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LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogImproving your home’s energy efficiency not only saves you money, it increases your comfort year-round. These five tips offer durable ways to lower the amount of energy it takes to cool and heat it. Some are do-it-yourself projects, while others require the help of a specialized contractor. Energy Recovery Ventilator These affordable HVAC appliances exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air without increasing energy costs. The energy recovery ventilator (ERV) traps the energy in the outgoing air and puts it into the incoming air. ERVs also remove humidity from the incoming air, which lightens the cooling load in the summer. Window Sealing Kits Unless you have thermal or Energy Star windows, you could be losing a good deal of heat to the outdoors during the winter. Clear plastic window sealing kits are available from home centers and online stores. They don’t interfere with the view and block air leaks and thermal transfer to the outdoors. Air Leaks and Ice Dams The air leaks from the ceilings into the attic reduce energy efficiency, and for the most part, they’re easy to seal with caulk and expanding foam. Besides the heated air that escapes into the attic into the winter, air leaks from the ceilings cause ice dams in the winter. Once you’ve sealed the air leakage, check over the integrity of the gutters. If they’re clogged or broken, rain or snowmelt won’t be able to drain quickly, which could also trigger ice dams. Companies like Innovations Siding & Windows can inspect your gutters and siding to make sure your home will withstand the damage that moisture causes to the attic or the envelope. Shade Screens Popular in the southern states for their ability to block solar heat on south- and west-facing windows, shade screens are effective in any climate. Screening materials are available online or at home centers. Some eliminate 90 percent of the heat entering through the glass. They don’t block the view and most homeowners take them down in the fall to take advantage of solar passive heating. Solar Cooking Cooking outdoors with a solar cooker on a hot sunny day requires no fuel. Solar cooking is an inexpensive and effective way to harness the power of the sun to cut energy consumption and produce delicious food. Bottom Line These suggestions will help you deal with the climate unique to this area. They won’t break the bank, and even if you need an expert, are easy to execute and will last for years.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogGenerating energy to power our homes and businesses, especially in the United States, is an expensive task, both economically and environmentally. The best way to produce that power is the topic of many research studies that seek to keep the process of energy production as efficient as possible. Solar power is quickly becoming a more reliable, affordable, and cleaner way to power your home. The Old Way of Generating Power Most energy produced in the US today is produced by coal- or natural gas-powered plants. These are fossil fuels, which emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned. This is the number one cause of climate change. Producing energy produced by fossil fuels is a dying industry. Jobs in this industry are historically some of the most dangerous jobs you can have. Each year it employs fewer and fewer people. The Greener Cleaner Way to Power Your Home Solar energy is at the beginning of a revolution. Just as coal powered the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries, solar along with other renewable sources will power the 21st Century. The price of making and installing solar panels drops 20% every time the world capacity for solar power doubles. This means that each year, more and more people can afford to install solar panels on their homes and end up selling energy back to the grid. Companies like Renogy are making solar power accessible and portable for more and more people all the time. The true cost to the environment of using solar power is more than you might think. Sure, when the panels are installed and energy is being produced, there is no carbon by-product. Creating the panels, transporting them, and installing them does generate carbon. Solar panels are made of silicone which has a high melting temperature. The power used to create the panels themselves immediately puts the solar panel into a "carbon debt". Presently, when a new solar panel is produced, it pays off its carbon debt in two years, then continues to produce completely clean energy for decades to come. The current manufacturer's warranty on solar panels is 25 years. After that time, the panels may produce energy less efficiently. Powering your home with solar energy is a responsible choice for the planet. It can also mean real savings on your utility bills. If you are thinking about making a difference, you should think again about solar.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogPropane 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.