Why Small Investments In Green Energy Will Pay Off Big
Using less of what is needed to run your homestead may be much easier than you think. By making a few minor adjustments, and perhaps a couple of major ones, it is possible for you to significantly reduce your impact on the environment, and save a lot of money. Read on for excellent ideas that will get you started in the right direction.
Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you’ll save up to 5-10% on heating costs. Wear warm clothing like a sweater and set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the day and evening, health permitting. Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees or off at night or when leaving home for an extended time, saving 5-20% of your heating costs (heat pumps should only be set back 2 degrees to prevent unneeded use of backup strip heating). Most heat pumps use heating strips of electric heat coils (like ones in a toaster) as a backup.
Replace or clean furnace filters as recommended. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Now is also the time for a furnace “tune-up.” Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5-10% of heating costs.
Consider replacing your old gas appliances with an ENERGY STAR® water heater or furnace.
Seal up the leaks. Caulk leaks around windows and doors. Look for places where you have pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. Check the bathroom, underneath the kitchen sink, pipes inside a closet, etc. If you find a gap at the point where the pipe or vents goes through the wall, seal it up. Caulk works best on small gaps. Your hardware store should have products to close the larger gaps.
Reduce hot water temperature. Set your water heater to the “normal” setting or 120-degrees Fahrenheit, unless the owner’s manual for your dishwasher requires a higher setting. Savings are 7-11% of water heating costs.
Wrap the hot water tank with jacket insulation. This is especially valuable for older water heaters with little internal insulation. Be sure to leave the air intake vent uncovered when insulating a gas water heater. Savings up to 10% on water heating costs.
If your exhaust fans are more than five years old, consider replacing them with newer more efficient models. Each year you should examine each exhaust fan in your home for damage and replace the filter. A damaged exhaust fan uses more energy and changing the filter allows the fan to work more efficiently.
You can save electricity by unplugging chargers when they are not in use. Cell phone and mp3 chargers draw energy even if they aren’t charging anything. Even small amounts of “standby power” used over many devices equates to a lot of wasted electricity. Standby power, also called vampire power, vampire draw, phantom load, or leaking electricity (“phantom load” and “leaking electricity” are defined technical terms with other meanings, adopted for this different purpose), refers to the electric power consumed by electronic and electrical appliances while they are switched off (but are designed to draw some power) or in a standby mode.
Put your computer and monitor to dormant or sleep modes. Most computers come with the power management features turned off. On computers using Windows, open your power management software and set it so your computer goes to sleep if you’re away from your machine for 5 to 15 minutes. PC or Mac Users See How to Setup Power Saving Modes On Your Computers (Desktops or Laptops): https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=power_mgt.pr_power_mgt_users
A good way to begin your quest for green energy is to use alternative sources to heat your home. While wood stoves have been relied upon for countless years, the newer trend is toward pellet stoves. The pellets are composed of compressed sawdust and take up far less space than a wood-pile.
Use solar hot water. By installing a solar hot water system, you can use solar power to heat the water you use for everything in your home. It will work for your showers, washing dishes and doing laundry. If you are worried about not getting enough sun, you can invest in a small, traditional water heater as well.
Air flow can be better controller when stormed windows and doors are installed in a home. Storm doors and windows will reduce the entrance of drafts and cold air. Storm windows and doors boosts energy efficiency as much as 45%, which can cut electricity costs.
Green energy is a sector that is developing quickly. If you find that getting a solar roof or a wind turbine is not an option for you at the moment, stay up to date with new innovations. Chances are that better solutions will be available in the years to come.
If you would like to save the environment, remember that it can be done in small steps as well as big ones. You can do things like clean your furnace or change the settings to 60 degrees when you aren’t at home. Reducing the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees could save you a lot of money as well. Every little thing you do helps!
Try heating water using solar power to further implement solar power into your needs. For many people, solar power is still a thing of the future, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to include it in today’s world, and using a solar power for all your water heating needs is one of them. Think about how much your current water heater is used, and think about how much money you could save.
To cut back on your fuel usage, consider carpooling for more than just work. If you are a parent, set up a neighborhood carpool and take turns with the other parents. Those who live close to friends or family can go grocery shopping together.
Use the helpful ideas provided here to find ways to incorporate green energy resources in your home. It is the easiest way to drop your energy costs and more importantly, your energy demands. Work on it a little at a time, and you will find that you have a greener home in no time.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR® compact fluorescent light bulbs, especially in high-use light fixtures. Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) use 75% less energy than incandescent lights or better yet for a slightly higher upfront cost get LED light bulbs that use 90% less energy than incandescent lights and contain no mercury like CFLs.
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