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BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogAs winter rolls in, many people find their energy bills rising quickly. While it may be difficult to warm your home throughout the winter without seeing some increase in your energy bill, there are several things you can do to conserve energy throughout the winter. Remove Phantom Power Users Phantom power users are devices and appliances that use small amounts of power whenever they’re plugged in, even when they’re not in use. To prevent this, attach your gaming systems, televisions, and other similar items to power strips and turn the strip off when they aren’t in use. Get used to shutting your computer down completely when you aren’t using it. Turn off appliances that aren’t being used. Phantom power can add a significant amount to your energy bill each month and is particularly wasteful because the power is being wasted without any of the benefits of using the device. Have Maintenance Done Even if you don’t do it every year, which is advisable, you should still call out professionals like Classic Air and Heating to inspect and maintain your air system. During the maintenance process, your system will be cleaned and examined to ensure that it’s performing at its optimal level. As a result, your unit won’t have to work too hard to warm your home. Drop the Temperature Every degree that you drop the temperature in your home throughout the winter could save as much as 3% on your energy bill. Even reducing the temperature overnight, when you’re wrapped up in bed anyway, can make a substantial difference in your energy costs. You don’t have to freeze yourself out, but if you keep the temperature a few degrees lower and bundle up a bit, you’ll save money and energy all winter long. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat A programmable thermostat will allow you to reduce the temperature in your home when you aren’t there, saving on your energy costs while still keeping your home comfortable when you’re at home. Many models can even be controlled by your phone. It’s not hard to see that you can save money and energy by only running the heater in preparation for being home and not when you know you’ll be gone. Many smart thermostats also integrate into smart home systems that allow you to turn on and off different lights and fixtures to save even more energy. Block Unused Rooms If there are rooms in your home that you don’t use on a regular basis, close the door and block the bottom of the door with a towel or blanket. This will stop heat and cold from that room interfering with the thermostat readings. The more space you have in your home, the quicker the heat can dissipate. Closing off rooms allows your thermostat to take its readings based on the temperature of the main spaces of your home. Additionally, you’ll want to keep doors to high traffic areas open so air can circulate easier. Seal Doors and Windows Small leaks and drafts can add up quickly as the warm air inside your home is replaced with cold outdoor air. Take the time to caulk around drafts in your windows and, if necessary, purchase a seal to place against your doors. This especially important at night, when temperatures drop. Controlling your energy costs throughout the winter doesn’t have to be your biggest challenge of the year. By implementing these simple tricks, you can watch your energy usage decrease and your energy bills become easier to handle.
As the seasons change from fall to winter, temperatures turn from comfortable to chilly. Depending on your location, temperatures can drop down drastically and create one frigid situation. So, how do you beat the cold? Most people would reach to turn on space heaters or dial up that thermostat. But, chances are good that your heating sources are consuming astonishing amounts of energy. Before heading over to the thermostat, there are several ways to tame the cold weather without wasting all that energy! Use Natural Heating Sources A simple way to be green in the winter months is to let some sun into your home by keeping the curtains open during the day! The heat from the sun can help keep your house warm without running the furnace all day. Turn Down Your Thermostat Energy officials recommend keeping your thermostat at around 68 degrees during the winter months. If 68 degrees just isn’t cutting it, try wearing sweaters, socks, or blankets around the house to bridge the gap. Also, try to avoid changing the thermostat throughout the day. Keeping the temperature consistent reduces energy consumption, and wear and tear on your heating system. Check Your Windows Considering that cold air can enter your home through tiny openings in your windows, it’s a good idea to take measures to make your windows work for you, not against you. For one, you could have your windows replaced. Windows can make all the difference by keeping warm air in and the cold air out. There are experts out there, like Statewide Energy Solutions, which specialize in energy efficient window and door installation. You could also seal your existing windows using caulking or weather stripping. Caulking is especially helpful for small gaps in windows. Weather stripping is used more for sealing moving pieces like large windows and doors. Keeping Up Your Heating Systems A simple yet practical solution to being energy efficient is to just maintain the upkeep of your heating and air system! Replacing the filters, cleaning your ducts, and having your system serviced will help cut down on your heating costs. It’s always a good idea to make sure everything is serviced and up to date to avoid any issues during those cold winter months! In short, there are many ways to be efficient during the winter months. By checking your windows, using natural heat, and keeping your central heating up to par, your whole family benefits as you have made conscious energy saving efforts! Remember, you can be warm without being wasteful!
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogNearly every homeowner loves to doll up their domicile to suit their specific tastes. Popular modifications include basement game rooms, new kitchens, redesigned bathrooms and offices. Many ambitious DIY home improvement enthusiasts are increasingly focused on energy-efficient upgrades that'll save money and help the environment. Here are a few choice options that can work in any scenario. Upgrade Windows and Doors The easiest way to prevent energy waste in the home is to ensure that the entryways and exits don't leak heat in either direction. Installing double-paned windows filled with argon is a great start. New high-tech doors with blown-in foam insulation placed between the frame and the studs is another step in the right direction. Put In Superior Insulation A typical 2x4 home features fiberglass R-11 insulation lining the exterior walls. You can sister 2x6 studs to the original 2x4 members so that thicker R-23 rockwool insulation can be installed. This will reduce heat loss during the winter and strain on your air conditioner during the summer. It'll also give you a chance to check the walls for mold or rot. Attach Hyper-Efficient Siding Traditional siding materials like OSB or T1-11 are pretty lousy when it comes to blocking heat transfer even when wrapped in Tyvek. Going with a next-generation siding system from an outfit like Lifetime Exteriors can greatly improve energy efficiency. Modern sheathing and siding products use advanced synthetic materials to create a fairly impermeable barrier. Install Stingy HVAC Hardware Furnaces and central air conditioners have come a long way in the past decade when it comes to energy efficiency. If you live in a cold climate, a natural gas furnace or pellet stove will deliver better heating while using less fuel. Homeowners in hot environments should ditch window-mounted AC units in favor of central air. Opt for Tankless Water Heating A run-of-the-mill electric water heater costs hundreds of dollars per year to run. What's more, there's a limit to how much hot water they can crank out within a given time period. Tankless water heaters require a little more work to install but can drastically reduce electricity usage and provide limitless hot water on demand. Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck While the long-term benefits of efficiency upgrades justify the costs, the initial investment can be daunting. It's best to proceed gradually by starting with exterior jobs and working your way in. Furthermore, there are many government tax credits and rebates available to homeowners that cushion the financial blow.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogThese 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.