot of power making efficiency more important. Professionals need to find a careful balance between meeting demand while keeping the energy sources efficient.

2. Some Places Require Greatly Increased Capacity

Although power plants will expand by a relatively small margin, some areas will require a large installed capacity rate. For example, if Sub-Saharan Africa were to increase their capacity to match that of South Africa's, the increase would need to be by 33 percent. Many companies, such as
Opportune, work to explore economic solutions where places in need of more power can meet their demands.

3. Greater Efficiency Saves Money

Efficient energy has fewer costs for both suppliers and customers, which is a winning situation all around. It is easier to expand energy resources in growing areas when residents have economic choices. In areas where people are receiving electricity for the first time, economical options make the delivery easier. As these communities save money, they will have more to reinvest when they must upgrade their infrastructure.

4. Efficient Options Help the Economy

There are many ways in which efficient energy helps boost the economy. People who don't need to spend as much on energy costs can spend more in their local economy. Another advantage of efficient energy is the fact that it encourages further innovations and also encourages job growth to help deliver more energy. This combination is one that has the greatest overall benefit.

As the world's population grows, efficient sources will become more necessary. However, there are many power-related resources available to help make energy more efficient as the demand grows. Professionals in the industry are dedicated to working hard to ensure that the growth and efficiency can keep up with the demand.

LizzieWeakley

5 Home Remodels to Optimize your Energy Efficiency.JPG

Nearly every homeowner loves to doll up their domicile to suit their specific tastes. Popular modifications include basement game rooms, new kitchens, redesigned bathrooms and offices. Many ambitious DIY home improvement enthusiasts are increasingly focused on energy-efficient upgrades that'll save money and help the environment. Here are a few choice options that can work in any scenario.

Upgrade Windows and Doors

The easiest way to prevent energy waste in the home is to ensure that the entryways and exits don't leak heat in either direction. Installing double-paned windows filled with argon is a great start. New high-tech doors with blown-in foam insulation placed between the frame and the studs is another step in the right direction.

Put In Superior Insulation

A typical 2x4 home features fiberglass R-11 insulation lining the exterior walls. You can sister 2x6 studs to the original 2x4 members so that thicker R-23 rockwool insulation can be installed. This will reduce heat loss during the winter and strain on your air conditioner during the summer. It'll also give you a chance to check the walls for mold or rot.

Attach Hyper-Efficient Siding

Traditional siding materials like OSB or T1-11 are pretty lousy when it comes to blocking heat transfer even when wrapped in Tyvek. Going with a next-generation siding system from an outfit like Lifetime Exteriors can greatly improve energy efficiency. Modern sheathing and siding products use advanced synthetic materials to create a fairly impermeable barrier.

Install Stingy HVAC Hardware

Furnaces and central air conditioners have come a long way in the past decade when it comes to energy efficiency. If you live in a cold climate, a natural gas furnace or pellet stove will deliver better heating while using less fuel. Homeowners in hot environments should ditch window-mounted AC units in favor of central air.

Opt for Tankless Water Heating

A run-of-the-mill electric water heater costs hundreds of dollars per year to run. What's more, there's a limit to how much hot water they can crank out within a given time period. Tankless water heaters require a little more work to install but can drastically reduce electricity usage and provide limitless hot water on demand.

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

While the long-term benefits of efficiency upgrades justify the costs, the initial investment can be daunting. It's best to proceed gradually by starting with exterior jobs and working your way in. Furthermore, there are many government tax credits and rebates available to homeowners that cushion the financial blow.

LizzieWeakley

Understanding How Eco-Friendly Cars are More Beneficial to our Environment.JPG

 

Whether you are thinking about converting to an electric or hybrid car or simply making a few green changes to your existing ride, eco-friendly cars are significantly more beneficial to the environment. You might be surprised by a few of the benefits and additional perks.

Environmental Benefits

When you use less gasoline, it creates a positive environmental chain reaction. The first perspective most people consider is the immediate reduction in emissions which directly affects the reduction of pollution. This is increasingly important in cities with high pollution and smog which is negatively affecting quality of life of millions of people and creating significant health problems in children and adults alike. It also directly affects the state of the ecosystem. When you use less gasoline or eliminate your need altogether, you will decrease the demand for new drilling and pipelines which can have devastating environmental repercussions whether it be land, air or sea.

Another benefit resulting from a reduced demand for oil is that it greatly reduces the number of short-haul and long-haul trucks on the road which release even more environmental-destroying emissions than your car. When you reduce or eliminate your need for gasoline, you are actually taking more vehicles off the road than simply your own. You can also choose a number of ways to make your existing car more eco-friendly. You might choose refurbished or recycled materials for everything from tires to car seats. These are materials that are typically taken to landfills and pollute the ground which can, in turn, eventually pollute ground water.

Additional Perks

In addition to saving the environment, you will also be able to save money. You do not have to buy a new car to go green. You can start by using ethanol gasoline, which is often less expensive than premium. Also, routine maintenance allows your existing vehicle to operate cleaner and longer than normal. To save more money, check the
daily updated carparts.com coupon codes and other sites that provide discounts on the car parts upgrades and the replacements you need to make your existing vehicle environmentally friendly. And, do not forget that the government provides tax rebates to people who buy environmentally friendly vehicles.

Every effort you make to create a more eco-friendly car will help save the environment. All it takes to start is to replace old tires or an old muffler. After that, you can work up to more significant changes to have an even greater impact. Each person does make a difference.

LizzieWeakley

5 Green and Clean Waste Solutions for all Homeowners.JPG

 

In these times of climate change and financial squeeze, many Americans are wondering how to economize while becoming more green and clean. Luckily, by making simple and convenient changes to how you manage your home waste, you can both save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Recycle bottles, cans and plastics from home
Most Americans have access to curbside recycling through the garbage company or via other local services, such as
Lakeshore Recycling. Despite these conveniences, according to the EPA, Americans are recycling only about a third of their waste. Recycling can reduce the garbage bill, as well as significantly reduce the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Recycle landscape waste
Recycling from home can also include landscape waste, such as grass clippings, branches, and shrubs. In some municipalities, law forbids landscape waste in landfills. Many companies that offer curbside pickup for recycling also collect landscape waste in a separate bin.

Recycle or compost food scraps
In some municipalities, food scraps can be discarded in the same bin as the landscape waste. But even without a curbside pickup, homeowners can reduce garbage bills by recycling food scraps in a compost heap in the backyard. According to the US Composting Council, keeping food scraps out of landfill is important because such organic waste contributes to the production of a greenhouse gas, methane.

Recycle gray water for irrigation
Much of the gently used gray water from homes, such as from taking showers, washing dishes or washing clothes, can be safely used for irrigating yards. In fact, such water can actually serve as valuable fertilizer, as long as “plant friendly” cleaning products are used. Inexpensive options such as buckets or a laundry drum can make it possible for anyone to collect gray water right away.

Become a low waste home
Every time you throw a paper towel or sandwich bag in the garbage, you are throwing away money and contributing to climate change. Swap out paper towels for rags, and use kitchen towels instead of sandwich baggies. Take a basket to shop at the farmer’s market, and pay only for the food you buy, rather than paying for the cartons and packaging that come with grocery store items.

With small changes to our daily routines, we can pay less for our garbage, water and food while making important reductions to the production of greenhouse gases. Being economical and being green can go hand in hand.

LizzieWeakley

5 Energy Efficient Ways to Keep your Office Warm this Winter.JPG

These five energy efficient tips will keep your office warm and your bills low this winter. Most of these tips are incredibly simple to implement and should become annual best practices for your office.

Adjust the Thermostat

Keep the office cooler at night when no one is there working. Raise the temperature a few hours before people arrive so they are able to work in a pleasant environment straight away. Maintain the temperature at a comfortable level that is neither too hot nor too cold for most people.

Boiler and Heater Maintenance

One of the most energy efficient ways to keep the office warm is to provide routine maintenance on your boiler and heating systems. This will help ensure this equipment is operating efficiently and safely. If you find that you require a new system or an upgrade, many companies such as
Nationwide Boiler provide new and reconditioned equipment for any budget and an ideal solution to optimize energy efficiency.

Close Doors and Windows

It is important that you keep all windows and doors closed whenever possible. Front doors can often become a problem area as snow and debris becomes stuck in the entryway. Be sure to routinely remove snow and debris from the most commonly used doors to prevent this scenario. And, inform all employees that all windows and doors must remained closed.

Natural Sunlight

One of the least expensive and most effective energy efficient ways to keep your office warm this winter is to use natural sunlight to your advantage. You can start by opening all shades and curtains during daylight hours. Also, remove dark carpeting and paint the walls a light color that will more easily reflect natural light. If it is within you budget, you might also consider skylights and removing walls to create a more open floor plan so that both light and heat can more freely move about the office.

Seal Windows and Doors

It is also essential to ensure all your doors and windows are sealed properly. A significant percentage of heat is lost due to poorly insulated and sealed windows and doors. Be sure to check for leaks and consider adding more insulation. This will help to keep out harsh and bitterly cold winds and keep in the lovely comforting warm air.

Once you implement these energy efficient tips, your office will be a more pleasant environment and your company will
save a significant amount of money. And, by teaching these practices to your employees, they can implement the same practices at home to save money on their own.

LizzieWeakley

Recycling 101 Why we do it and how it Benefits our Environment.JPG

If you are one of those folks shying away from jumping on board the recycling train, this is for you. It's a fact - not everyone wants to recycle. Not everyone wants to wash dirty plastic cups or break down stiff cardboard boxes, either. How about you? Do you think recycling is a waste of time and effort?

Did you know that recycling can help us all actually breathe easier? Think of ten of your friends and two of them have allergies due to air pollution. By using recycled glass items where manufacturing processes are reduced, we are left with a whopping 20% less muck to cloud up our breathing space. That may not sound like a lot. Then again, are two lives or 20% of your friends important enough for people to take advantage of the benefits of recycling? Not just yes; but heck yes!

 

Recycling not only helps clean out your cabinets filled to the brim with old plastic butter containers; it enhances the quality of life for billions of people while salvaging and preserving Mother Earth's greatest assets.

Is Recycling Trendy?

During the entire stretch of the 1900's, U.S. citizens proudly recycled. WWII recycled approximately 1/4 of waste. Prior to WWII, various recycling programs had been established within 70% of U.S. cities. Many folks can remember as children being motivated to recycle soda pop bottles for the $0.05 they could earn in return. Is recycling trendy. Not so much.

Why Recycle?

Most of us understand there is some benefit to recycling. What doesn't necessarily ring loud enough is why we should bother to care. Supporters like
Lakeshore Recycling can provide lots of information about recycling for the home and businesses. We need folks who get the big picture about the benefits that recycling provides for us all.

Recycling participation is a hands-on support system for people and the environment. Compacted landfills take up valuable land space while infusing toxicity under and above ground, negatively affecting natural resources. With over 7 billion people worldwide producing approximately 7.5 pounds of garbage daily, that leaves approximately 54,112,192,470 pounds of waste, that is something we simply cannot ignore.

In conclusion, there is extensive profit to be made on all levels of recycling. Cleaner air and land, healthier minds and bodies, and earning a buck are about as many reasons as we need to step up our recycling game. The recycling train is standing by. Come on! Jump aboard!

LizzieWeakley

Baby it's Cold Outside How to Keep your Home Warm and Energy Efficient.JPG

When the weather cools down, the inside of homes starts heating up. At least, that's how it's supposed to be. If the only thing that seems to be getting hotter in your home is your heating bill, it might be time to take a look around and see where you can make room for more energy efficient heating.

Is Your Home Letting Heat Escape?

No matter how powerful your heating system is, your home is still cold if all that heat keeps escaping. Odds are good your home isn't as heat-efficient as you think; leaky walls, ceilings, floors, doors and windows all allow heat to escape. Caulk, foam or weather-stripping can be used, depending on location, to secure any suspected leaks.

Is Your Furnace Working Like It Should?

If you use a furnace to heat your home, make sure it's in good working repair. A faulty, dirty or old furnace isn't just a possible culprit of poor home heating, it can also be a danger to the home via fires or gas leaks. Companies like Customs Services have professional furnace repair technicians available to review the condition and safety of a furnace and provides any necessary repairs and tips to keep your furnace working well all winter long.

Are You Using Solar Heating?

The sun is an always-on source of heat that never breaks down. South-facing windows let in warm sunlight, and interior surfaces such as concrete floors and plaster or brick walls absorb the heat and gradually release it during the evenings. If such modifications aren't possible, just apply thick curtains to your windows and leave them open during the day and shut them at night. Warmth comes in and doesn't blow back out.

Are You Losing Heat from Mini-Drafts?

If you have a mail slot, a pet door or just a large gap under an exterior door, you're losing heat in mini-drafts. Line door flaps leading to the outside with thick fabric, like wool or fleece, to prevent this. Door gaps are still best handled by an old-fashioned "sausage dog", or wrapped tube of fabric that blocks the gap. It's easy to make your own with some tights and old socks, if desired.

While major modifications are one way to approach getting huge energy savings and a warmer home in winter, don't feel like you need a renovation to stay cozy. Simple tricks and awareness of how your home collects and retains heat go a long way to keeping the cold outside where it belongs.

 

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0