Sustainable Energy Tips
Everything we do in and to our home will affect the environment one way or another, either for good or bad. Becoming aware of this is an important first step, which can lead to considerable savings for you, as well as benefiting the environment. This also includes improving energy efficiency in your home. And there are a number of ways in which you can make your current home “greener” that will put more “green” in your pocket too. Insulation is an important first step in reducing energy usage and reducing your outgoings. It’s even more important now with the rising cost of energy these days. And there have been many improvements to insulation in recent years that make it more effective and efficient as well as even safer in the home. Those walls, lofts and attic spaces can lose huge amounts of expensive heat from your house, so insulating them can save you a great deal of money as well as making a more comfortable home – warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. After all, insulation works both ways! A lot of insulation is very easy to install or lay down, or you can go for a professional job and get an approved contractor to install cavity wall insulation. Once you have the insulation in place, it’s worth looking at the types of heating and air conditioning systems that are available. Modern ones are all so much more energy efficient. While the initial costs may seem a bit steep, you should recover your money in the long run, through lower bills. Before agreeing to buy any new system, check whether there are any grants available to you locally, or any other help. It is possible that some grants for those on a low income or those over a certain age may be available. Sometimes financial help is only available for certain systems or by using certain installation contractors. Check up on the required conditions to be met before signing up for anything. Solar panels are one way of providing additional heat and power in your house. The costs of installing these have come down considerably and the latest designs are a lot more efficient and easy to maintain. The panels are also more attractive and with so many people opting for this form of additional heat and power generation, solar panels have become very much the “in-thing” in many neighbourhoods. You may have a local contractor who can install solar panels for you or you may need to check for a national company. Whichever you chose, make sure they are certified to fit and install solar panels correctly. Solar panel installation at an information center adjacent to Ögii Lake (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Windows are another source of heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer and many homes still have the original windows, which may be outdated by today’s standards for energy conservation. They may also have shrunk from their frames, creating draughts. Where possible, think about replacing windows with double, or even triple-glazed windows. It’s not necessary to do every window at the same time, these can be done bit by bit if necessary. And in some houses, there may be certain windows that need replacing anyway or where you have already noticed cold draughts in the winter winds. Cutting out the heat loss from windows (and doors) can have a very beneficial effect on your bills! In hotter climates, you can even get tinted glass that will reflect the sun’s glare during the summer. Quite aside from insulation, if you are going to redecorate your home, you can now get healthier paints that are free from VOCs (volatile organic compounds). and this is another way to get your house greener and make it a safer and healthier place for you and your family. Let’s take a look now at water. Rainwater may be scarce in some areas, but when it does fall, you can collect it for free and make good use of it, saving your water bills. There are a number of ways to collect rainwater, from rain barrels (keep them covered to prevent accidents and to keep insects out) to underground tanks set into your garden.
You can collect rainwater through your downpipes using an adapter. The water can be used for washing your car, watering plants and is even said to be very good for washing hair, leaving it soft. There are also many ways now to save water inside the house, by using less. For instance, there are a number of new toilet models available. These use less water than older models. Some have two buttons, one for a short flush, one for a longer flush where necessary. You can also get more modern shower heads that will use less water. As water bills increase, replacing your toilet or your shower head with a more modern one incorporating water saving technology can save you money over time. It’s important to think through any changes you may want to make. Anything you do must always consider whether you can afford it and just how much of a saving it will make for you. But in general, you will find that being kind to the environment will also be kind on your pocket! Check out a few of these ideas and see if you can make your house greener and more eco friendly!
- Green Energy 101: Everything You Need To Know (sustainableenergyresearch.co.uk)
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Green Energy Sources?
Today, we are now aware of the effects of climate change, formerly called “global warming”. Fortunately, it’s not yet too late and we can still change which is why many are pushing for a greater use of green energy sources.
The advantage of using green energy sources is that it is clean so it does not emit anything harmful into the air which has an impact on the environment. It is also renewable which means we will never run out of it, unlike oil which is expected to dry up in a decade or so.
Although green energy facilities are expensive to build, they may require less maintenance so you don’t have to shell out a lot of money to operate them.
They can also bring economic benefits to certain areas and may even boost tourism.
While these sound good, there are some serious considerations to be giving to making a changeover and using such technology.
While green energy sources can produce electricity, how much they can generate is not consistent. This is because we have no control of the weather so if a certain area relies on solar energy and there is a weather disturbance, it will not be able to convert sunlight into electricity and of course, the wind does not always blow to turn the wind turbines!
Building these facilities may also require a lot of land so we may have to cut down on farmland which is what many are concerned about if more wind turbines are to be put up. Alternatively, wind turbines can be located at sea, but at considerable cost.
There are also those who object to various types of green energy plants on aesthetic grounds, they do not want wind turbines on high hills (where the most wind occurs) or out at sea because it spoils the view.
Another disadvantage is the fact that some of the green energy sources cannot be installed in certain areas of the planet. For instance, wave energy can only be utilised if the waves coming from the ocean reach at least 16 feet. This requires certain geological features which are not always present. And the use of geothermal energy is only possible in geologically unstable parts of the planet.
But if you look at such arguments, places that cannot use one form of green energy source can be substituted for another. If wind turbines need more space, they can be installed at sea instead of putting these on land. A study shows that you can generate more electricity while these are in the ocean.
While the weather is something we cannot control, it is not everyday that there is a weather disturbance so, provided energy can be stored, it is possible to wait until the weather disturbance is over. If solar energy is being used and the sun is covered, the emergency generators will be activated and use up the energy that was stored.
The point is that there are ways around the arguments put by certain individuals which discourage the use of green energy sources. In fact, research is ongoing to try and harness other means to generate the power we need.
A very good example of this is called ocean thermal energy. Power is generated by harnessing the different temperatures in the water. It is currently being used on a small scale both in Japan and Hawaii.
In the US, only 7% of green energy sources are used nationally. This was much higher 11 years ago and if we don’t have to worry about the cost of oil or even reduce our dependency on it, we have to invest more in this clean energy.
We can get it from green energy sources such as biomass, biodiesel, geothermal, solar, water and the wind. These are things we have all around us and all it takes is for someone to harness it instead of relying on traditional non-renewable means to produce energy.
When selecting paint for your home, choose lighter colors to enhance the brightness of your rooms. Dark walls may cause you to use more electricity to brighten the space. Your home will feel naturally brighter and your energy expenses will be reduced if you choose brighter wall colors for your home.
It is important to clean your furnace filter on a regular basis to be sure you are using as little energy as possible heating your home. Install filters for your warm-air registers, too. This will prevent a reduction in efficiency, which occurs when the heating ducts get clogged with debris.
A great way for saving energy in your house is to turn the heat down to 60 degrees fahrenheit (15 or 16 degrees celsius) any time you are sleeping or not in the house. Setting the thermostat to 60 degrees will help cut energy usage. In this case, you would cut down on energy usage and save cash.
Learn the difference between passive and active solar power. Passive solar systems are less expensive but cannot store energy like active solar systems do. Active solar power requires solar panels that need installations as well as mechanical systems and cells. Passive power uses the sun for thermal energy in the home.
You could save money when it comes to your electricity bill by making use of a programmable thermostat at home. These thermostats can be programmed with your own preferred settings to regulate the air temperature in your home year-round. You are also able to program these thermostats to regulate day and night hours temperatures.
On-demand water heaters work great as a green device. The old-fashioned water heaters run constantly, even running when not needed and that wastes energy. On-demand heaters only heat water when necessary, which greatly reduces energy costs.
Eco-friendly lighting is something you should consider. There are a lot of different compact fluorescent bulbs and they are affordable alternatives when compared to regular incandescent bulbs. They give off a fair amount of light and use much less energy than a standard light bulb. This is a wonderful way to keep your home environmentally friendly. You can also get “daylight” type eco bulbs, which give a more natural light.
A front-loading washing machine is a great green choice. These washing machines use less water and are better at cleaning clothes. In addition to using less energy, you will also save money.
The government has grants available to those who are willing to invest in alternative renewable energies. Speak with the government in your area about these programs. For instance, you might find that installation of wind or solar structures is free, or you might see a tax benefit by installing a tankless water heater.
To save money on heating your water, buy a tankless system. Tankless versions still need electricity or gas to heat water, but they are more effective in heating solely the water necessary instead of a huge tank of water constantly. You can purchase a tankless heater for a faucet (tap) or for your whole home.
List all your home appliances and how much energy they use before scheduling a solar panel consultation with your installer. It will be simpler for a professional to give you a quote if they know the amount of power you need.
There are a lot of things you can do to save energy when you wash your laundry. Start by using the moisture control setting that turns the dryer off when laundry is dry. The high-spin feature can work to reduce the amount of moisture in the laundry, thus limiting drying time. It is also important to consistently clean your filter and prevent blockage in your vent. This is also crucial from the home safety point of view. Did you know that lint can build up and cause dryer fires? Clean your filter regularly to keep your house safe AND save energy.
If you are concerned about the environment then make the right choices and put green energy options to use in your own home. The tips we have provided here can help. If all you consider is your own financial gain, you still might find that these options are worth investigating!
Just like most people, you may not be thinking environmentally when you make use of many of the products around your house. But it is important to remember that everything we do has some impact on the environment. There are many ways in which you can use green energy that will make your home more environmentally friendly. The article below discusses some of the best ways to go green.
For those wanting to go seriously green, try using straw bales at home. Straw bales are a good, natural material for insulation and quite inexpensive. It is a unique green option. Straw bales are great insulators and can be plastered to provide a warm home. If a straw house really isn’t for you, adding an out building might still give you the option to take advantage of this unique material.
If you have ceiling fans, you can use them even in the winter. Switch them to clockwise rotation; the warm air will be pushed down toward the floor where you can feel it. It does take a little electricity to operate the fans, but you will save more energy from not having to run the boiler /furnace on a regular basis.
Keep an eye on how much electricity you use. Devices like Watt Minder and Kill-A-Watt can help you determine the highest energy-usage culprits in your home. You can plug in various devices into these devices and see how much energy that item uses for periods of time including a hour, month, and even a year. You can get a real idea of what your appliance is costing you and the environment. By switching off everything but essential items, like your freezer, you can see what your base usage of electricity is. Try switching on the kettle to see what a huge jump in electricity usage can take place!
Don’t run the dishwasher unless it is filled to capacity. Regardless of how many dishes are inside, equal amounts of water and energy are used. Also, use your dishwasher’s energy-saver setting so that the load will air-dry.
It is very important that you check your oven’s seal to ensure that heat does not escape during operation. A compromised seal can allow heat to leak, which may require your oven to use as much as 50% more energy than it would otherwise. Check this seal occasionally to ensure it remains intact.
When you aren’t using the lights in your home, turn them off. Use lighting in the evenings only when you have to, and turn off switches when you exit a room. Keep porch lights, lighting in cabinetry, and other lights off unless you absolutely need them to be on. That will cut down the amount of energy you use.
Try using a dehumidifier if you live in a warm, humid climate. Humid air often feels warmer. Before starting up the air conditioner on muggy days, consider running the dehumidifier instead. You may find the dehumidifier will reduce ambient air temperature enough to keep you comfortable. You might be able to get away without using the air conditioner.
When battery chargers and other electronics are not in use, unplug them. Many chargers for various electronics continue to draw electricity even if they are not plugged into a device. The energy usage is not as high, but it wastes electricity and adds up to a considerable amount over time. If you see a stand-by light on an appliance that is not being used and that is not essential – switch it off. Every little bit helps.
Consider replacing your wooden products with bamboo when buying new. It is a green product and is actually a grass; however, it is quite durable and works well even in high traffic areas. It is a fast grower, and can be made into many different products from cutting (chopping) boards to flooring, which you can purchase. This can save energy in the manufacturing process, as well as saving in recycling costs later.
Is your boiler over 10 years old? Buy a new one to save money! Older boilers weren’t built to be energy efficient, and they’re costing you an arm and a leg compared to a newer unit. They create less carbon dioxide, something that is good for the environment, and it also cuts your electricity bill significantly.
During the summer months, think about using the heat from the sun to dry your clothes and line-dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. Your clothing will have a great smell from the sun and will be a lot softer from being blown by the breeze. Clothes will smell fresher and better than anything coming out of a dryer. Additionally, you will end up saving lots of money each month on utility bills.
Caring for the environment may not have been on the top of your priority list till now. Now that you are aware of a few green energy tips, though, you are more equipped to be environmentally friendly. Make your home and the environment better places to be when you use the ideas from the article above.
Do you want to learn more about green energy? The following article will give you the information you need to start implementing green energy. Here are few of the many tips on how to incorporate green energy in your home.
Separately heating each room will help you to lower your heating bill. You can do this by getting a main board and a heating solution that will let you choose a certain temperature for each area. This is a wonderful solution for larger homes, if you can do it. Alternatively, you can get temperature sensing thermostats on radiators in each room. These can be set individually and will turn the radiator on and off as the temperature fluctuates throughout the day.
Keep drapes / curtains drawn when you are not home. The result will be a cooler house in summer because the windows admit less heat and a warmer house in winter. Typically, the south facing windows are the ones that get the most amount of sun due to their location. Cover all of these windows with curtains, blinds or roller shades to reduce the amount of heat entering this way. Close your drapes / curtains before it gets dark in winter to help retain any warmth received from the sun during the day and to reduce the amount of heat you need from your system to keep the house warm during the evening.
Put the solar energy system’s batteries close to its cells during installation. No power will be lost during the transfer from the cells to the batteries by doing this. It also prevents the cable covering the cells, which would reduce their generation capability.
You can use biofuels as a heat source for your home. Biofuels contain wood, oil and fat. Propane furnaces can be changed by a pro so that you can heat using this blend of fuels. The blend you would use could be made up of 20%-99% biodiesel. Always speak with a professional who will guide you in how to properly use this type of fuel.
If you’re one of a lot of people who want to have a greener life and you desire to save our planet’s energy, there’s lots of things that you can do. Perhaps you don’t have money to spend on making your home greener, but it is possible to start by maintaining smaller things, like clean filters and regulated temperatures. Reducing the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees fahrenheit / 50 degrees celsius could save you a lot of money as well. Every little bit helps!
If you decide to have work done, find a professional who is qualified to do the work. Before you buy a system that uses alternative energy and is expensive, you have to research as much as you can to be sure it will save you money and do what it claims it will do. Beware of salespeople who want you to buy their system without providing adequate evidence about how efficient and safe their system is.
By using your lights more responsibly, you can make your home greener. During months with more sun, keep your lights off until it is necessary to turn them on. You can also install dimmer switches, timers and sensors to help with energy savings. Always turn the lights out when leaving a room.
Adjust the settings on the thermostat for your air-conditioning or heating system to reflect the various seasonal temperatures and dress accordingly. It is much more economical to add or remove a layer of clothes than it is to crank up the heat or air-conditioning.
Use a laptop instead of a desktop computer. This can lower your electrical use by as much as 75%, particularly if you are someone who stays on the Internet for long periods of time. The other benefit to using a laptop over a desktop is that it is portable, so it can be taken anywhere!
One easy way to stay green in summertime is to set your air-conditioning thermostat’s temperature five degrees higher than normal. This can save over 15% in cooling expenses. Fans are a great way to reduce the usage of AC and still stay cool.
A good device for green energy is a programmable thermostat. These thermostats control the heating and cooling of your home for greatest efficiency during the night and when you are away. More advanced models feature the ability to control energy with different on and off times for each day. Think about programming the device for different times at the weekend when you may get up later or could be away from home.
Share rides with others in your neighbourhood to greatly reduce your fuel usage. Talk with other parents and try to arrange a carpool schedule so that you all take turns driving your kids to school. If you have family or friends close to you, you could also plan your grocery trips together and share the driving responsibilities. Make sure you have the correct car safety equipment fitted!
Now that you know a few ways to use green energy in your home, you will soon see how much it benefits you and your family. Green energy will help the environment as well as your budget. Just remember to use the tips from this article, and before you know it, you’ll have gone green.