Tag Archive | saving energy at home

Save Energy at Home these 8 Painless Ways

There’s a new resolution in town. Americans still see losing weight, spending less, and (finally!) getting organized as top goals, but these days we’re adding a new ambition: “Save energy.” However, we are often unsure how to accomplish this without biting the bullet and giving up the comfortable lifestyle we’re used to. So how to get started? Try these 8 painless energy-saving tips.

 

  1. Set up a programmable thermostat. Once it’s up on your wall, you just need to literally “set it and forget it” to enjoy the benefits of energy savings on an ongoing basis. The thermostat will automatically regulate your home’s heating and cooling system temperatures to reduce power consumption while you are away from home or asleep.
  2. Save on hot water for your shower in several ways. Insulate hot water pipes to keep the water hotter — this will pay off in the kitchen and laundry room as well. Install a low-flow aerating showerhead. Adjust the water temperature a degree or two lower than usual (you’ll scarcely notice the difference) and make your shower a minute or two shorter. And if you’re a truly hardcore energy saver, look into drain water heat recovery. That’s a very green technology which utilizes leftover heat from your shower, washing machine, or dishwasher water after it flows down the drain.
  3. Install a light tube, the low-cost way to import more natural daylight into a dim room. Not only will you find yourself flicking the switch to turn on the electric light less often, you’ll enjoy the mood uplifting benefits that come along with a healthy helping of natural sunlight.
  4. Set your fridge for efficiency. You don’t need to go below 35-38 degrees Fahrenheit to store your food safely, as long as your refrigerator seal is in good shape. Wrap or cover food before putting it inside; cutting down on the moisture in your fridge puts less of a strain on the compressor. I recently read a great energy-efficient refrigeration tip: Place (shallow) storage containers in the fridge a half hour or more before you plan to scoop hot food into them. This will cool down the contents to safe temperatures quicker and minimize the amount you’ll raise refrigerator temperature.
  5. Plant a hedge of (attractive, curb-appeal-adding) shrubbery around your home. Be sure that the bushes will shade your A/C’s outdoor unit. Leave about one foot between the plantings and your exterior wall to act as an insulating air space, which will keep your house warmer in winter and cooler in summer. This trick is especially useful on the side of your home that faces the wind.
  6. Hang energy-saving curtains or blinds. What an inexpensive, easy-to-manage method of keeping out cold air in winter and hot sun in summer! If you happen to be renting your current home, you can readily pack up your green window treatments when you’re ready to move out.
  7. Supplement your HVAC system with rotating fans. These will circulate the warmed or cooled air more efficiently and allow you to set your thermostat 4 degrees lower without sacrificing comfort. Fans are much less energy-greedy than central heating or air conditioning.
  8. Buy an Energy Star-certified oven when it’s time to replace your old one. Then try this energy-efficient tip. The less you open your oven while it’s on, the more heat you will save. Keep the window clean so that you can peek through to check how your chicken or casserole is browning. There’s no need to preheat unless you’re about to bake a complicated souffle (and as an avid cook, I’ve successfully tried skipping the preheat step for everything from roast veggies to chocolate chip cookies). Turn off the oven 5-15 minutes ahead of schedule, depending on the size of whatever you’re baking or roasting. The residual heat will finish the cooking process just fine, thank you.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

Danny’s Tips for Saving Money on Your Energy Bill

Apr23 This entry was posted on April 23, 2017, in Saving Energy Videos and tagged saving energy, saving energy and money, saving energy at home, saving energy at home tips, saving energy benefits, saving energy facts, saving energy tips. Bookmark the…

 

How to Save Energy and Reduce Home Utility Bills

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average resident living in a home that was built in the 1980s consumed 77 million Btu of total energy. Those living in newer homes (built from 2000 to 2009) consumed 92 million Btu of energy in their household (19% more compared to residents who live in older homes).  #savingenergy #energyefficiency #energy #sustainability #climatechange #climate

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Lowering the heat makes new materials possible while saving energy

A low-temperature process has been developed that has opened a window on the ability to combine incompatible materials, such as ceramics and plastics, into new, useful compound materials.

A new technology developed by Penn State researchers, called Cold Sintering Process (CSP), has opened a window on the ability to combine incompatible materials, such as ceramics and plastics, into new, useful compound materials, and to lower the energy cost of many types of manufacturing.

Ceramics is the oldest known human-made material, dating back tens of thousands of years. Throughout that time most all ceramics have been made by heating them to high temperatures, either by firing in kilns or sintering ceramic powders in furnaces, both of which require large amounts of energy.

“In this day and age, when we have to be incredibly conscious of the CO2 budget, the energy budget, rethinking many of our manufacturing processes, including ceramics, becomes absolutely vital,” said Clive Randall, professor of materials science and engineering at Penn State who developed the process with his team. “Not only is it a low temperature process (room temperature up to 200 degrees Celsius), but we are also densifying some materials to over 95 percent of their theoretical density in 15 minutes. We can now make a ceramic faster than you can bake a pizza, and at lower temperatures.”

In a recent article in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, Randall and his coauthors describe the co-sintering of ceramic and thermoplastic polymer composites using CSP. Three types of polymer were selected to complement the properties of three types of ceramics, a microwave dielectric, an electrolyte and a semiconductor, in order to highlight the diversity of applicable materials. These composite materials demonstrate new possibilities for dielectric property design, and both ionic and electronic electrical conductivity design. These composites can be sintered to high density at 120 degrees C in a time frame of 15 to 60 minutes.

Just add water

According to the researchers, the process involves wetting ceramic powder with a few drops of water or acid solution. The solid surfaces of the particles decompose and partially dissolve in the water to produce a liquid phase at particle-particle interfaces. Adding temperature and pressure causes the water to flow and the solid particles to rearrange in an initial densification process. Then in a second process, clusters of atoms or ions move away from where the particles are in contact, which aids diffusion, which then minimizes surface free energy, allowing the particles to pack tightly together. The key is knowing the exact combination of moisture, pressure, heat and time required to capture the reaction rates so the material fully crystallizes and gets to very high density.

“I see cold sintering process as a continuum of different challenges,” Randall said. “In some systems, it’s so easy you don’t need pressure. In others you do. In some you need to use nanoparticles. In others, you can get away with a mixture of nanoparticles and larger particles. It really all depends on the systems and chemistries you are talking about.”

The Penn State team has begun building a library of the precise techniques required to use CSP on various materials systems, with 50 processes verified to-date. These include ceramic-ceramic composites, ceramic-nanoparticle composites, ceramic-metals, as well as the ceramic-polymers discussed in this paper.

Other areas that are now open to exploration by CSP include architectural materials, such as ceramic bricks, thermal insulation, biomedical implants and many types of electronic components.

“My hope is that a lot of the manufacturing processes that already exist will be able to use this process, and we can learn from polymer manufacturing practices,” Randall concluded.


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Materials provided by Penn State Materials Research Institute. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.