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Found 6 results

  1. 5 Ways to Save Electricity at Home

    You and your family might be wasting an exorbitant amount of electricity without even realizing it. Inefficient appliances and unwise habits could be costing you thousands of dollars a year, and that is why homeowners should constantly be looking for new ways to reduce their carbon footprint. These five tips will help you bring your electric bills down without making any major lifestyle changes. Weatherize Your House In the average home, the HVAC system is responsible for around 48 percent of all energy use. Weatherizing your home will limit the amount of electricity that must be used to keep it at a comfortable temperature. Sealing up cracks, caulking around windows, and installing better insulation are all simple projects that will improve your home’s efficiency. Cook Responsibly When it comes to making meals, changing a few of your habits could put a major dent in your energy bills. Instead of cooking foods as soon as you pull them out of the freezer, you should give them time to thaw out on the counter. You can also reduce your carbon footprint by using energy-efficient appliances such as the microwave and crockpot instead of the oven and stove. Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water Unless your clothes are extremely dirty, you should be able to wash them on the coldest setting. You also need to make sure that the washer is full before doing a load of laundry. These devices use an incredible amount of energy, and being able to cut back on a few loads every month could end up saving you hundreds of dollars a year. Stop Phantom Loads Many devices throughout your home will continue to draw power even when they aren’t being used. These “phantom loads” can cost you quite a bit of money, and that is why you should unplug all of your devices whenever they aren’t being used. As an alternative to unplugging each individual device, you can plug multiple devices into a single power strip. When you are getting ready to leave your home or go to sleep, you can cut off all the devices in a room with a single switch. Schedule an Energy Audit During an energy audit, an inspector will use tools such as current sensors from a company like Aim Dynamics and thermal cameras to detect any efficiency issues that might be taking place. Once the inspection is over, you will be given instructions on how to address those issues. Most experts agree that families should have their homes inspected once every two to three years. Homeowners should never accept skyrocketing energy bills without a fight. With a little bit of planning and the proper attitude, you might be able to save thousands a year while reducing your impact on the environment.
  2. If you're concerned about the environment, you know that everyone who conserves power is cutting down on all overall demand. That reduces pressure on local ecosystems or adding to pollution and global warming. Options like solar power may be outside your budget, but there are simple ways to conserve electricity. Here are some things you can do. Reduce Phantom Load This is power that some devices use even when they're turned off. Digital displays, status lights, and similar indicators are still drawing power 24 hours a day. While this seems minor, you may have multiple devices around the home, such as TVs, computer equipment, kitchen gadgets, and more. That can add up to significant energy use. Plug items that aren't constantly needed into outlet strips that you can turn on or off when not in use. Energy-Efficient Appliances When it's time to replace major appliances, look for more energy-efficient models. Most will have ENERGY STAR labels that indicate how much power use is involved and how much you can expect to pay for it. In the meantime, you can maximize efficiency by not using appliances needlessly. Hang up the laundry outside on a sunny day instead of turning on the dryer, and avoid running partial loads in the dishwasher or washing machine. Modern Lighting The old incandescent bulbs are extreme energy-wasters. Most of that produces heat, not light, so they're also a safety risk. Modern LED lights use 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer. Instead of swapping bulbs, you can also find a variety of LED fixtures that can be connected straight to your home wiring to provide efficient, safe light where you need it for years to come. Use Fans Over-using AC is a primary power drain as the summer comes on. Establish a temperature toward the higher end of the comfort zone for your family. Dress appropriately for the heat even indoors, and use fans throughout the house to keep the air moving and cool you naturally through evaporation of sweat. Keep plenty of cold water on hand, and turn down the AC as soon as it's dark. Check Your Wiring Old wiring or improper DIY additions or improvements can lead to electrical "leaks" that are costing you money. Turn off everything in the house, including breakers for things like hot water heaters that don't have switches. If your electrical meter continues to climb, you have a wiring problem. Significant use could mean several problems. Call in an experienced electrician from a company like Beckstoffer-Welsh Inc to diagnose and correct the issue. Power conservation requires some planning and a little self-sacrifice. But if you can reduce your bills and preserve the environment, it's worth it.
  3. Transitioning your home's electrical system to include solar power can provide a huge number of financial and environmental benefits. Installing a solar power generating system on your roof or in your yard has the potential to greatly reduce your electricity bill while also reducing your carbon footprint and helping to protect the planet. In this way, going green with solar power is truly a great thing to do. Unfortunately, making the transition isn't always as simple or straightforward as it seems. Despite the price of solar systems and installation continuing to drop to new record lows, the fact is that solar still remains prohibitively expensive for many homeowners. As well, the overall success of your solar system depends in large part on how and where it's installed and the quality of your equipment. For these reasons, it is essential that you pay attention to the following tips in order to help you overcome any potential obstacles and hopefully simplify your transition to solar. Always Have a Solar Feasibility Study Performed Not all homes are suitable for solar power and even if your home is suitable, you'll still need to know where the best spot for the panels is, how many solar panels you'll need and how much energy you can expect the system to produce. A solar feasibility study helps you answer all of these questions in order to ensure that you get the best possible system for your home and your energy needs. Most reputable solar installation companies will offer this type of study for free. In this way, you'll not only be able to ensure that you get the best possible system, but you'll also be able to compare the prices, products, and services offered by each company to find the best possible deal. Purchase Everything Up-Front When deciding to go solar, you will typically have the option to purchase all of your own equipment up front, lease the equipment from a solar company or sign a Power Purchasing Agreement with your power company, in which case they supply and own all of the equipment. Although purchasing your own equipment requires a much larger initial investment, it is well worth it since your investment will provide tangible goods. Otherwise, you'll end up paying for something that someone else still technically owns. You will generally be able to qualify for a variety of local, state and federal rebates and tax incentives to help offset the initial costs. However, if you're still unable to afford what it costs, it's well worth it to try to get a loan to cover your solar transition in order to help you meet your energy goals. If timing is the only thing holding you back, searching regionally for something like “Texas payday loan” can help you find short term lenders you can use, so long as you’re prepared to pay them back ASAP. The energy saving benefits of your solar system should help to offset any interest payments you make on the loan. Buying your solar equipment out right also gives you the ability to sell your solar panels or other equipment should you ever decide to upgrade, and the solar system obviously boosts your home's total value. All of this makes a loan more than worth it in the end. Make Any Necessary Repairs or Upgrades Ahead of Time In addition to the solar feasibility study, you'll want to make sure to have your roof inspected to ensure it can fully support the solar panels. If the inspection discovers any leaks, structural damage or other issues, it is essential that you have them fixed prior to the solar installation. Similarly, if your roof is only a year or two away from needing to be replaced, you should definitely consider having it done now. Otherwise, you risk having to have the solar system removed to fix the damage and then starting all over. Forget about the DIY Route Although you can read numerous articles online about DIY solar, the truth is that installing a solar system is something that's best left to the professionals. The complicated electrical work required is not only incredibly dangerous for anyone other than a certified electrician, but any wiring issues also have the potential to destroy your solar system or potentially even burn down your home. At the very least, wiring issues can harm the efficiency of your solar panels. The actual installation of the solar panels should also be left to a trained professional since the exact position, angle and orientation will directly influence how much energy they can create. Therefore, if you want your solar system to be safe and work properly, it is imperative that you have it professionally installed. Solar power is now more accessible than ever, and there truly has never been a better time to make the transition to clean, green, renewable solar energy. However, a poorly designed or improperly installed solar system will still be a huge waste of money. In this sense, it is essential that you get the expert advice and financial assistance you need to ensure your transition to solar is a success.
  4. You do not have to be a diehard environmentalist to want to do your part in preserving resources for future generations and leaving less of a carbon footprint behind. You may be like many homeowners who have a desire to have your home be more environmentally friendly, but you just do not know how to go about it without it costing a fortune or being inconvenient. Here are some easy ways you and your family can make your home more environmentally friendly. LED Bulbs Incandescent bulbs are going the way of the dinosaur. Except for some specific applications, such as oven bulbs, incandescent bulbs are being phased out. California plans to have them phased out, with exceptions, by 2018. You may have noticed how hard it is to find incandescent bulbs in some hardware departments nowadays. Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs and LED bulbs only use a fraction of the energy needed to power the hot incandescent bulbs. LED lights use the least amount of electricity. You may have had mixed results using CFL bulbs in the past, but new types are available to provide instant full light and will work in the cold for outdoor fixtures. However, LED bulbs are the best at using less electricity. Swapping all the bulbs you can to LEDs can save money on your electric bill, eliminate the need to change a bulb for many years, and be quite earth friendly in the process. HVAC Upkeep Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system use the most energy in your home. Furnaces often use natural gas or another fossil fuel along with electricity to run a blower or pump, making the furnace the costliest appliance in your home to run. Your AC system is second. Dirty filters, grime on condenser and evaporator coils, corroded burners, and more can cause electricity to be wasted for air conditioning and fuels used for heating. Some companies, like Classic Air and Heating, know that it is important to at least get an annual inspection service and cleaning performed to keep your furnace and central air conditioning system operating at peak efficiency. You save on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint, which is helpful to the environment. Recycle There are some areas of the country that do not yet have a weekly pickup day for recyclable materials. Many neighborhoods collect recyclables separately, but some people do not participate in the program and throw away recyclables in the regular trash instead. Many people start by recycling aluminum cans and newspapers. A single recycled aluminum soda can saves the amount of energy required to operate a television for three hours. Even if you start small with just recycling aluminum cans or newspapers, you are making your home more earth friendly. Unplug Chargers and Turn off Lights Those power pack chargers that regenerate the batteries in your tablets, cell phones, and laptops use electricity even when they are not connected to the device they are intended to charge. The amount is small, but there are millions of them plugged in all over the country. Connecting them to a power strip that can be physically shut off with a switch can save energy. Turning off the lights when you leave a room is another easy way to save energy. You should also turn off televisions and other appliances that are not being used. Televisions and monitors still use a little bit of electricity in standby mode, but not as much as when they are operating. Imagine the energy savings if every home in the country participated in even casual energy saving protocols and minimal recycling. You may not be able to get all of your neighbors on the bandwagon of becoming more earth friendly, but you can at least motivate your family to take a personal concern for the natural resources we share in this finite world.
  5. As time rolls on, it is becoming increasingly apparent how much we impact the world around us. Be it the seemingly small choices we make--like what to watch on a Saturday night--or the bigger choices involving a person's livelihood, each decision has a grander importance that goes beyond ourselves; even if we don't realize it. Negative choices as well as positive ones have far reaching impacts that can last for years to come. That's why it is so crucial for households to do their part in reducing the negative impact they can have on our beautiful environment. Softening Water There are many homes that have already made the switch to softened water. An extremely large number of homes still rely on the water treatment implemented by their water company. This leaves people using hard water that is chalk full of minerals, chemicals, and possibly bacteria that can be harmful. Softened water is meant to lessen said harmful elements coming through people's pipes. However, numerous water softeners use salt. The use of salt can generate waste water filled with salt brine and destructive chemicals that are released into the environment. Using softener systems that are salt-free produces a positive reaction for the ecosystem as well as for a healthier home. Tankless Water Heaters Conserving energy is a popular topic nowadays and for good reason. According to plumbers in Spanish Fork, UT at Professional Plumbing Systems, traditional water heaters use a good amount of energy to keep the tank warm all day long. Tankless water heaters cut the cost of energy usage by only heating the water that's being used at a given moment. It's a simple, dollar friendly way to conserve precious energy. Less Electricity It turns out, kicking it old school is not such a bad thing. Using natural lighting instead of constantly relying on electrical luminescence is a better route when it comes to reducing negative environmental impacts. Instead of flipping a switch and staying super incognito inside four walls, open up those blinds. Let the glorious rays of the sun illuminate the rooms that have forgotten what a natural glow looks like. But, if natural sunlight just doesn't cut it, make sure to purchase or install products that are certified as eco-friendly, like Energy Star or Bosch appliances. Change Roofing This may seem like an expensive route to take, but the end result is a great pay off. Many people don't realize that even the material of a home's roof can impact the environment. Replacing standard asphalt shingles with green roofing materials can save energy throughout the seasons and long term financial resources. One of the most eco-friendly rooftops are those made out of recycled shingles. These shingles are constructed out of waste materials like rubber, wood fiber, and plastic. Since these roofs are long lasting, they lessen landfill waste, the need to consume more raw materials, energy costs, and pollution. These are just a handful of ways a home can lend a helpful hand in the fight to preserve our world's health. The choices are simple, and the outcome will far outweigh the cost of making a change. The impact of our actions are hefty. Neglecting the environment could lead to dire consequences for our families and the families we share this thriving planet with.
  6. 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.