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Found 31 results

  1. Energy efficiency is one of the smartest contributions you can make to your household budget and to the future of our planet. If you adopt just one single eco-friendly strategy listed herein, Mother Nature and your wallet will certainly thank you. Some of the strategies may require you to make an initial investment that will eventually pay for itself in terms of savings. With this in mind, here are four strategies to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Switch to LED or CFL Light Bulbs Compact fluorescent lamps and LED light bulbs are between 35 to 65 percent more efficient than their traditional counterparts. Depending on your lighting usage patterns and the number of illuminated spaces in your house, you could save between $40 and $60 per year with LED bulbs. Keep in mind that keeping lights on during the daytime will result in higher electricity bills. Choose Smart Ways to Conserve Water Municipal utilities are forced to apply a substantial amount of energy to pump drinking water to your house. At a time when major cities such as Cape Town in South Africa are suffering major water shortages, you should do your best to conserve water at home. Three tips to get started: install low-flow shower heads and faucets, wash only full loads of laundry, and turn off water that you’re not using when you shower or brush your teeth. Bury Your Electric Cables Exposed and aerial electrical cables are at a higher risk of becoming damaged. A smarter and more energy-efficient way of organizing electrical wires and cables is to bury them. Underground wiring installation minimize the risk of power failure due to damage to electrical cables during extreme weather conditions. This is something to be done by a trained professional, however, like those from Motor Shop Electrical Construction Co. Modernize Your HVAC System If you live in a warm region, chances are that your air conditioning unit is the most expensive line item in your monthly electricity bill. For this reason, you should invest in a smart thermostat and an overall upgrade. This does not mean that you will have to replace your compressor. Depending on the age and condition of your A/C unit, a seasonal tune-up may be all you need to make it energy-efficient. In the end, you should strive to adopt the four strategies listed above and conduct further research on household energy efficiency. Learning more about this subject may prompt to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle that can holistically improve your health.
  2. The dog days of summer are almost upon you. This means that you need to find creative ways to survive those hot days and nights. Make your home your refuge by employing some of these strategies. Invest in Fans The whole purpose behind fans is to circulate the air around your home. You have two options when it comes to investing in fans for your home. Window fans are a good option for you to cool your home down over night. You can either vent out hot air or bring in cooler air. Another solution is to install ceiling fans around your home to make the room feel a little cooler. Seal out Drafts There are lots of ways that hot air settles in your home. Once it’s there, it can be difficult to remove. The best solution is to prevent as much hot air as possible from getting inside. Add insulation into areas of your home that are lacking. Upgrade your windows or at the very least, seal them up against the intrusion of the outside air. Windows Provide Free Air Conditioning Opening your windows up at night is another great way to bring down the temperature in your home. You may want to look into a locking mechanism that will allow you to leave your windows open all night safely. Close the windows in the morning so that you can trap the cooler air inside your home. Another way to block out the heat is to use your curtains to limit the amount of solar radiation that enters your home during the day. Service Your AC Unit An air conditioning unit that hasn’t been serviced in a while may not be operating at peak efficiency. This could be costing you a significant amount of money on your electric bill each month. Look into companies like HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric. They can make sure that your ac is up to par for the summer heat. Get Ahead of the Heat The cumulative effect of day after day of heat in your home makes it harder to keep cool. Program your thermostat at a moderate temperature so that you can avoid these spikes. Your unit only has to work harder when it needs to drastically cool your home down. Sleeping in a hot house is uncomfortable. If you have kids, this may become impossible. Use these tips to help you have a cooler, more efficient home this summer.
  3. Making an industrial workplace more energy efficient can seem like an impossible task. Don’t get overwhelmed. There are things you can do to ensure your workplace is as energy efficient as possible. Consider Your Heating and Cooling Source If you’re heating and cooling your industrial workspace, you could be wasting a lot of energy. Unless it absolutely needs to be heated or cooled, you should make sure you are using as little energy as possible on the heating and cooling. If you absolutely need to have your space climate controlled, you should consider using a system that is more energy efficient. Try a New Transformer If you don’t have an industrial transformer, your industrial workplace is not as efficient as it could be. You need to make sure the transformer is designed for the things you need and that has to be a part of what you use to make it the best it can be. You also need to consider where it is and how much of a load there is on it. Even industrial transformers might get overloaded if you don’t have the right size. Upgrade Your Equipment The equipment you use in your industrial workplace can have a huge impact on the energy in the workplace. It’s important to be sure you’re using the right equipment that has the most energy efficiency. No matter what you plan on using, you can get better efficiency if you have the best equipment possible. Get Employees Involved In an industrial workplace, employees doing things can make a huge difference. By getting employees involved, you can help them make the right choices to lower their energy usage. You may also even be able to reward them for the best energy usage options if you want. Take Very Small Steps Small steps can make a huge difference for people who are in an industrial space that is big. It’s a good idea to take small steps to help your workplace save energy and get more options from the efficiency. There are things you can do—like getting automatic restroom lights—that will save energy in your building. Small steps can make a world of difference. While there are many things you can do to help increase the efficiency of your industrial workplace, using all these steps will make it the best it can be. It’s a good idea to try different things to see which works for your efficiency.
  4. You can install a few key items in your home in order to create more renewable energy sources. Some of these things you may already have seen around your own neighborhood. Others are a little more suited to living farther out in your community. Here are some of the ways that you can create renewable energy at your own home. Solar Panels Installing solar panels is one of the more common means for homeowners to become energy independent. There are even tax rebates that make this option more affordable for the average installation project. Look into using electrical contractors so that you can get the job done right. Solar Shingles A newer take on the solar panel solution is with solar shingle options. These shingles are more reflective in nature than the standard shingles. They function in a similar capacity as their solar panel counterparts. The only distinction is the appearance on your home. Wind Turbine Possibilities You may live in an area that would allow you to install a wind turbine system. In some areas of the country, windmill farms are common. This works better on slightly hilly terrain or other high wind areas. The power generated by these windmills can be used to power not only your home, but a whole city. Geothermal Applications The implications of geothermal power could revolutionize how you heat or cool your home. A pump is installed that will circulate the air temperature from the earth itself into your home. This works because the temperature in the earth is fairly consistent year round. The pumps also use less energy than standard pumping systems. This makes them more reliable and longer lasting. Hydropower Generation In some areas of the country, hydropower is more readily available. You don’t have to live next to a large river in order to harness some of the benefits of hydropower. A water wheel is another way that you can generate a little bit of extra electricity. Micro hydropower is a new take on this process. Groundwater can be used to aid in the generation of renewable energy. You have to consider your geography as well as the climate to find a source of renewable energy that will provide the most benefit for your home. Investing in any one of these options may more than pay for itself over time. Do some research so that you can find the right home improvement project this summer for a more sustainable future.
  5. There are lots of reasons that updating your home may be the right move to make right now. You can even have your upgrades decrease the overall energy usage of your home. Energy efficient items have come a long way when it comes to looks and the technology utilized. Doing these upgrades can improve the appearance of your home and save you some money in the process. Change Your Roofing Material If you roof is looking a little ratty around the edges, replace it with a newer version. A metal roof may be the right solution for you. This long lasting type of material is made to withstand the ages. It also makes it easier for the snow to slide off. You could also replace your roof with cool shingles that reflect a large portion of the sun’s rays away from your home. Increase Window Efficiency As windows age they start to lose some of their insulating properties. Look into window repair so that you can improve the energy efficiency and the appearance of your old windows. For older single pane windows, change them out with a two or three pane solution. This will reduce the amount of drafts and noise that enters your home on a daily basis. You have a variety of styles to choose from when it comes to replacing your windows. Replace Worn out Appliances Old appliances tend to waste a lot of energy. You may have noticed that your refrigerator is running almost constantly. Replace it with a more energy efficient model. New appliances also have the perk of being more attractive than your old ones. This could be the first step to getting you started on your minor kitchen remodel. Install New Light Fixtures Changing out the light fixtures in your home can improve the style of any room. Replace those old bulbs with ones that are LED. They consume less energy than the incandescent or fluorescent varieties. Another benefit is that they can last longer so that you won’t have to replace them so often. Even if you have a relatively new home, you may be able to gain some benefit by performing an energy audit. This can give you a jumping off point for any upgrades that may need to be performed around your house. Being more energy conscious doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice style. There are lots of energy efficient options that can improve the appearance of your home.
  6. In the summer, air conditioning is essential in creating a comfortable indoor environment for you and your family. When it’s hot and humid outside, you can crank up your home’s air conditioning to stay cool. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), however, heating and cooling accounts for nearly half of the average U.S. Home’s energy usage. Thankfully, you can stay cool this summer without spending a fortune on energy bills by following some simple steps. Change the Air Filter One of the easiest ways to keep your home’s air conditioning working efficiently is to change the filter every 60 to 90 days. The filter is designed to catch dust and dirt while still allowing air to pass through. As this debris accumulates, however, it can restrict the flow of air and force your system to work harder. Check Condenser Coil The condenser coil is responsible for extracting heat from inside your home. When it’s clogged, the system won’t be able to run efficiently, thus raising your home’s energy usage. While you can often remove superficial dirt and debris by spraying your system’s condenser coil with a garden hose, you’ll need the services of a professional HVAC company like Alabama Climate Control to clean a severely clogged coil. Inspect Ducts When was the last time that you inspected the ducts in your air conditioning system? If they are damaged with visible holes or tears, cooled air will escape and reduce the overall efficiency of your system. Another problem with ducts is a lack of insulation. A healthy air conditioning system should have well-insulated ducts to minimize loss of thermal energy. Programming Your Thermostat You can also save money on cooling costs this summer by programming your thermostat. If there’s no one occupying your home during the day, for example, you can set the temperature higher to save energy. And when family members return in the evening, you can set the temperature lower to create a comfortable environment. Don’t Block Vents Finally, check the air vents in your home to ensure they aren’t blocked. A large sofa or dresser can restrict airflow and reduce your system’s efficiency. All vents should be accessible and unobstructed for maximum performance. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for low utility bills this summer. The five tips described here can improve the efficiency of your home’s air conditioning.
  7. The benefits of going solar are pretty incredible. You can make your home a lot more energy efficient by simply making use of solar panels. Here’s how it works, and why you’ll want to consider getting them put up on your own house. How They Work First, the solar panels will need to be placed over your roof. Then, you can sit back and expect them to do all of the work for you. It’s that simple. The sun will provide the panels with the light they need. This will be the same light that you and your family make use of daily inside of your home. Solar panels do a remarkable job of acquiring sunlight, even on overcast days when the sky is full of clouds. As a matter of fact, the sun’s rays don’t have to directly rest over the panels. The light will still be absorbed by them. This is another great aspect of solar power that’s of considerable interest to websites like SolarPanelStore.com. You Can Save Money Going solar is inevitably going to save you a lot of your hard-earned money in the long run. Why’s that? You’ll no longer be relying on your old energy for light. That’s right. This means your energy bills will be a thing of the past. Maybe you want to have your friends over to watch an important football or basketball game. You’ll be paying for the electricity that’s being used to broadcast the game on your television, and you’re planning to buy pizza and wings for the event, too. You’ll even have to spend extra gas money to pick up a friend, who lives a little too far away. Using solar power won’t cost you anything, so you can feel free to turn on your lights and leave them on all night if your party ends up lasting that long. Saving a little money here and there may not seem like a big deal now, but even small expenses truly do add up over time. Also, you’ll have the option to spend that money you saved on something a little more exciting than energy. These days, it can be particularly difficult to make enough money to provide for both your needs and your wants. That being said, you need to make sure that you aren’t paying for any expense that isn’t absolutely necessary. Energy is one of them, so you should consider switching over to solar power as soon as possible. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
  8. When it comes to energy efficiency, it can really affect how successful your business is. If you require a lot of heavy equipment, he costs for maintaining them can add up quickly. This can cause you to have to take out extra capital to pay for it, tying up your potential investments. This means you could lose out on opportunities to grow quickly. To avoid this, make sure you’re monitoring your power and keeping your company energy efficient the right solutions. Dual Phase Converters When you have heavy duty industrial machinery, you need a way for it to convert its power. A single phase converter doesn’t do as much as a dual phase, meaning you overload the system and grid more. It also becomes more difficult to monitor. By having dual phase power you can have one phase providing electricity while the other measures the change in power distribution and efficiency. Switchboards In your control room, you can achieve a lot for your energy efficiency by having a quality monitoring station. Part of this station should include switchboards. Not only do they let you switch different machines on and off, but also send those signals to a central monitoring device. Flexible Transformers Having the right transformers can have a big impact on how energy efficient your business is. Items like Rogowski coils offered by Aim Dynamics are an example of coils that allow you to place your equipment anywhere that you need to while enjoy power savings. While the monthly number may seem small in the beginning, transformers can offer advantages that add up over time. Window Monitoring Your windows and doors are some of the biggest leaks of energy efficiency that you are going to have in your company’s offices and factories. Place monitoring solutions on them such as Nest that allow you to see how efficient they are. Consider replacing them for more efficient versions if necessary. Temperature Control Today’s brick and mortar businesses require a lot more power than they used to. This can be a disadvantage if you are a smaller company just starting out. It can also be difficult to deal with if you would prefer to have other items to invest in for your company’s growth. Free up additional time, resources, and funds spent on traditional power monitoring by looking into the tactics described above. It could be a major positive turning point for you and your business.
  9. Simple cell phones and incandescent light bulbs are being replaced this century. If you run a warehouse business, keep track of the new energy-efficient trends that are appearing. Review several components that will help you to create a more energy-efficient warehouse. Led Lighting LED lighting is the most energy efficient type on the market. In the beginning, people used fluorescent lights to illuminate their buildings, but decades later, they found out that LED lights are cooler, brighter and longer lasting. LED T8 tubes are standard in warehouses and other commercial buildings. Find a wide range of product styles from companies like LED Lighting Wholesale Inc. Repairs and Maintenance Maintain your warehouse equipment regularly and repair the machines that are not working. Repair malfunctioning parts without having to replace the entire machine. To avoid repairs in the first place, set up a regular maintenance plan every month or year. Equipment Shutdowns Turn off the lights or any machine that you are not using. Too many home and business owners leave their machines running all night when no one is using them for hours. Cut your energy bills in half by using motion detection devices, also known as occupancy sensors, that switch off the equipment automatically. Door Seals Hot or cool air that escapes from a room is a major contributor to energy loss. Air exfiltration cannot be avoided in a typical building where the doors are constantly opened and closed. Door seals prevent more air from being lost than necessary. Look for openings near the doors and along the walls. Also look for hidden openings in the ceiling and behind machines. Tell workers not to leave doors or windows open when the HVAC system is running. Energy Audits The most overlooked step to conserve energy is to run audits. You cannot increase the energy efficiency in your warehouse if you don’t know how much energy you’re saving. An audit, done by a professional, outlines the differences between taking energy-saving steps and not taking them. Some online audit tools are available, but you get a more comprehensive plan with an onsite audit. Warehouses are complex places where people work and do not just store inventory. Every day, you manage the lighting, ventilation and temperature settings and pay a huge bill at the end of the month. It’s necessary that you find ways to save energy for the main purpose of running a more affordable and efficient warehouse.
  10. The roof protects your home interiors from snow, wind, hail, storm, rain and sun. It also ensures that heat from either the outside or inside does not leak to either side. If the roof is energy-inefficient, it may be costing hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling costs. Here are factors of your roof that may impact on the energy efficiency of your home. The Level of Insulation Ideally, energy efficiency is ensuring that the temperature out there does not affect the indoor temperature. One of the areas where outdoor temperature may influence your indoor temperature is the roof. The insulation levels in your attic determine whether the house losses some of the cool air during summer or gets cold during summer. Inspect the attic insulation regularly. Install additional insulation when necessary. Quality insulation also protects the roof from damage due to condensation in the attic. Ventilation Your roof requires some ventilation to offload the excess heat that may be hidden in the attic. During the cold weather, the trapped heat in the attic may thaw the snow prematurely and create ice dams. Ice dams eventually become points of weakness and leakage on the roof. You may end up with expensive leak repairs or roof replacement. During the hot weather, trapped heat may make your cooling systems less efficient. Therefore, it costs you more to cool the house that you should. Moreover, poor ventilation may tap moisture under your roof and cause damage to the holding beans and the roof structure. Trapped moisture can lead to mildew growth and rust on your metallic fixtures. Color The color of the roof also affects the energy efficiency of your home. Dark-colored roofs usually absorb lots of heat during summer. They can heat up to over 150 F° in a hot summer. The extra heat is transmitted to the attic and other materials in your home. This increases the indoor temperature thereby raising the energy consumption of your air conditioning systems. You end up paying more to keep your house cool. Consider light-colored roofs or roofs made from light-reflecting materials. You can also seek the help of professional roof contractors such as Stevens Roofing Corporation to help determine best colors to reflect heat. This enhances your energy efficiency and keeps your home cooler. Cut your energy costs by improving the energy efficiency of your home starting with the roof. Install the right roofing when building or refurbishing the house. Check the above elements to lower your energy costs.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.