Steps to Energy Saving
Since the economic downturn, people have been looking for ways to reduce their regular expenses, and one of the ready solutions has been to cut down their consumption of energy. This has been one of the easiest solutions to budget problems because it requires only minor adjustments to one’s daily routines.
Obvious Steps to Saving Energy
You may not realize it, but there are many things that you probably do on a daily basis that waste energy. By simply being more conscious about these things, you can significantly reduce unnecessary use of energy. Here are some examples:
– Turning Off Unused Lights: This is probably the mother of all obvious steps to saving energy. Unfortunately, many people still ignore this little helpful tip. True, lights, especially energy-efficient ones like LEDs and fluorescent lights, really don’t comsume much electricity compared to, say, air conditioners, TVs and the like. Still, you have to start small, and how much trouble could it be to turn off the lights in a room that you won’t be coming back to in the next 10 minutes?
– “Shut Down,” Not “Sleep”: With computers now able to “sleep,” or even “hibernate” in order to save energy when not in use, it seems that more and more people have taken these features for granted and hardly ever shut down their computers and laptops anymore. Unfortunately, even when in energy saving mode, such electronic devices still use up electricity.
Less Common Steps to Saving Energy
If you’re really serious about saving energy, then there are other things that you should consider doing:
– Switching to Alternative Energy: Although many people would like to be less dependent on the local power grid, they are reluctant to start using solar or wind energy because of the money they will have to spend initially. But if you can think long term, you will realize that having free access to renewable sources of energy like the sun and wind will save you a lot of money on energy bills, as well as make your home a more environmentally friendly place.
– Wise Use of Appliances: Don’t start the dishwasher until it’s stocked full of plates, cups, bowls, and utensils. Do the same with the washing machine and the dryer. Turn off the electric stove a little before the food is completely cooked, since the hot surface will continue to slowly cook the food. Make sure that you air conditioner is situated at the top of your room, near the ceiling, and that your heater is located near the floor.
– Downsizing Appliances: If you are serious about saving energy, then you should consider using a smaller TV, perhaps, or turning off your supped up sound system.
– Installing A Clock Thermostat: By using a clock thermostat, you can program your house to be the right temperature at the right timeHealth Fitness Articles, while making sure that you don’t consume energy needlessly by keeping your heater or air conditioner running even when there’s no one in the house.
Lets contemplate the benefits to be of green home energy including passive solar energy and the micro-generation of renewable energy for homes amongst others.
Every 15 minutes the sun produces enough power to supply our current energy needs for an entire year. Because of its distance from the equator, the United Kingdom only receives 60% of the solar energy received at the equator. This energy equates to between 900 to 1200 kWh per square meter per year.. This energy is equivalent to the energy production of 1000 power stations.
The energy coming from the sun fluxes and wanes depending on the solar activity. The less sun spot activity on our sun the less energy emitted.
Interestingly enough the number of sunspot-free days suggest that solar activity is heading towards its lowest level in about 100 years’. The low level of sun spot activity may suggests that the Sun may be moving into a hibernation-like state, with the obvious question of whether this will have any major consequences for us on Earth.
We have no way of knowing what the climate in any region of earth will be in the future therefore, instead of putting all our eggs in one basket, we SHOULD be putting our money into possible adaptation for both global warning and global cooling. And I know which I would prefer.
Anyway I digress…
To really understand and exploit the benefits of green solar energy, one needs to understand how solar energy is harnessed.
Green solar energy can be divided into two types i.e. thermal (heat) and light.
Thermal energy is considered passive solar energy. The use of passive solar energy in housing involves the placement of the building for optimum benefit, the building design and position of suitable building components to make full use of sunlight for day-lighting, passive heating, and/or passive cooling. Apart from saving energy, the primary benefit of a passive solar home is the improved comfort of its occupants.
Thermal energy is harnessed through the design and materials used to construct a building.
The building gathers energy from the sun the old fashioned way; by allowing it to stream in through the windows…
A passive solar home or building can get a full quarter of its heat from the sun alone through the integration of the appropriate ratio of windows to a south facing wall (if you live northern hemisphere)whilst using heat retaining materials, for example brick and stone, and a little intelligent design. That same thermal energy can also be used to heat water for solar hot water systems.
In a passive solar house window placement and sizes are crucial as they can affect the heat gain or loss during various months of the year.
When designing and planning a passive solar home the ultimate goal is to have a home that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Passive solar home energy systems can easily be integrated with active solar systems.
A passive solar system functions best in an energy efficient home with a well designed mechanical system.
It is rather unfortunate that the principle of passive thermal energy are hardly ever used in the mass production of housing.
In a energy efficient home a passive solar system should never be considered as a stand alone system to saving energy.
To reduce the need to use lights within the home during the day tubular skylights along with sky tubes and solar tunnels can be used.
The suns rays can be captured by the photovoltaic cells of solar panels to create electricity.
For the majority of home owners the reason to use renewable home energy is to reduce their utility bills. Constructing a green solar energy system can come with a large initial investment, however they generally pay for themselves within a few years by providing either supplemental electricity or all of the electricity to your home or business.
Building your own solar panels, participating in government refunds and net metering, in which you sell unused electricity back to the power company, can reduce the cost of implementing a green solar energy system.
In addition, green solar energy systems require little to no maintenance after installation, as most have no moving parts.
You don’t have to construct the whole solar energy system in one go, you can easily construct solar panels in modular sections and incorporate them into your home energy system whenever you complete a new panel.
If you are planning a renovation for your home or business, you need to consider the energy efficiency of your plans. You have a unique opportunity before you plan your renovation to dramatically decrease your future energy bills and improve your comfort while living there.
If you are planning a renovation for your home or business, you need to consider the energy efficiency of your plans. You have a unique opportunity before you plan your renovation to dramatically decrease your future energy bills and improve your comfort while living there. You should select windows that conserve as much energy as possible and this article will outline a few of the main ways you can do this.
Get A Home Energy Audit
Before you consider renovating your home, it’s worth paying an expert to come and audit your home. You can do this yourself but it’s worth paying for. You’ll gain a greater insight into the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, your insulation and lighting. It’s worth investing in this process as you’ll gain a greater understanding of your home and gain new ideas of how you can plan your renovation to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Guide The Renovation Process
You can hire a ‘green’ consultant to help your renovation plans run towards the goal of making your home more energy efficient. Most business directories have listings for ‘green architects’ and hiring one is worth the extra cost. Your renovation will be far more successful at making your home more energy efficient if you receive expert guidance.
Incorporate Double Glazing Where Possible
The main reasons for energy inefficiency in windows are that they are uninsulated or leak air. Your home renovation should include high quality double glazed windows where possible in order to improve the thermal efficiency of your home. Triple glazing is far more expensive and only really necessary for reducing the transmission of sound. Double glazing will reduce the amount of sound coming into your home as long as the two panes of glass are different thicknesses. The principal advantage of using double glazing for your home renovation is that you’ll spend less on heating and cooling besides creating a more comfortable and quieter living environment.
Consider Window Film
After you have selected double glazed windows for you renovation project, consider having tinted window film applied to windows that are in direct sunlight during the afternoon. Window film can be professionally installed or you can buy it and fit yourself by following simple instructional videos on YouTube. This film will block UV and reject solar heat while letting in natural light. You want to be careful about not going for a dark tint as this won’t let enough light into your room and can be depressing. Well-chosen solar film will reduce your cooling costs in summer and improve the energy efficiency of your home.
What Are The Alternatives?
Renovating your home gives you the chance to explore solar shades which are large mesh shades fitted to the exterior of your home, over the windows. These are permanent and affect the look of your home but they reject a lot of heat while letting lots of light into your home. These shades last a lot longer than the 7 years most window film companies guarantee their film for. They also protect you from heat and UV even when you open the windows to let fresh air in, unlike windows with film on.
By: Elijah M Casey