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BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogNo homeowner likes to see an unexpected spike in his or her electric bill, especially those on tight budgets. According to a survey conducted by the Department of Energy, nearly one-third of all households in 2015 had some insecurity with their electric costs. In some cases, other necessities were cut back to pay the electric bill. Other received disconnection notices if the bill was not paid timely. For those with tight budgets, efficiently running appliances can make a great deal of difference in monthly expenses. There are some common causes for increased energy costs and ways to avoid a sudden bill shock associated with it. Faulty Appliances Consuming Energy In general, major appliances that either heat or cool consume the most electricity. Electric stoves and ovens, clothes dryers, hot water heaters and refrigerators often use the most electricity. If one of these appliances stops working correctly, higher energy costs are likely. This can happen in a number of ways. A hot water heater that leaks will cost more to run because it must be constantly heating additional water from the supply line. A clothes dryer with a faulty switch may cause it to run longer and use more energy. A fridge with a leaking refrigerant line or bad compressor will work harder to keep the unit cold. A trained appliance technician can diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs. Appliances Having Indirect Effect on Energy Costs In these cases, though the faulty appliance may not cause additional electrical costs on its own, the effect can lead to higher consumption. For example, if a washing machine is not properly extracting water from clothing, it will take longer to dry. Longer running time in the high energy clothes dryer could be noticeable in the electric bill. A water leak in the dishwasher or washing machine may not only cause a mess, but it could lead to the hot water heater working longer than it should. Having a trained professional diagnose the problem and making the proper repairs will lead to a lower electric bill. Seasonal Changes In this area, increased costs may be inevitable. When the weather turns warm and air conditioners run more often, an increase people can expect an increase in energy usage. Ensuring the AC unit is running correctly, adding insulation where needed and turning down the cooling system while away from the home may help reduce costs. Having these items checked by a professional can save the homeowner money in the long run. Even if you don’t think your energy bills are too much, it’s still a good idea to take a look at local averages, ask friends, or even just have maintenance done to see if they could be lower. Many fixes for higher costs are relatively painless, but anything that will save you money, in the long run, is worth considering.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogThere are lots of reasons that updating your home may be the right move to make right now. You can even have your upgrades decrease the overall energy usage of your home. Energy efficient items have come a long way when it comes to looks and the technology utilized. Doing these upgrades can improve the appearance of your home and save you some money in the process. Change Your Roofing Material If you roof is looking a little ratty around the edges, replace it with a newer version. A metal roof may be the right solution for you. This long lasting type of material is made to withstand the ages. It also makes it easier for the snow to slide off. You could also replace your roof with cool shingles that reflect a large portion of the sun’s rays away from your home. Increase Window Efficiency As windows age they start to lose some of their insulating properties. Look into window repair so that you can improve the energy efficiency and the appearance of your old windows. For older single pane windows, change them out with a two or three pane solution. This will reduce the amount of drafts and noise that enters your home on a daily basis. You have a variety of styles to choose from when it comes to replacing your windows. Replace Worn out Appliances Old appliances tend to waste a lot of energy. You may have noticed that your refrigerator is running almost constantly. Replace it with a more energy efficient model. New appliances also have the perk of being more attractive than your old ones. This could be the first step to getting you started on your minor kitchen remodel. Install New Light Fixtures Changing out the light fixtures in your home can improve the style of any room. Replace those old bulbs with ones that are LED. They consume less energy than the incandescent or fluorescent varieties. Another benefit is that they can last longer so that you won’t have to replace them so often. Even if you have a relatively new home, you may be able to gain some benefit by performing an energy audit. This can give you a jumping off point for any upgrades that may need to be performed around your house. Being more energy conscious doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice style. There are lots of energy efficient options that can improve the appearance of your home.
It is becoming increasingly important in this fast-paced, industrial society to acknowledge the environmental impact of each individual and do your part in maintaining eco-friendly habits. There are many areas where you can make changes to yourself and your home to help protect the earth. One way to make your home more environmentally-conscious is to make use of several different household appliances that are on the market today. Vacuum Sealer Investing in a vacuum sealer cuts down on food waste by keeping your food fresh for longer. Vacuum sealed bags are the optimal way to store food in your fridge while saving space, and using them can make your food stay fresh until you are ready to eat it. Vacuum sealing removes all the air that could cause bacteria and rot, making your food's shelf life a lot longer than it would be with normal food storage bags. Low-Flow Faucets One of the most effective ways to conserve water in your home is to install low-flow faucets and showerheads. Showering takes up a large portion of an individual's water consumption. By purchasing and installing water controlling fixtures, you can limit your daily water use. Low-flow fixtures are inexpensive and can save you up to 50 percent on your water bill, benefiting both you and the environment. Recycled Sinks A new sink may not be the first thing to come to mind when you are in the market for eco-friendly choices, but there are more options than just the standard kitchen or bathroom sink. Consider purchasing a 100 percent recycled or salvaged sink. Beautiful design and eco-friendly manufacturing come together in many unique metals like copper, bronze and stainless steel. Manufacturing recycled metals is a much more cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly process than producing virgin steel. Air Fryer Air fryers allow you to perform all your cooking needs without the use of grease or flame. They work by circulating hot air around food. An air fryer conserves energy by generating a lot of heat in a small, contained space. You can fry, bake and roast with simplicity, all while saving on your energy consumption and reducing your carbon footprint. LED Lights Another way to save energy is to get LED lights from a company like Always Earth Friendly. LEDs are a type of light fixture that is much friendlier to the environment than common compact fluorescent or incandescent light bulbs. LED lighting can save a significant portion of your energy use each year. It lasts over three times longer than CFL bulbs and saves more electricity when in use. Each light bulb is made of eco-friendly, durable and high-quality materials and just one light can last for almost 23 years. Doing your part to help the environment is rewarding. Using these appliances and fixtures around the house can provide a long-term method to conserve the resources around you
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogCreating 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.