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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

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.

 

LizzieWeakley

 

Air pollution in many cities is caused by emissions that are produced from automobiles. Other issues pollute the environment too, such as household waste. However, if you make a few small changes, your contributions will benefit everyone in your community.



Being and Living Green How Everyone can Help our Environment Become Squeaky Clean.JPG

 

Save Energy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that homeowners can lower carbon emissions by using less energy throughout the day. When families leave their lights on, various energy sources are used at power plants, which rely on fossil fuel. To help clean up the environment, invest in a timer that controls your lights and appliances. By using an energy management tool, your devices will shut off automatically whenever the technology senses inactivity.

Cooling and Heating Considerations

During the winter, keep the thermostat set at a low temperature. In the summer, program the thermostat so that it will raise the temperature whenever you are away from home.

If you have an advanced water heater, adjust the temperature to 120 degrees to lower the energy consumption. To conserve heat, ensure that the insulation in your home meets industry standards.

Disposal Considerations

If possible, try to avoid products that are wrapped in plastic packaging. When packaging material is produced at manufacturing facilities, the production equipment pushes toxic emissions into the air.

You can reduce environmental waste and pollution by recycling cardboard, glass, paper, plastic, and aluminum. Paints, solvents, batteries, and pesticides are highly toxic, so you must give these substances to a local waste management facility.

If you need to remove waste out of a commercial building or a large home, consider using a recycling service like
Lakeshore Recycling. Companies that offer this service deliver containers to various locations.

Drive Less

Since automobiles emit pollution in the atmosphere, you should try carpooling around the city. According to transportation experts, Americans can save about $1,000 a year by carpooling on a regular basis. When traveling short distances, a bike is the best transportation option because it doesn’t produce any harmful emissions.

Boost Your Fuel Economy

The EPA reported that if drivers improve their fuel economy by one percent, carbon dioxide emissions will reduce by one percent as well. To lower fuel consumption, do not accelerate and brake quickly on the road. Also, avoid driving at a high speed on busy freeways.

If you implement these procedures, less air pollution will generate in the environment.

LizzieWeakley

There are few things that can make a home more inviting and pleasant to be in than a wonderful scent. Of course, everything from the kids' smelly shoes and your pets to grease from cooking and more can impact the smell of your home. Many people go to great lengths to overcome these smells and to improve the odor in their space. For example, it is common to spray air fresheners, to use deodorizers on your carpeting and even to light candles in various rooms in the home. While these are common steps to take, aromatherapy may actually be a healthier solution.

The Toxins in Air Freshening Products
Many air fresheners and other related products contain ingredients that are harmful to the environment as well as to your health. For example, most contain benzene, styrene, formaldehyde and phthalates. Some of these are known carcinogens. Others can increase hormone levels, cause reproductive issues, negatively impact the development of a fetus and more. Different air freshening products contain different levels of these ingredients, and some will opt to use products that have a lower level. However, a better option may be to forgo these products altogether and to opt for aromatherapy instead.

 

How Aromatherapy can Create a Greener and Healthier Home.JPG

What Is Aromatherapy?
While most common household air freshening products use harsh, dangerous chemicals to make your home smell great, aromatherapy can produce the same aromatic results by using natural plant extracts and essential oils. These may be some of the same oils and extracts that you may use in your massage oils and bath products. The practice of aromatherapy describes the combination of art and science that come together to create a harmonizing, pleasant and healthy experience for the mind, body and spirit.
Gary Young is a leading advocate of aromatherapy, and he has authored many books on the topic that go into great detail about his own health experiences with aromatherapy.

How to Use Aromatherapy in Your Home
Aromatherapy may most commonly be thought of in relation to making your home smell good, but there are true health benefits associated with aromatherapy as well. Each oil and various combinations of oils can be used to create different and healthy results for you. They have the ability to affect your mood, improve your physical health and help you to feel more spiritually balanced. Choosing oils is the first step to take to enjoy aromatherapy. You should spend time researching the effects each one may have on you. For example, lavender has qualities that will help you to feel more balanced and soothed. Rosemary can be both invigorating and warming. Sweet orange has uplifting, cheerful properties. These and other oils can be incorporated into your home individually or separately to create the healthy results you desire. While you want to choose a scent or a combination of scents that you find appealing and pleasing, you also should be aware of the impact they can have on your mind, body and spirit.

Everyone wants a home that smells fresh, clean and pleasant, but daily activities and regular use of the home can often produce odors that are unappealing. Using air freshening products that you purchase at a local store can be effective at making your home smell better, but these products are bad for the environment and can have unhealthy effects on you and your family. The
essential oils used in aromatherapy are a better option because they are natural, safe and healthy, and they are also equally as effective at making your home smell great. If you are looking for a great way to improve the odor in your home without creating an unhealthy environment, aromatherapy may be the right solution.

LizzieWeakley

In the past few years, there have been advances in energy efficiency that make investing in efficient appliances and upgrades more cost-effective. The basic principles that help homeowners save energy have been known for a long time, but it is only recently that energy efficient tech has become cheap enough to make the investment worthwhile. This article will discuss some of the best ways to save energy in the home and discuss the recent advances that have made it worthwhile to upgrade the home.

 

New Technology that will Make your Home More Energy Efficient.JPG

Appliances
The
Energy Star standard is more than just a way to point out which brands save energy- it provides detailed information about how much energy an appliance is expected to consume during use. Having an energy efficient refrigerator can save quite a lot of money because the fridge needs to run constantly, so it is always using electricity. Other good candidates for an efficiency upgrade are the air conditioner and light bulbs.


Heat Leakage
The single biggest energy loss comes from heating up the house in the winter and cooling it in the summer. Part of the problem is that heat is leaking out in the winter and in during the summer through cracks and gaps in the house's construction. One of the best ways to counteract this effect is with upgraded door and window frames. Frames without good sealing are prime zones for heat leakage, and closing them up can save a lot in heating and cooling costs. For example,
Gilkey Windows can install heat-efficient windows as an upgrade to older frames that have gaps or poor sealing material.


Smart-Home Systems
A smart home is a system of appliances that are networked together with computer hardware and software. You can control this system by setting up preferences and instructions about when to turn appliances on and off. This can save money by, for example, reducing temperature controls when everyone is asleep or away from the house, and then turning the controls back on when people are about to wake up or return home. That combines comfort with efficient use of the appliances for energy savings that don't need to sacrifice ease of use.

Once you are familiar with the basic principles of energy efficiency, it becomes easy to find places to upgrade your home and save money. It takes an up-front investment in a more efficient improvement, but in the long run the energy savings pay off.

 

LizzieWeakley

5 Myths About Gas Prices Everyone Thinks are True.JPG

 

When the price of gas increases at the pump, there is a lot of speculation as to the reason. Over the years, people have heard several myths as to why prices rise and who is to blame. As a result, there are several misconceptions surrounding this essential commodity. The following is a list of the five most popular myths about the price of gas.

Fighting in the Middle East always causes Higher Prices

While turmoil in the Middle East seems to be a recurring news story, the fighting may have little impact on the price of gas. The fighting must affect investor sentiment about possible supply disruptions from major oil producers. If the conflict remains contained in a small non-oil producing area, trouble in the Middle East will have little effect on the price of gas.

Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will Lower Prices

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve contains approximately a 30-day supply of oil. This small amount is not enough to affect prices long-term. While releasing supply may dampen prices slightly, the added demand required to refill the strategic reserve will cause prices to rise, negating any earlier benefits.

The Administration Controls the Price of Oil

Whether the president of the United States is a Democrat or Republican, the administration does not control the price of gas. For years, one side of the aisle blamed President Bush and now the other side is singling out President Obama. While domestic energy policies can influence prices, market forces determine the price of gas long term.

Oil Companies Produce Less in the spring to cause Prices to rise in the Summer

Prices rise in the spring as inventories drop due to refiners switching from winter blends to summer blends as mandated by the EPA. Prices also rise during the summer driving season due to the increase in demand.

The American Economy Requires Cheap Gas

While inexpensive gas helps consumers save money, the American economy has continued to grow in the face of rising prices. Advanced economies in Europe and Asia have faced significantly higher gas prices than Americans. These economies have continued to grow and produce higher standards of living.

Economic factors like current supply and demand as well as investor sentiment about future changes are the main driving force behind the price of gas. When supply and demand are tight and investors believe that the situation will continue, prices rise. When the opposite occurs, the price of gas will fall.

 

Information Credit

The information from this article is credited to Fusion Resource LLC.

LizzieWeakley

5 Ways to Maximize your Indoor Air Quality.JPG

 

You might take steps to ensure the food and water you drink is clean and healthy. But what about the air you breathe in your body thousands of times per day? Are you making sure that is clean, too? Air pollution is detrimental to humans, causing respiratory diseases, asthma and other sickness. Read on to discover ways to improve your indoor air quality.

Keep Smoke Out

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in America. Thousands of toxic chemicals enter the body with one puff, and over time cause serious health risks. In turn, secondhand smoke also poses serious health risks. If you or a loved one smokes indoors, everybody who enters your home will be affected. If you or a loved one smokes outdoors, the smoke residue on your clothes will still be carried into your home and indirectly affect everybody in the home. Stopping smoking will create the most notable improvement in air quality.

Reduce Moisture

High moisture levels are perfect environments for growing mold and mildew. If left untreated, those with asthma will have symptoms flair up, and those without will become susceptible to getting asthma. Use a dehumidifier if moisture levels rise, and turn on the vent whenever taking a shower. Open windows and turn a fan on to create a breeze and circulate air. Using an air conditioner with a HEPA filter will vent out a room, reduce moisture levels and clean impurities in the air. HVAC companies like C B Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning professionals can affordably install a HEPA filter in your home.

Keep Things Clean

Leaving windows open is great for reducing moisture, but will bring in unwanted dust and air impurities that will settle on the countertops and floors. Regularly vacuum the floor with a high-powered vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. Mop kitchen and hardwood floors and wipe down counter tops. If you don’t always have time to vacuum, enforce a no shoes indoor rule. Shoes bring in a variety of dirt and germs that your home’s floors will pick up.

Get Rid of Scented Air Fresheners

Scented air fresheners release many toxic chemicals in the air. So while they may make your home smell good, they won’t do well for your health. Consider natural alternatives to reduce odors such as baking soda, and eliminate wall plug-ins and scented air sprays.

Get Chemical-Killing Plants

Certain plants will both make your home look nicer and remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, ammonia, xylene and toluene in the air. Peace Lily is a gorgeous flowering plant that removes VOCs and doesn’t require much care, but keep it out of sunlight. Chrysanthemum and Devil’s Ivey also remove VOCs, but like the sunlight. For optimal protection, get a couple different plants. Be warned, these plants are unsafe for human and animal consumption.

If poor indoor air quality is getting you down, don’t fear. Follow these five steps, and your air quality will be improved within hours. A clean home is a healthy home, and a healthy home is one you’ll want to come back to night after night. Sleep peacefully knowing you’ve done your best to make sure your family breathes easily and naturally.

LizzieWeakley

 

If you are a home owner or are looking to buy a home, you should consider the importance of having an energy efficient and family friendly home. A green home will keep your energy bills down and will be helpful for the environment. There are many green communities like the ones found at Princeton Classic Homes in Texas. Below, you can find out what they are doing to accomplish this with these seven tips.

Fluorescent lighting

Switching to fluorescent lighting in your home will cut down on your energy usage drastically. Florescent bulbs use less than 1/4th of the amount of energy that normal bulbs use. Although they are more expensive than normal light bulbs, they will last much longer unlike light bulbs that need to be replaced after extended use. They will also help you lower your monthly energy bill. After a few months, they will have paid for themselves in their energy savings.

Replace your old appliances

If you are still using appliances from the 1990’s, it is time to replace them. Old appliances have poor energy efficiency ratings and may be costing you more than you think. Inefficient appliances can be costing you thousands of dollars a year in wasted energy usage. The biggest offender of this is the refrigerator. By exchanging your old fridge for a new one, you could easily cut down on the energy you use significantly.

Keep your windows open

Use the sun to your advantage. Keep your windows open and the blinds drawn whenever the sun is out. By doing this, you will be able to cut down on the electricity used to light your house. Also, keeping your central air off in favor of a cool breeze will make a big impact on the amount of energy you use. As an added bonus, you will be able to enjoy the fresh air that will be circulating through your home by keeping your windows open.

Clean with micro fiber

Ditch the cleaning products where ever you can and use micro fiber cloths instead. Micro fiber cloths attract dirt and will allow you to clean surfaces without the use of harmful chemical sprays. Dampened microfiber cloths will be able to effectively clean most hard surfaces throughout your kitchen and bathroom including glass and wood. You can re-use these cloths after you throw them in the wash.

Grow plants indoors

Plants will help filter the air in your home. They will absorb some pollutants and expel clear air. There are many plants that are particularly good at this. Plants like spider plants, rubber plants, palms and boston ferns are all easy to care for indoors and will make a noticeable difference with the air quality in your home.

Always recycle

Recycling is important for the environment, but this goes beyond simply keeping an extra recycle bin in your home. You can take recycling to a whole new level by re-purposing items that you would otherwise throw away. Use egg cartons as jewelry organizers, save glass jars and use them as cups, or think of some of your own ideas. Anything you can find a use for instead of throwing it away will be helpful for the environment.

Switch to solar

Solar energy is becoming more popular with the new advances that are being made to it year by year. It is becoming increasingly more affordable and efficient as we continue to perfect them. Many people shy away from the idea of
switching to solar because they feel it is an all-or-nothing option. This is not the case. You can start small and use that amount of solar energy to add along with feeding off of the electricity grid. No matter what amount you can commit to, any bit will help.

 

 

LizzieWeakley

Maintaining an energy efficient environment is one of the most discussed issues in the international forums. Although it may appear to be a complex issue, it is actually simpler than you would think. The following are a few energy efficient heating tips for your office.

3 Energy-Efficient Heating Strategies for Your Office.JPG

A Heating Maintenance Program

Make sure that you have a maintenance program for air conditioning and venting systems. Ensure that you:

 

  • Clean air filters every month.
  • Clean refrigerant coils, water, evaporators, condensers and heat exchanger surfaces.
  • Replace defective ducting, piping and equipment insulation.
  • When you are replacing air conditioning equipment, buy units that have an energy efficiency ratio of 10.5 or greater.
  • When old motors are not functioning, replace them using motors that work at a low annual cost.
  • Use variable speed drives for large motor loads to reduce the consumption of energy.
  • Use water side-economizers and outside air for free cooling during the times when the air outside and conditions are favorable.
  • Use fans for ensuring a comfortable temperature, air movement and humidity. Moving air makes higher temperature or humidity seem comfortable. You can delay the need to have air conditioning by using fans. Furthermore, a temperature of 3-5 degrees can be comfortable when using fans.
  • Seal leaks using caulking and weather stripping. This strategy helps you manage ventilation.

Choose Renewable Power

 

  • Invest in companies that offer energy from solar power and wind sources. Renewable sources of energy have a small impact than fuels like liquid gas or coal.
  • You can also use a boiler from a company like Nationwide Boiler for your energy needs.

Install Solar Window Screens

 

  • The use of solar panels is a great way of reducing heating bills. Solar panels can block the UV rays that reduce the heat transmitted via windows. If you do not have money to buy new windows, solar films and screens offer a temporary fix.

 

Appoint a Green Task Force

Hire professionals to monitor and audit your office's consumption of energy. Device a plan that has goals and targets that ensure you focus on your long and short term environmental plans.

There are several ways you can apply energy efficient strategies in your office. Being conservative with energy not only helps you keep your expenses down but also enables you reduce your carbon foot print. You can achieve an energy efficient office environment by using a heating maintenance program, using renewable power, installing window panels and employing a green task force.

LizzieWeakley

The amount of energy-efficient innovations on the market is at an all-time high. This is great news for the homeowners who wish to cut down on electrical costs. Here is how new technology can make your home more efficient.

Home_Improvement_How_New_Innovative_Tech

Rainwater Harvesting System
Investing in a rainwater harvesting system will certainly help you to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Not only are rain collection systems very inexpensive, but they are also relatively simple to install. The stored rainwater can be used for a variety of different things, including flushing the toilet and washing laundry. Over the course of a year, the system can really save a lot of extra money.

Solar Water Heater
Unfortunately, traditional water heaters can use quite a bit of energy. In comparison, solar water heaters are far more efficient. In as little as two years, the energy savings will actually cover the initial cost of the solar water heater. As sunlight shines down on the solar panels, energy is quickly collected. Contrary to popular belief, the photovoltaic cells can even absorb energy on cloudy days.

Heated Floors
Companies such as
Summerstep actually design in-floor heating systems. After the installation of an in-floor heating system, you will not have to depend totally on a HVAC system to keep your home warm. When the temperatures dip below freezing, many homeowners have to turn up the dial on their thermostat. An in-floor heating system will help to eliminate this energy-draining problem. Children and pets will especially love the extra warmth.

Smart Thermostat
The most advanced thermostats on the market offer incredible energy savings. With the use of high-tech sensors, they can actually adjust the home’s temperature according to the changing weather conditions. These nifty thermostats can also be easily controlled via a mobile phone or computer. If you are asleep under the covers or away from home, a smart thermostat can be programmed to lower the home’s temperature. Research shows that a smart thermostat can drop your electric bill by $100 dollars a month.

Automated Lighting
Many homeowners have already transitioned to LED lighting. However, installing an automated lighting system can further improve your home’s efficiency. Instead of leaving your lights on full blast, an automated dimmer switch allows you to dim the lights to save energy.

Due to the rise in the cost of electricity, homeowners are strongly encouraged to invest in energy-saving technology. All five of these innovations promise to keep your home efficient.

 

 

LizzieWeakley

Creating an eco-friendly home doesn't just mean switching off lights before heading out of the house or installing Energy Star appliances. Many families just need to change a few common habits in order to cut down on energy consumption. Before carrying out an expensive “green” overhaul of your home, take a look at these 5 mistakes that many families make during the summer without even realizing it.

 

5 Home Energy Efficiecy Fails Everyone Makes in the Summer Time.JPG



1. Using Insulation Rolls and Batts
Checking on insulation should be a yearly habit for everyone, but replacing old insulation with ineffective products is one common mistake that could cost you in the long run. Traditional insulation often comes in pre-fabricated shapes such as rolls and batts, but it is only blown-in and spray foam insulation that will get your attic's nooks and crannies.

2. Skipping an Energy Audit
Most families aren't going to hire professional home energy auditors every single year, but you should never skip it for more than a few years in a row. These technicians are trained to go through almost every component of your property to find any energy inefficiencies. Even if they find just a single problem, an audit will often pay for itself within a few months.

3. Forgetting the AC Tune-Up
An annual tune-up carried out by a company such as
Team Electric is not only going to increase the lifespan of your HVAC system, but it is also going to cut down on monthly utility bills. Just as with any other major component in your home, these systems go through an incredible amount of wear-and-tear and a tune-up often includes changing filters, topping off fluids, lubing moving parts, and checking the accuracy of the thermostat.

4. Allowing Phantom Power Loss
“Phantom” power loss is the name given to the small amount of electricity that devices and appliances consume when they are not actively being used. Everything from laptop chargers to coffee makers could be consuming enough electricity to increase your bills by hundreds every year. Attach these devices to a single power strip and turn them off before bed and when you are leaving for work.

5. Not Setting Your Programmable Thermostat Correctly
A programmable thermostat is one of the single best investments for saving energy around the house, but many families are not using them to their full potential. The ideal settings are 82 degrees Fahrenheit when no one is home and no lower than 78 degrees when family members are in the house. If you tend to forget about changing the settings, consider setting automatic timers on the thermostat.

When all of these common mistakes are remedied, your family could be looking at thousands of dollars in savings during the hottest months of the year.

LizzieWeakley

Making your home eco-friendly doesn't need to be an expensive or time-consuming chore. In fact, most families only need to make a few small changes around their house in order to cut down on their carbon footprint. Here is a look at five simple steps that you can take today to lower energy bills and potentially remove some toxins within your own home.

Switch to Plant-Based Cleaners
There is a long list of unhealthy chemicals sitting under the kitchen sink in most homes. Some of these common cleaners are effective when it comes to removing grime, but they are often quite toxic and can be replaced with much safer products. Next time any of your cleaners are running low, consider switching over to alternatives such as vinegar-based cleaners.

Create a Compost Station
Within many homes, food scraps make up nearly 50 percent of all waste. Instead of letting this go to the landfill, creating a simple compost station is a great way to put leftover scraps to work. A compost station can turn practically any organic material into nutrient-rich compost for a garden or to improve the health of your lawn during the spring.

Air Seal Your Home
Whenever a home is not sealed properly, homeowners are going to be looking at higher energy bills and lower air quality. A simple way to start air sealing a home is to use gaskets and seals from companies like
Phoenix Specialty for ducts and vents. Other areas that may need to be sealed include gaps around doors and old pipes leading into or out of the home.

Give Up Bottled Water
There are few items that have become as problematic for our environment as plastic water bottles. These products are especially difficult to recycle and some even contaminate water with chemicals such as BPAs. Buying a dozen BPA-free bottles, filling them with water, and putting them in the fridge will ensure that your family has constant access to refreshing water without the need for creating more waste.

Stop Dumping and Donate
Almost anything that is used in a home can either be recycled or donated, and taking a little extra time to separate your trash could make quite a difference at a local dump. Some items throughout the home that are easy to donate include clothing, electronics, toys, and old kitchenware.

Homes now consume around 40 percent of all energy within the United States, and families that take the time to make their home more eco-friendly can help make a difference while saving some extra money.

Home Restoration How to Make Your Home Green and Energy Efficient.JPG

LizzieWeakley

There are many benefits to making your home more energy efficient. It will save you an enormous sum of money in utility bills and will also give you the great feeling of knowing that you are doing your part to protect the environment. Here are seven cutting edge ways to make your home more energy efficient.

Install Solar Panels

Instead of counting on your power company to heat your home, you can harness the natural power of the sun with solar panels. They will substantially increase the comfort level of your home.

Switch to Florescent Light Bulbs

Many homes still use conventional incandescent light bulbs, but you can save a tremendous amount of energy by using florescent bulbs instead. Although florescent bulbs cost more at the store, they save you money in the long run by lasting several times longer than their incandescent counterparts.

Reduce Appliance Use

Cut down on the number of times that you use your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. Only use them when you have a full load. If you have any appliances that you do not intend to use for a long period of time, disconnect them.

Install Energy Efficient Windows

Energy efficient windows are an excellent addition to any home. They will reduce drafts, cut down on condensation, improve the temperature of your home, and save you money on your electricity bills. Companies such as
Five Star Windows Inc. offer a wide selection of these types of windows for sale.

Install a High Efficiency Furnace

Conventional furnaces waste valuable energy. Like florescent bulbs, you can spend a little more now in order to save a great deal of money later. High efficiency furnaces use fewer fossil fuels, last longer, and heat your home more effectively.

Get a Low Flow Toilet

Most toilets waste water each and every time that they are flushed. Low flow toilets will save you a massive amount of money on your water bill. You will cut your home's water consumption by thousands of gallons per year.

Add Insulation

Increasing the amount of insulation in your home will trap heat inside, meaning that you won't have to use the heater in order for your home to be comfortable. The attic is an especially important place to add more insulation.

With recent advanced in appliance technology, making your home energy efficient is easier than ever. You will be amazed at how much money you can save by following these tips.

 

LizzieWeakley
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Between your appliances, lighting, heating and cooling system and various other features, you may use energy throughout your home on a regular basis around the clock. While many will use the energy provided through a public municipality for all of their home energy needs, others are interested in alternative energy sources for some or all of their energy needs. One of the increasingly popular sources of alternative energy that many homeowners are taking advantage is solar power. There are three unique benefits that you can enjoy when you make the decision to install solar panels on your home.

Reducing Your Energy Costs

One of the primary reasons why homeowners install solar panels from companies like AMI Energy / 1800 Solar USA is to reduce energy costs. The solar power produced by your own home's panels can offset your reliance on municipally-supplied energy. While you do have a cost associated with the installation of the solar panels, these panels will continue to provide you with a source of free energy. Eventually, they will more than pay for themselves through the savings they provide to you.

Using a Sustainable Energy Source

In addition, solar panels provide you with a sustainable source of energy. The sun's energy will simply never run out, and there are no emissions generated through the use of solar energy. This is a green source of energy that you can feel good about, and the solar panels can make your home far more energy efficient. You can use this energy source to generate light, run your appliances, heat and cool your home and more.

Improving Your Home Value

Installing solar panels on your home is also a great way to improve your home value. These will be a semi-permanent feature that is added to your home, and they will convey to a buyer when you sell your home. Just as you find value in their ability to reduce your energy costs and to give you a sustainable source of energy, others will also find value in these benefits. While you can benefit financially from energy savings, you can also benefit further when you sell your home and recoup added value for this improvement.

Installing solar panels on your home is an idea that you may be thinking strongly about. Keep in mind that some will qualify for tax incentives and rebates on the installation cost. Once installed, you can continue to enjoy these considerable benefits associated with solar panels for years to come.

LizzieWeakley
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Homeowners often find themselves in a state of shock when they get their energy bills during the summer months. When the weather starts warming up outside, it makes financial sense to make your home more energy-efficient, and when you conserve energy like this, you also do your fair share towards reducing your carbon footprint.

When you implement the following tips, you can stay cool during the summer without constantly worrying about the cost of your utility bills:

Seal Cracks

The easiest way to reduce your cooling costs is to seal your home's cracks. Typically speaking, cold air leaves your home through small cracks found between windows, doors, plumbing and electrical fixtures. These small leaks make it hard for your air conditioning unit to regulate the temperature inside of your home. Look for small cracks and holes where air may escape your home, and when you find them, seal them up with some caulk or weather-stripping.

Switch to Advanced Power Strips

Advanced power strips do much more than protect your important appliances from power surges; these "smart" strips come with distinct plug categories that turn your appliances on or off based on what the appliance in the first plug is doing. For example, this means that one of these strips will automatically turn off your DVD player and gaming console when they sense that your TV is off. These strips do all the thinking for you, and they make lowering your energy bill simple.

Use an EnergyStar Air Conditioner

Purchasing and installing an EnergyStar air conditioner saves you a significant amount of money. During the summer, one of the biggest energy drains are air conditioning units. When you buy an efficient unit, you can stay nice and cool without worrying about the bills that you'll have to pay for at the end of the month.

Set Your Fans Correctly

It's important to set your fan's rotation correctly during the summer; ceiling fans turn either clockwise or counterclockwise, and when it's warm out, you want to make sure that your fan rotates counterclockwise. This motion pushes air downwards, and it creates a cool breeze. Your air conditioner doesn't have to use as much energy to keep your home cool, and your home is more comfortable, so you can turn your thermostat up.

Check Your Insulation

It's important to check your attic during the summer; if it's properly insulated, cold air won't flow through your ceiling outside of your home. Go to your attic to make sure that everything is properly insulated. Check your attic hatch as well; lots of cold air is lost when your hatch isn't properly insulated and sealed.

There are lots of things that you can do to make your home more energy efficient. Some are more expensive than others, but in the long-run, they'll all end up saving you a boatload of money. We've given you a couple changes that deliver great results, but if you have budget or time constraints, remember that even the smallest changes will go a long way towards efficiency.

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Going green isn't just about doing what's best for the environment. You can save a large amount of money by choosing to rely on more renewable and efficient sources of heating in your home.

Combined with the numerous government credits that may be available to you, the long-term savings of switching to green heating sources may mean that you save even more than you might believe.

Let's examine some ways that you can utilize green technology to improve how efficiently your house heats, which in turn might help you save dramatically on your energy bills.

1. Switch to Solar Drum Heater

Solar heaters are incredibly efficient when compared to regular heaters. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can cut your energy costs by 50% by using an Energy Star qualified solar water heater.

You can further extend those savings by utilizing a drum heater that prevents heat loss. Heaters from companies such as Powerblanket can do this in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that you may be able to dramatically cut your expenses due to wasted energy.

2. Utilizing a Programmable Thermostat

Thermostats directly control when your house is heated. By utilizing thermostats that offer a programmable functionality, you can exclusively heat your home only when you are present.

More advanced thermostats offer more features, which includes Internet connectivity. This can allow you to keep the temperature reasonable and your heating costs down even when you're not at home.

3. Insulating Your Home

Another effective way to keep your home energy-efficient is to insulate your home. This reduces the frequency that you need to heat your home by ensuring that significantly less heat is lost to the outside.

For example, fiberglass insulation can save 12 BTU each year for every BTU used to make it. Other environmentally friendly insulation options are also available.

4. Consider Geothermal Heating

The Earth constantly releases a certain amount of heat from far beneath the ground that can be utilized as a source of energy. This heat has little to no carbon emissions, and it can be found almost anywhere in the world.

This can make it a perfect option for heating your home efficiently. Consider installing a geothermal heating device to cut your energy usage considerably.

Green Heating: Keeping Your Energy Bills Lower than Ever Before

While green heating may seem more expensive than conventional types of heating, there are numerous ways that it can reduce your energy bill. Couple this with the thousands of dollars available in government rebates to see that it may save you more on your energy bills in the long run than you ever thought possible.

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When you are struggling with energy efficiency in your home, you need to make sure that you are managing your air conditioning and heating. These systems use a great deal of energy, and you need to be sure that they are not sapping all the energy in the house. Take the steps below to make sure that your home is as efficient as it can be.

Servicing

You need to have your HVAC system serviced every couple months. Your service technician is going to check all the parts of the system, and they are going to make small repairs using parts from their truck. According to Shorty’s Plumbing & Heating Inc., these small repairs will prevent the problems from getting out of control. Also, they can tell you when it is time to replace your system.

Thermostats

When you are running the heat and air, you must have the units on thermostats. These units are going to allow you to turn the heat and air off when the house hits certain temperatures. These thermostats make it much easier for you to use less energy, and they shut down the system when you are not there to do it yourself. You can keep the house at less comfortable temperatures when you are not home, and you can set the system to change for your own comfort when you get home.

Filters

You need to be sure that you are replacing your filters often. These filters are going to allow you to keep air flowing freely through the system, and the will clean the air for you. When you are cleaning the air as much as possible, you are going to have cleaner air to breathe. You must make sure that you get filters that are going to help you breathe healthily. There are filters that clean hospital operating rooms, and there are standard filters that work in all homes.

Wiring

When you are concerned about how your HVAC system is working, you need to be sure that you are having the wiring checked. An electrician can check the wiring for you, and they can fix the wiring if it is a damaged.

Your home is going to become much more efficient if you are working with professionals who understand how to manage the system. They can help make the system more efficient, and they can show you how to replace your filters so that you get the cleanest air possible.

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With the growing awareness among both manufacturers and consumers that energy-efficient products should be part of their building projects, green remodeling has become a very large business. Yet despite the notion that many homes have already implemented some of these changes, there are always areas in energy efficiency that homeowners can improve upon.

Here are five relevant energy efficient ideas for remodel projects:

Extend the amount of solar coverage that you plan: You may not receive that much sun during the course of the day in some seasons, but neither does Germany and they have generated over 50 percent of their country's total energy needs for short periods of time using only solar- so it is possible to gain a lot of energy efficiency by adding solar panels. One example of coverage that people are just starting to consider is solar film that covers windows and does not detract from the view out, but generates electricity. Thin film panels are also coming on the market that can slip over your siding tastefully, giving you even more solar output potential.

Architect your heating system well: A lot of custom builders will tell you that it isn't hard to choose a heating system that will work for your home. It takes a bit more skill, however, to build the ducting so that it maximizes energy efficiency in tune with the right heating source. Having some experts from a company like Alair Homes who specialize in major renovations in Vancouver take the time to ensure that your heating system is optimized in every sense is therefore a pretty good idea.

Add light to your house: One of the most important things for young children is to be exposed to natural sunlight. In California, they started building new schools that featured natural sunlight several years ago and found out that children's test scores increased by almost 10 percent over time. Adding natural light to your house will therefore allow you to save on electricity costs and enhance your family's life.

Go with energy saving appliances: One really good way to see a future that can be incorporated into your home is to follow the Consumer Electronics Show news from Las Vegas online. Most of the revolutionary energy saving appliances that are available will be on display there and end up in a news story. Past examples include tankless water heaters and ultra-energy efficient washers and dryers.

Have some specialists do an energy audit for you: Having professionals audit your home for energy efficiency before you start planning your project will give you a complete understanding of its potential to be upgraded when you do start to work on it.

Energy efficiency in your home can save you money and make your life better. By making a few extra changes, you will likely be greener and more satisfied with the results.

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With summer heat looming just around the corner, it’s time we look into ways to keep our homes cool and energy efficient. While it’s incredibly tempting to turn up the A.C., we all know how that will impact the electricity bill. Fortunately, there are several energy efficient ways to keep your house cool this summer.

1.Highly reflective window film

Windows allow the sun’s energy into your home which in turn can increase the temperature, reflective window film can block up to 72% of the sun’s heat in the summer, lower energy cost and can even prevent heat loss in the winter.

2. Invest in a dehumidifier

Air that is saturated with water makes it more difficult for sweat to evaporate, this explains why it feels so much hotter on humid days than non humid days. By investing in a dehumidifier, you can easily lower the perceived heat of your home by reducing the humidity. Humidity also provides a breeding ground for nasty bacteria.

3. Insulate your attic (or get an attic fan)

The top of your house absorbs heat from the sun each and every day and the hot air in your house rises. By insulating your attic, you can provide a barrier between your home and the hot air in your attic. Moreover, getting an attic fan can help blow the hot air out of your house and even further cool your home.

4.Paint your roof (or apply a reflective coating)

We all know that to stay cool in summer, it is ill advised to wear dark colors. So why do we have black roofs? By changing the color of your roof to a lighter one or adding a reflective coating, you can reflect some of the sun’s heat and energy. The less heat being absorbed by your roof, the cooler your house will be.

5. Tune up your air conditioner

Depending on the age of your air conditioner, you could be losing a lot of cool air through yours ducts. By hiring a professional like those from Amyotte’s Plumbing & Heating Ltd. to tune up you’re A.C., you could potentially save a ton of energy and keep your home cooler! Tuning up you’re A.C. system can also reduce operating cost by increasing efficiency.

Keeping your home cool and energy efficient this summer most likely a top priority. So instead of turning your A.C. to full blast, try out some of these simple yet effective tips to keep your home cool.

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With spring right around the corner, it is important to prepare your home for the changing weather. Every winter can damage your home in ways that you did not expect, and that is why it is so important to make your home energy-efficient.

Weather-Proof Your Garage

You lose a lot of cool air through your garage. This spring, make sure that you apply some weather stripping to the garage door and to the door between the house and the garage as well if you have a connected garage.

Get Your Air Ducts Clean

According to AAA Steam Carpet Cleaning Ltd., dust and debris can seriously impede the flow of air through your home, and when that happens, your ventilation system is working far harder than it needs to. To prevent wear and tear on your ventilation system, take a moment to think about getting the ducts cleaned out thoroughly before spring.

Change Out Your Bulbs

If you have not done so already, now is the time to trade out your old incandescent bulbs. CLFs last about ten times as long and they are around 75% more energy efficient.

Check Your Seals

Over the winter, the sealing on your doors or windows might have degraded. That means that you should walk around and check them. Reseal everything that looks like it is wearing away, as this will help you keep cool air in and warm air out.

Turn Down Your Water Temperature Settings

You do not need the water to be as warm as it was when it was winter. Turn your water down to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a great temperature for the warmer months.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

When you are someone who is invested in making sure that your home is energy efficient, consider installing a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat will prevent you from cooling an empty house, and on top of that, it will still turn on the cool air right before you get home.

Cover Your Windows

Curtains are a great way to make sure that your hot air stays out while your cool air stays in. They are especially important during the middle of the day, when the sun is at its hottest, and you will find that they are quite important when it comes to keeping yourself comfortable.

When you want to make your home more energy-efficient this spring, there are just a few things to keep track of. Consider how you want to move forward when the weather starts to warm.

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Global warming remains one of the biggest threats to humanity. In order to protect our beautiful planet, it is going to take a team effort. Here are some things that you can do to help preserve our planet’s energy and natural resources.

Reduce the amount of time spent in the shower

Taking a long, hot shower can be very relaxing. Unfortunately, this can waste electricity and a lot of precious water. According to experts, you can save more than a $100 a year by simply taking shorter showers. If you are still using a traditional shower head, you should promptly replace it with a low-flow shower head.

Do not allow your vehicle to idle for a long time

Over the years, drivers have developed a habit of allowing their engine to warm up in the morning. However, modern engines do not need a very long warm-up period. Contrary to popular belief, allowing your vehicle to idle for a long duration can actually decrease the life of the engine. Remember, most vehicles will quickly reach the appropriate temperature after being driven for a few miles. Limiting your idle time saves fuel and helps to preserve the environment.

Do not throw your used bottles in the trash

Instead of tossing your used bottles and cans in the trash, start collecting them. Many recycling centers give out cash in exchange for used containers. This is a win-win situation for you and the planet. Over the course of a year, the average consumer can easily collect over $40 worth of recyclable containers.

Consider getting a degree in geology

UF degrees in geology provide graduates with a lot of exciting opportunities. After you graduate from your geology program, you will be able to become a leader in the fight against global warming. Not only will you get the opportunity to work in nature, but you can also educate your friends and family on ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Use traditional ways to perform your household tasks

During the warmer months, try to air-dry your clothes as much as possible. If you only need to wash a couple articles of clothing, consider using an old-fashioned washboard. When possible, you should also use a non-electric vacuum to keep your floors clean.

The future of the environment is in our hands. If everyone makes a few changes, we can bring a halt to global warming.

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