Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'energy efficiency'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Announcement
  • Business & Politics
  • Cars & Transportation
  • Culture & Celebrity
  • Energy
  • Renewable Energy
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Food & Health
  • Global Warming
  • Green Action Tip
  • Design & Architecture
  • Green Blogging
  • Green Quote
  • Green Video
  • Green Web Hosting
  • Science & Technology
  • Nature & Travel
  • Agriculture
  • Bali 2007
  • Biodiversity
  • Biofuels
  • Go Live Give
  • Poland 2008
  • Copenhagen 2009
  • Quick Read
  • Photo Gallery
  • Politics
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Activism
  • Science
  • Featured
  • Uncategorized
  • COP21

Forums

  • Site Forums
    • Members Lounge
    • Contributors Lounge
  • Environment Forums
    • Green Talk
    • Climate Change
    • Agriculture
    • Wildlife and Biodiversity
    • Sustainable Design
  • Green Living Forums
    • Living Green
    • Good Food
    • Gardening
    • Transportation
    • Activism
    • Green Products and Services
  • Energy Forums
    • Energy
    • Renewable Energy
    • Non-renewable Energy
    • Nuclear Energy
  • General Discussion Forums
    • General Talk
    • Politics and Current Events
    • Science and Technology
    • Entertainment
    • Religion and Philosophy

Blogs

There are no results to display.

Calendars

  • Community Calendar

Group


AIM


MSN


Website URL


ICQ


Yahoo


Jabber


Skype


Location


Interests


Political views


Religious views

Found 33 results

  1. As the weather turns warm and thermostats get turned down, many people will see a spike in their electric bills. Fortunately, there are a lot of options to make your house more energy-efficient. From simple steps that can be done in minutes to more intensive projects that may require hiring a professional, these tips can help lower your energy costs and make your home more environmentally friendly. Install Ceiling Fans Ceiling fans can drop the temperature of a room up to four degrees without using much electricity, but a four degree difference in your thermostat can lead to a huge difference in your electric bill. A window fan can also be used to cool a room much more efficiently than turning on the air conditioning, especially in early mornings and later evenings. Maintain the Air Conditioner If your air conditioner is in good condition, it will run more efficiently. Change the air filters regularly, vacuum and clean dust out of registers and vents, and clean around the exterior unit to ensure smooth airflow and not overwork the unit. It's also a good idea to have it professionally serviced once a year to troubleshoot any repairs and make sure it is running at peak condition. Install a Programmable Thermostat When you aren't home, don't keep the thermostat set low. If you are going to be gone at the same time every day, you can program the thermostat to raise while you are gone, then program it to lower to your preferred temperature about thirty minutes before you come home. This way you don't need to worry about re-setting your thermostat every day or forgetting to raise the temperature before you leave. Repair or Replace Old Windows Old windows can leak, and while the drafts in the winter are noticeable, they let a lot of warm air in in the summer, too. Caulking or weather-stripping around frames and leaky areas can help, but if your windows are old or single-paned, it may be worth it to replace them to a more efficient style of window. Have Your Home Insulated Insulating your home can make a huge difference in your home's energy efficiency. If your home is older, your home may be lacking insulation, or it may have lost its effectiveness. Having Reflective Optimizing Insulation installed by Parsons Construction Group in attics can reduce energy bills drastically and make your home significantly more efficient all year and has a lifetime performance guarantee. As the mercury creeps up, don't let your electric bill follow suit. Follow these tips to make your home more energy efficient to save money without sacrificing comfort.
  2. The year 2017 might as well be be the right one for you to make your home more energy-efficient. The first step in deciding which home improvements you should consider is hiring a non-profit or professional specialist who will assess your energy consumption, detect issues contributing to energy loss, and recommend measures to achieve greater efficiency. Here are some home improvements that will help you reduce energy costs while keeping your home green and your energy sustainable. Upgrading Home Weatherization Gaps and cracks in your home’s thermal envelope can significantly increase your heating and cooling costs and dealing with them should come first. Such places will be unavailable for fixing once you install insulation. Even when optimal air sealing and insulation is achieved, you should not forget about regular maintenance of your heating and ventilation systems to ensure their maximum efficiency. Sometimes, a full replacement of currently used devices should also be considered. Window Replacement Choosing the right frame and glazing for your specific circumstances and climate when replacing your windows will improve the overall energy-efficiency of your home. Wood frames may be the most expensive solution, but they provide the best insulation and curb appeal. On the downside, they are not an ideal solution for humid climates and they require regular maintenance and repainting. Double paned Low-E glass windows with a vinyl frame are a budget-friendly alternative that doesn’t require maintenance and repainting. Roof Optimization A cool roof will keep the heat away from homes by reflecting it. To achieve its benefits, you can coat your existing roof with reflective materials, but this can just be a short-term solution as it requires reapplication after a certain time which depends on the roof type. Also, most liquid coatings work best with certain types of roofs, such as membrane-based and metal roofs. They can be applied to asphalt shingles as well, although they tend to chip and crack with age, which may also be an environmental concern. In this case, complete re-roofing might be considered. If you decide to go for it, choose metal. It may be an expensive roof material, but it pays off in the long run due to its significant benefits such as durability and low maintenance. Choosing the right solution for your roof may be difficult. If you would rather leave all these decisions and work to a professional, be sure it is someone who is insured with valid contractor bonds to guarantee project completion and financial compensation if anything doesn’t go as planned. Introducing Alternative Energy Sources Think of introducing alternative energy sources as a supplement to your existing ones. Many homes today enhance or even substitute traditional sources of energy with solar panels installed on their roofs. The benefits are numerous: lower energy costs, decreased use of fossil fuels, use of renewable energy, etc. Where applicable, consider other renewable energy sources such as wind. Wind generators use the same concept as wind turbines, but on a smaller scale suitable for home use. Wind energy can also be stored for later with batteries. Consider these sources as an addition to primary energy sources and optimize them by using them for specific tasks, such as solar water heating. Using a Rainwater Collector Many communities around the world have used rainwater for different purposes, ranging from garden watering to drinking when proper water cleaning processes are involved. Even in cases when main or reticulated water supplies are available, properly collected and stored rainwater is a safe, cost-effective and sustainable water source. A water collection system will be especially worth the investment if you have considerable irrigation needs, experience frequent droughts or need to control drainage problems on your property. Make it Green These home improvements will help you save money, enable optimal temperature levels all year round and increase your indoor air quality. Making the most out of natural resources available to you will make your home more energy-efficient and green.
  3. Creating an energy-efficient environment can benefit you in many ways. It can cut down your electric bill and provide you with the means to claim a tax break in some cases. If you have not yet transformed to living an energy-efficient life, these tips can help you get started. Have Your Insulation Checked The first and quickest way that you can be energy-efficient is by checking the insulation in your home. You contact a professional to have an inspection. If the inspection reveals poor insulation, then you know you need to tighten things up to maximize energy efficiency. Buy Energy Star Household Items The golden rule of energy efficiency is not getting too attached to one's old appliances. Look for the Energy Star logo whenever you shop for any household appliances. Examples of items that you may need to replace are items such as washing machines, clothes washers, refrigerators and the like. The Energy Star symbol is a guarantee that your new device is going to use as little energy as possible to do the job it needs to do. Renovate by Swapping Out Major Equipment You will need to conduct some major upgrades if you want to receive the tax breaks and truly get the most out of your energy efficiency potential. For example, you may want to replace your current boiler with one from a company like Nationwide Boiler. Obtain a Special Energy Measurement Sensor Many people would use less energy if they could get on-demand usage stats. Therefore, you may want to buy a gadget or device that measures the amount of energy that you are consuming on any given day. You can then manipulate the amount of energy that you use. Such devices do exist, although they are probably few and far between. Regularly Maintain Your Appliances Another way that you can ensure that you maintain an energy efficient environment is if you perform regular maintenance on your appliances. For example, you can dust your air conditioner and change the filters so it doesn't have to work harder than normal to cool the room. You can do the same with the heating system, fridge and other appliances. Have a professional come in and provide maintenance to the items that you don't quite understand. Use the previously mentioned ideas to get yourself started on an efficient path. You can apply the tips to a business or a large-scale project, as well.
  4. Keep your office warm without seeing the bill skyrocket. It takes only a few, small changes to keep the heat in and keep the energy usage down. Here are several energy-efficient tips to preserve the warmth in your office. Lower Your Thermostat a Few Degrees You save energy with every one or two degrees you turn down. Make adjustments whenever you feel the weather change throughout the day. Maintain warm room temperatures within 60 to 70 degrees. At the end of the month, you will save at least a few dollars on your heating bill. Also, invest in a model that switches on and off automatically so that it does not run endlessly. Invest in Tote Heaters To store liquids and chemicals, use a tote heater that is known for its energy efficiency. Preserve the heat while keeping your liquids warm for hours. If the tote works right, you will not have to adjust the thermostat too high. The Powerblanket brand states that it is important to look for a safe and efficient heater. You cannot use your tote on a heater that overheats and smokes easily. Also, find a product that fits snugly around the heater and is made of a strong, long-lasting material. Check the Filter Replace the filter in your heater at least once a year. Dirt prevents the flow of air into the heater and decreases its efficiency. Also, maintain the furnace so that all of its parts work properly. Look for Leaks Keep the heat in the room by plugging up the leaks. Look for cracks and holes around the doors and windows. Consider sealing the leaks with caulk that is used in home construction. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances Replace your old appliances with new ones that have the Energy Star labels. Solar heaters are popular devices that keep the home powered all day at no cost. Once you start using your new machine, notice significant increases in your monthly savings. If the heating bill costs $1,000, you could cut it in half and save money for more important household needs. There are many ways to keep your energy usage down in your office. One option is to buy a brand-new appliance that is built for convenience and energy efficiency. Another option is to keep the temperature down on the thermostat. Make as many adjustments as you need to maintain optimal warmth and comfort while you work.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. An inefficient heating system could cost you hundreds of dollars each year, and sadly, most homeowners don’t even know they are wasting this much money because they assume as long as the heater is producing heat, it’s working 100 percent. To know if your heating system is being inefficient, here are four things you will want to look out for. 1. High Gas Consumption Chances are your utility company allows you to view your bills from a few years ago, and if you don’t have an online account, consider creating one to be able to compare the usage from today to a year ago. If you’re noticing your bill is at least 15 to 30 percent higher, then could be a sign your system is becoming inefficient. Unless you’re raising your temperatures, there’s no reason for your bill to increase this much. 2. Your Pilot Light When your gas furnace starts up, you will notice a pilot light if you peek through the vents. A healthy system will have a steady blue color, but if your system is inefficient, this color can change. If you notice the flame is either yellow or it’s flickering, this could be a serious problem. These colors and signs often mean your system is producing high levels of carbon monoxide, and if you suspect this is the case, you will want to turn off your furnace immediately and call a professional. 3. Too Many Calls It’s okay to call the professionals here and there, but if you’re calling at least three to four times per year, you may be better off investing in a new system. Most systems will need an occasional repair; however, if your system has had at least four repairs north of $200, then it has probably reached the end of its life. Experts such as those at Universal Refrigeration, will tell you it may be time to call the professionals if your system is older than 15 years. 4. Odd Noises Pay close attention to the furnace when it boots on. Do you hear any popping or banging noises? If so, it may be a sign the furnace is on its death bed. A healthy furnace will be relatively quiet and won’t wake you up during a deep sleep. If any of these signs apply to you, then it’s time to call a professional before your heater kicks the bucket on a 10-degree night. Investing in a new system or even having a simple repair performed could save you a lot more than you think.
  8. Running a business means making a lot of important decisions on a daily basis. However, one thing many business owners tend to not think about is how they’re heating their office. One choice that has many benefits that you should certainly consider during the colder months of the year is heating your office with propane. It Helps the Environment When people think of eco-friendly fuel sources, propane does not usually come to mind. However, it is a green alternative fuel recognized by the government. One reason why is because it escapes as a gas and doesn’t leave any physical residue as pollution. Propane exhaust also creates 70 percent less smog and hydrocarbons than burning gasoline does. It is far less toxic than other carbon based fuels. It’s Economical Another great thing about using propane to heat your office is that it can help slash your overhead expenses. You should be aware that propane is far cheaper when used to heat a building than electricity is. In fact, the cost savings can be as much as 50 percent. Propane water heaters are a much better deal than electric. You can also insure that you save even more money by wrapping your propane water heater in a Powerblanket. This added insulation will prevent heat loss and increase the efficiency of your heating system. It’s Convenient One great thing about propane is that it does not require a lot of maintenance. One propane tank can last for as long as 40 years. It’s a long term solution, and the investment can begin to pay off quite decently versus other more expensive heating options. It’s Dependable Once you install your propane powered heating system into your office, it should provide consistent heat for decades. Other heating sources may not be as dependable. For example, if you depend on electricity to heat your office, you could be prone to losing heat during power outages. Power outages, of course, are common in the winter when harsh weather destroys power lines. With a propane tank, your office will still be heated even during an outage. It’s dependable and provides some safety for your employees if an outage were to occur. There are many benefits to using propane to heat your office during cold winter months. It’s cheap, environmentally friendly, convenient and dependable energy. If you are moving to a new office, consider installing a propane tank to provide the energy you need. Converting your current heating system to propane may be an excellent idea as well.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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. 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.
  23. 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. 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.
  24. 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. 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.
  25. With utility bills on the rise, we are all looking for the most feasible ways to maximize the energy efficiency of our homes. Multiple studies performed by some of the most authoritative experts in the US, show that the roof is the easiest and often the most cost-effective way to cut down on electricity bills. Here are the top ways for greener roof and home: Choose Reflective Roofing Materials (The Cool Roof) The materials traditionally used for roofing tend to absorb the solar energy rather than deflect it, which often leads to higher energy expenses. When the roof temperature is high, more heat gets into your house and your air-conditioning appliances consume a lot more energy to reduce it. However, over the past few years a new type of materials emerged, which have solar reflective properties and help reduce the temperature of the roof with up to 30 percent. Furthermore, the modern cool roofing solutions are also very effective at releasing the accumulated solar heat and this is commonly known as high emittance property. Probably the simplest and most effective way to cool down your roof is with special coating, which is applied on top of the existing structure. In cases when you build new residence or remodel an existing roof, you should consider using lighter colored versions of asphalt and shingles. A great source of information about how to make virtually any type of roof cool is made available by the US Department of Evergy. Insulate the Roof & Attic To insulate your roof and attic in order to maximize energy efficiency around the house is really a no-brainer. However, when it comes to choosing the most suitable insulation for your specific needs, things get a bit more complicated – there are so many types out there that even experienced professionals can get confused. My personal advice is to use the R-value of the insulation to determine its heat transfer resistant properties – the higher these are the better ability the insulation will have to keep the heat inside your home, so that you don’t spend a fortune on utility bills. Sustainability Whether you are remodeling the existing roof of your house or you are building a new one, choosing the most sustainable materials will almost immediately result in energy savings. Most of the time with up to 30 percent! Choosing sustainable roofing materials requires seeking professional advice, from experienced roofer, like Apex Roofing in Texas. I don’t say you can’t get the job done yourself, but it will be much difficult as there are so many factors to consider, such as climate in the area, the type of the house and off course your budget. Once all these considerations are in place, you are ready to proceed with your roofing project and pick up the materials you will use. With these top ways to maximize the energy efficiency of your roof, you can quickly cut down on electricity bills by as much as 50 percent! If you do basic calculations for your utility savings, you will quickly realize how cost-effective roofing actually is.