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Found 21 results

  1. Energy conservation has become an essential part of doing business. The American Council for Energy Efficiency states that office equipment has some of the highest electricity consumption rates at 7% of the total commercial electric power. Businesses must, therefore, find ways to minimize the amount of energy utilized to not only save money but also reduce carbon footprint. Many opportunities exist for entrepreneurs to drive their companies towards green business. Equipment Use Your enterprise can save energy by switching to laptops instead of desktops. Computers are necessary in every office building, but that doesn’t mean you can’t minimize the amount of power they use. Laptops consume less power than desktops plus they don’t have to be plugged in all the time. For other office equipment like photocopiers, printers and POS systems, always buy energy-rated products. Provide proper maintenance to ensure that all devices are running optimally for maximum efficiency. Installing energy efficient lighting fixtures is effective as well. Occupant sensors can help turn lights off and on, which eliminates wastage. Green Company Culture It’s not enough to have energy efficient light bulbs and proper insulation in your commercial premises, the people who work there must do more to build an eco-friendly business. Adopt a corporate culture that encourages energy conservation in every form like going paperless. Employees can use emails, phones plus other messaging apps for communication and apply electronic signature for important documents. Workers should take advantage of the power management settings on computers to save power when machines are idle. Reducing office waste is another concept that can help your enterprise develop a more eco-friendly culture. Energy Efficient Buildings For a company that owns a building, LEED certification is one way to turn the entity eco-friendly. Commercial property owners are steadily moving towards green construction by using materials, designs, and operations that are sustainable. A good number of business premises are now LEED certified, and your enterprise can rent space in one. The Green Globes rating system is another recognized standard that you can use to gauge the sustainability of your commercial building. Industrial businesses can also do their part by implementing environmentally friendly solutions in their operations such as green transformers from a provider like Solomon Corporation. From offices to factories to hotels, business owners can earn Energy Star status and ensure that their premises conserve energy as much as possible. Everyone has a responsibility to save energy and company management can implement various ways for individuals to pitch in. Simple actions like unplugging laptops and phones once they charge can help your company with its energy efficiency efforts.
  2. If you are like a lot of people, you might just turn your air conditioner on when you need it without really putting much thought into its efficiency. However, focusing on air conditioning efficiency is smart for a few reasons. These are some tips that can help you do so. Have Your Air Conditioning System Professionally Installed If you are having a new air conditioning system installed in your home, it is not a good idea to try to do it yourself. Even though you might be tempted to try to figure out how to do it on your own so that you won't have to hire someone, you'll probably want to call a company like A-1 American Services to do it for you. Then, you can ensure that your system is installed properly so that you can avoid future problems. Create "Zones" in Your Home If you have a larger home with a fair amount of square footage, you may want to consider creating "zones" in your home. For example, you may want to cool your bedrooms separately from the rest of your home. Then, you can keep the more commonly used areas of the home nice and cool without wasting money on cooling other parts of the house that won't be used as often. Install a Programmable Thermostat Installing a programmable thermostat can be a wonderful decision for just about any family. With this type of thermostat, you can set your thermostat so that it suits you and your family's lives. For example, if you and your family members are gone all day at work and school, you can adjust your system so that it only turns on right before your family members get home. This can help you greatly reduce your cooling bills, since you'll only be cooling the home when there are people there rather than cooling a completely empty house. Keep Your System Properly Maintained Springing for regular system maintenance for your air conditioner is important. Even though you might want to skip an appointment if your system seems to be working properly, it's not a good idea to do so. Instead, keep it maintained so that you can ensure that it operates properly and to prevent future issues. If you are someone who is concerned about wasting energy, then you probably know how important it is to ensure that your air conditioning system is as energy efficient as possible. Additionally, working to achieve maximum energy efficiency with your system can also help your system last much longer with the need for fewer repairs. Fortunately, giving these four tips a try can help you make your system as energy efficient as possible.
  3. There are a number of different ways you can conserve energy in your home, but one of the most effective ways is to invest in Low-E windows and even different window treatments. Like many other energy conservation efforts, these changes require a bit of an investment upfront; however, the payoff down the road is well worth it. Low-E windows are an innovative product that just recently became available on the market while window treatments have always been an option for regulating the temperature of your home. Consider the benefits of these treatment options, and decide what works for you. Low-E GlassLow-E or Low-Emissive glass is a type of window glass that has been treated with a special coating to support energy conservation. The treatment is typically an invisible metal or metallic oxide coating that creates a surface that reflects heat but still allows light to pass through. To measure the energy efficiency of the window glass in your home, the heat that passes through is measured by the U-factor or ultraviolet light. The lower the U-factor is, the more energy-efficient the glass is. If too much of this ultraviolet heat enters your home, it heats it up and causes your air conditioning bill to go up. Conversely, Low-E glass reduces the heat lost through your windows during window. Loosing less heat means that you’ll pay less to keep your home warmer. To get the most out of your Low-E glass, you need to consider how the pains should be installed. If you live in a warmer climate, install the pane so that the Low-E coating is toward the outside of the window to block the sun. However, if you live in a colder climate, adjust the installation so that the Low-E coating is applied to the inside of the window and holds heat in. These installation techniques ensure that your windows will be as energy-efficient as possible. Window TreatmentsThere are additional options that can also contribute to the energy efficiency of your home. While most people consider window treatments and coverings strictly decorative, they can actually contribute a great deal to energy savings. As you consider your window treatments, be sure to carefully weight your options to select treatments that can reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Some of the most effective custom window treatments include awnings, blinds, and draperies. Awnings can provide significant energy savings. Attached above south-facing windows, awnings can reduce solar heat gain by up to 65 percent. Used on west-facing windows, the gain reduction is roughly 77 percent. Consider installing an awning that covers one window or the entire side of your home to get the biggest benefit. Interior and exterior blinds are another great option for increasing energy efficiency. Interior blinds offer slightly less protection from heat loss; however, they reduce heat gain by nearly 45 percent. Use these systems to control light and ventilation and to block direct sunlight. Exterior blinds are also effective for reducing heat gain. You can manipulate this type of blind to block the amount of light flowing through to reduce additional heat. Draperies also offer protection against heat loss and gain. If this is a conservation effort you plan to implement, consider the type of fabric you select. Medium-colored draperies with a protective plastic backing can reduce heat gain by 33 percent and heat loss by up to 10 percent when drawn at the appropriate times. For maximum efficiency, attach the drapes so that they reach from ceiling to floor and overlap in the center. You may even consider attaching Velcro to the sides nearest the walls to create a seal. The type of windows you have as well as the window treatments you use can contribute significantly to the energy efficiency of your home. To reduce heat gain and loss, consider installing Low-E glass and selecting appropriate window treatment options for your area. Either way it will be an investment with a great payoff in the long run.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Green and eco-friendly construction is the way of the future. Current homeowners are doing what they can to make their homes green through small (or large) remodeling projects. While some can get pricey, the long-term pay off for any green project is immeasurable. Technology is being developed every day to advance green building practices, maximize renewable resources, and reduce our carbon footprint. If you are looking to make your home more environmentally friendly, here are a few suggestions for your next remodel. Cool Roofs Cool roofs are quickly becoming the way of the future according to professionals at Roland’s Roofing. The special tiles and reflective paint reflect sunlight and heat, keeping the home cooler in the summer. This reduces the need to use an HVAC system, saving the owners money but also reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission. Reclaimed Floors Reclaimed wood is being used more and more for flooring projects in homes. Reclaimed wood is durable, renewable, and recycled, meaning no new trees have to be cut down. Backing without harmful VOCs is also becoming more popular to create a truly green floor. Although not reclaimed, bamboo flooring is also on the rise since it is inexpensive, durable, and the plant matures quickly. Solar Panels More home owners are opting to go solar. Solar panels are fairly quick and easy to install, increase home value, and pay themselves off in 5 to 10 years depending on your energy use. They also require little long-term maintenance. Direct Vent Fireplaces Homeowners who want a fireplace without the hassle of a fire place are turning to direct vent fireplaces. Wood-burning fireplaces may be charming and romantic, but they require a lot of upkeep and the pollutants they produce can irritate your lungs. Direct vent gas fireplaces use air for combustion and can be vented vertically or horizontally, meaning you don’t need a chimney either. Storm Water Management When remodeling, don’t forget the outside. Landscaping the outside of your home to better manage large volumes of water will come in handy after a big storm. Not only can this help prevent flooding, plants in your yard will be able to absorb the water and purify it as it soaks into the soil. This also helps curb erosion in more rural areas. Just because you are not in the market for a new home doesn’t mean you need to miss out on green home trends. Use the above ideas to improve your home as well as the environment around you.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. If you're in need of a new water heater for your residence, you may want to consider taking the tankless path. Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more common in homes these days due to their numerous energy-efficient advantages. These types of water heaters can be terrific for households that are serious about using less money. Tankless Water Heaters Last Long Tankless water heaters generally have longer lives than their standard water heater counterparts. They also don't cost anywhere near as much money to run. The majority of tankless water heaters out there can stay in good condition for more than two decades. If you want to enjoy reduced energy and running costs for 20 plus years, a tankless water heater in your home can indeed be a wise and energy-efficient option to consider. If you want to get a tankless water heater, a company like Knights Plumbing & Drain can help you with the installation process. The Frustration of Standby Heat Loss Storage water heaters are often linked to drops in standby heat. The H20 in storage water heaters is being heated nonstop. That can lead to wastes of energy at all times, which is referred to as standby heat loss. If you want to avoid the stress of wastes of energy, getting a tankless water heater can be highly beneficial for you. Tankless water heaters are the sole water heaters that don't trigger standby water losses. If you want reduced monthly utility bills and a mind that's totally free of worries about standby water losses, then a tankless water heater can indeed be a good thing for your property. Power Needs Tankless water heaters are convenient because they solely require sufficient power to heat the exact amount of H20 you need for the specified time. If you don't like the idea of being wasteful and heating water that you simply don't need for the time-being, a tankless water heater can be a source of immense peace of mind for you. These kinds of water heaters, simply put, only heat what they immediately need. There's no simpler way to put it. There are truly many exciting energy-efficient perks that are part of owning a tankless water heater. There are also, however, a number of advantages that don't involve energy efficiency. These go beyond money savings, too. Tankless water heaters can be great for compact residences such as apartments. They don't require anywhere near as much space as other types of water heaters. They also are great because they can always provide you with nice hot water, no matter what.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Whether you are thinking about converting to an electric or hybrid car or simply making a few green changes to your existing ride, eco-friendly cars are significantly more beneficial to the environment. You might be surprised by a few of the benefits and additional perks. Environmental Benefits When you use less gasoline, it creates a positive environmental chain reaction. The first perspective most people consider is the immediate reduction in emissions which directly affects the reduction of pollution. This is increasingly important in cities with high pollution and smog which is negatively affecting quality of life of millions of people and creating significant health problems in children and adults alike. It also directly affects the state of the ecosystem. When you use less gasoline or eliminate your need altogether, you will decrease the demand for new drilling and pipelines which can have devastating environmental repercussions whether it be land, air or sea. Another benefit resulting from a reduced demand for oil is that it greatly reduces the number of short-haul and long-haul trucks on the road which release even more environmental-destroying emissions than your car. When you reduce or eliminate your need for gasoline, you are actually taking more vehicles off the road than simply your own. You can also choose a number of ways to make your existing car more eco-friendly. You might choose refurbished or recycled materials for everything from tires to car seats. These are materials that are typically taken to landfills and pollute the ground which can, in turn, eventually pollute ground water. Additional Perks In addition to saving the environment, you will also be able to save money. You do not have to buy a new car to go green. You can start by using ethanol gasoline, which is often less expensive than premium. Also, routine maintenance allows your existing vehicle to operate cleaner and longer than normal. To save more money, check the daily updated carparts.com coupon codes and other sites that provide discounts on the car parts upgrades and the replacements you need to make your existing vehicle environmentally friendly. And, do not forget that the government provides tax rebates to people who buy environmentally friendly vehicles. Every effort you make to create a more eco-friendly car will help save the environment. All it takes to start is to replace old tires or an old muffler. After that, you can work up to more significant changes to have an even greater impact. Each person does make a difference.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Did your last energy bill take you by surprise? Yes? And you thought your home was energy efficient. So the best choice you have in order to avoid unpleasant surprises of that particular type is to singlehandedly assess your home's energy efficiency. You can run some tests and see for yourself what you have to do in order to make make your house more energy efficient. If you do, you'll not only save money on electricity bills, you'll also be ensuring your personal safety and the safety of your home. Look for Air LeaksSo to start with, first check your house for any air leaks (drafts). These drafty areas fail to keep warmth inside during the winter months and respectively, the cool air in the summer. Fixing these problems can help you save as much as 30 percent on energy bills each year and on top of that will make your home much more comfortable. Begin by checking for air leaks near windows, doors and vents. If you find any you can easily take care of them yourself by simply airsealing around doors and resealing the caulking on your windows. Make sure you check your flooring and vents as well as all outside areas where different materials meet. Replace Inefficient LightingMost people don't know that, but around 10 percent of your electricity bill is due to lighting charges. So if you still haven't replaced your old incandescent light bulbs, it's high time you did. You can opt for the spiral compact flourescent lamps (CFLs), or the so-called LEDs – light-emitting diodes. They are a bit more expensive than your ordinary bulbs, but are a much better investment because they last a lot longer. Something more, they also let off more delicate light and use less energy, which is another plus and significantly contributes to the return on your investment. Large Household Appliances InspectionAn important step towards making your home more energy efficient and reducing your electricity bills is inspecting your household appliances. The surest sign something's not right with a device would be the loud noises coming out of it and its impaired efficiency. To lighten the workload of some devices, prolong their lifespan and save up on energy, you might want to consider: Buying new and more energy-efficient home appliances with the Energy Star label. It might seem a bit on the expensive side but in the long run the investment will pay off, especially if you take good care of the new device.Switching off or unplugging items from the power grid when you aren't using them. Unplugging them will prevent the so-called vampire draw or phantom loads which refers to the consumed by your appliances electricity when they're in switched off.Regular Air Filter ReplacementReplacing your air filters can also go a long way towards making your home more energy efficient. Ultimately, you should replace the air filters of your ventilation on a monthly basis. Otherwise the debris and dust in the air system will impair the airflow and cause the system's capacity to go down. As a consequence, it will need more energy to heat/cool your house. The regular air filter maintenance also means that no dust and debris will fall out of the vents. So you're saving money on both energy and house cleaning services. Insulation CheckupIn the last few months Melbourne, and Australia as a whole, saw some scorching heats. So if you want to stay cool this summer you better check the insulation of your house. Otherwise, given today's energy prices, the cool loss during the hot summer and the heat loss in winter will make your energy bills skyrocket.
  16. If you are a home owner or are looking to buy a home, you should consider the importance of having an energy efficient and family friendly home. A green home will keep your energy bills down and will be helpful for the environment. There are many green communities like the ones found at Princeton Classic Homes in Texas. Below, you can find out what they are doing to accomplish this with these seven tips. Fluorescent lighting Switching to fluorescent lighting in your home will cut down on your energy usage drastically. Florescent bulbs use less than 1/4th of the amount of energy that normal bulbs use. Although they are more expensive than normal light bulbs, they will last much longer unlike light bulbs that need to be replaced after extended use. They will also help you lower your monthly energy bill. After a few months, they will have paid for themselves in their energy savings. Replace your old appliances If you are still using appliances from the 1990’s, it is time to replace them. Old appliances have poor energy efficiency ratings and may be costing you more than you think. Inefficient appliances can be costing you thousands of dollars a year in wasted energy usage. The biggest offender of this is the refrigerator. By exchanging your old fridge for a new one, you could easily cut down on the energy you use significantly. Keep your windows open Use the sun to your advantage. Keep your windows open and the blinds drawn whenever the sun is out. By doing this, you will be able to cut down on the electricity used to light your house. Also, keeping your central air off in favor of a cool breeze will make a big impact on the amount of energy you use. As an added bonus, you will be able to enjoy the fresh air that will be circulating through your home by keeping your windows open. Clean with micro fiber Ditch the cleaning products where ever you can and use micro fiber cloths instead. Micro fiber cloths attract dirt and will allow you to clean surfaces without the use of harmful chemical sprays. Dampened microfiber cloths will be able to effectively clean most hard surfaces throughout your kitchen and bathroom including glass and wood. You can re-use these cloths after you throw them in the wash. Grow plants indoors Plants will help filter the air in your home. They will absorb some pollutants and expel clear air. There are many plants that are particularly good at this. Plants like spider plants, rubber plants, palms and boston ferns are all easy to care for indoors and will make a noticeable difference with the air quality in your home. Always recycle Recycling is important for the environment, but this goes beyond simply keeping an extra recycle bin in your home. You can take recycling to a whole new level by re-purposing items that you would otherwise throw away. Use egg cartons as jewelry organizers, save glass jars and use them as cups, or think of some of your own ideas. Anything you can find a use for instead of throwing it away will be helpful for the environment. Switch to solar Solar energy is becoming more popular with the new advances that are being made to it year by year. It is becoming increasingly more affordable and efficient as we continue to perfect them. Many people shy away from the idea of switching to solar because they feel it is an all-or-nothing option. This is not the case. You can start small and use that amount of solar energy to add along with feeding off of the electricity grid. No matter what amount you can commit to, any bit will help.
  17. 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.
  18. The amount of energy-efficient innovations on the market is at an all-time high. This is great news for the homeowners who wish to cut down on electrical costs. Here is how new technology can make your home more efficient. Rainwater Harvesting System Investing in a rainwater harvesting system will certainly help you to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Not only are rain collection systems very inexpensive, but they are also relatively simple to install. The stored rainwater can be used for a variety of different things, including flushing the toilet and washing laundry. Over the course of a year, the system can really save a lot of extra money. Solar Water Heater Unfortunately, traditional water heaters can use quite a bit of energy. In comparison, solar water heaters are far more efficient. In as little as two years, the energy savings will actually cover the initial cost of the solar water heater. As sunlight shines down on the solar panels, energy is quickly collected. Contrary to popular belief, the photovoltaic cells can even absorb energy on cloudy days. Heated Floors Companies such as Summerstep actually design in-floor heating systems. After the installation of an in-floor heating system, you will not have to depend totally on a HVAC system to keep your home warm. When the temperatures dip below freezing, many homeowners have to turn up the dial on their thermostat. An in-floor heating system will help to eliminate this energy-draining problem. Children and pets will especially love the extra warmth. Smart Thermostat The most advanced thermostats on the market offer incredible energy savings. With the use of high-tech sensors, they can actually adjust the home’s temperature according to the changing weather conditions. These nifty thermostats can also be easily controlled via a mobile phone or computer. If you are asleep under the covers or away from home, a smart thermostat can be programmed to lower the home’s temperature. Research shows that a smart thermostat can drop your electric bill by $100 dollars a month. Automated Lighting Many homeowners have already transitioned to LED lighting. However, installing an automated lighting system can further improve your home’s efficiency. Instead of leaving your lights on full blast, an automated dimmer switch allows you to dim the lights to save energy. Due to the rise in the cost of electricity, homeowners are strongly encouraged to invest in energy-saving technology. All five of these innovations promise to keep your home efficient.
  19. Homeowners that want to cut back on their energy consumption should start thinking of their house as a complete system instead of individual areas that do not interact with one another. Small changes anywhere in a home will affect its overall efficiency and can make a big difference over the course of their lifetime. Here is a look at 6 upgrades that are sure to lower your utility bills in the coming years. Insulation Older insulation rolls do not have a tight enough fit to perfectly insulate attics, crawlspaces, walls, garages, and basements. Modern spray insulation is often made of green materials such as cellulose, resistant to fire, and much more effective for retaining the home's temperature. Programmable Thermostats A programmable thermostat should be one of the first upgrades a family carries out when it comes to improving their home's efficiency. Newer thermostats give you unprecedented control over your home's temperature and can even be controlled with wireless devices. Furnace Replacements Furnaces that were manufactured before 1992 will often use over 35 percent of their gas just keeping the pilot light on. Newer furnaces are designed to use up gas and electricity only as they are needed. This could lead to an 11 percent drop in utility bills during the colder winter months. Light Bulbs Studies have shown that inefficient light bulbs cost California families over $35.6 million in wasted energy every single year. One simple way to combat this is to begin switching out older light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs as they go out. CFLs produce the same amount of light at just a fraction of the cost and have a much longer lifespan. Energy-Efficient Windows Thick curtains will not be enough when it comes to the energy that is lost through windows. Older windows allow an incredible amount of heat to enter and leave a home due to the materials they are made of and ineffective seals. Energy-efficient windows, available from places like Five Star Windows Inc., help to block out UV rays and maintain the indoor temperature. Refrigerator Upgrades Even just three decades ago, most refrigerators were not built with energy efficiency in mind. Modern Energy Star refrigerators, however, have been made to use as little electricity as possible. These devices often consume just $50 worth of energy per year. These six areas upgrades are great options when it comes to cutting down on your carbon footprint while saving some money on utility bills.
  20. Creating an eco-friendly home doesn't just mean switching off lights before heading out of the house or installing Energy Star appliances. Many families just need to change a few common habits in order to cut down on energy consumption. Before carrying out an expensive “green” overhaul of your home, take a look at these 5 mistakes that many families make during the summer without even realizing it. 1. Using Insulation Rolls and Batts Checking on insulation should be a yearly habit for everyone, but replacing old insulation with ineffective products is one common mistake that could cost you in the long run. Traditional insulation often comes in pre-fabricated shapes such as rolls and batts, but it is only blown-in and spray foam insulation that will get your attic's nooks and crannies. 2. Skipping an Energy Audit Most families aren't going to hire professional home energy auditors every single year, but you should never skip it for more than a few years in a row. These technicians are trained to go through almost every component of your property to find any energy inefficiencies. Even if they find just a single problem, an audit will often pay for itself within a few months. 3. Forgetting the AC Tune-Up An annual tune-up carried out by a company such as Team Electric is not only going to increase the lifespan of your HVAC system, but it is also going to cut down on monthly utility bills. Just as with any other major component in your home, these systems go through an incredible amount of wear-and-tear and a tune-up often includes changing filters, topping off fluids, lubing moving parts, and checking the accuracy of the thermostat. 4. Allowing Phantom Power Loss “Phantom” power loss is the name given to the small amount of electricity that devices and appliances consume when they are not actively being used. Everything from laptop chargers to coffee makers could be consuming enough electricity to increase your bills by hundreds every year. Attach these devices to a single power strip and turn them off before bed and when you are leaving for work. 5. Not Setting Your Programmable Thermostat Correctly A programmable thermostat is one of the single best investments for saving energy around the house, but many families are not using them to their full potential. The ideal settings are 82 degrees Fahrenheit when no one is home and no lower than 78 degrees when family members are in the house. If you tend to forget about changing the settings, consider setting automatic timers on the thermostat. When all of these common mistakes are remedied, your family could be looking at thousands of dollars in savings during the hottest months of the year.
  21. There are many benefits to making your home more energy efficient. It will save you an enormous sum of money in utility bills and will also give you the great feeling of knowing that you are doing your part to protect the environment. Here are seven cutting edge ways to make your home more energy efficient. Install Solar Panels Instead of counting on your power company to heat your home, you can harness the natural power of the sun with solar panels. They will substantially increase the comfort level of your home. Switch to Florescent Light Bulbs Many homes still use conventional incandescent light bulbs, but you can save a tremendous amount of energy by using florescent bulbs instead. Although florescent bulbs cost more at the store, they save you money in the long run by lasting several times longer than their incandescent counterparts. Reduce Appliance Use Cut down on the number of times that you use your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. Only use them when you have a full load. If you have any appliances that you do not intend to use for a long period of time, disconnect them. Install Energy Efficient Windows Energy efficient windows are an excellent addition to any home. They will reduce drafts, cut down on condensation, improve the temperature of your home, and save you money on your electricity bills. Companies such as Five Star Windows Inc. offer a wide selection of these types of windows for sale. Install a High Efficiency Furnace Conventional furnaces waste valuable energy. Like florescent bulbs, you can spend a little more now in order to save a great deal of money later. High efficiency furnaces use fewer fossil fuels, last longer, and heat your home more effectively. Get a Low Flow Toilet Most toilets waste water each and every time that they are flushed. Low flow toilets will save you a massive amount of money on your water bill. You will cut your home's water consumption by thousands of gallons per year. Add Insulation Increasing the amount of insulation in your home will trap heat inside, meaning that you won't have to use the heater in order for your home to be comfortable. The attic is an especially important place to add more insulation. With recent advanced in appliance technology, making your home energy efficient is easier than ever. You will be amazed at how much money you can save by following these tips.