Monday, September 24, 2018

Simple Ways to Save on Cooling Costs This Summer

During the summer, many homeowners may experience an increase in their energy expenses. There's generally one major factor in this increase: cooling costs. With the summer heat, people tend to crank up the air conditioning so they can be cool and comfortable inside. And while this may be nice at the moment, it can be financially damaging in the long run. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can keep cool this summer without breaking the bank.

Utilize ceiling fans: One of the main reasons houses feel warm and stuffy is because there's no way for the air to circulate throughout the house. So to help with this issue, you should consider using ceiling or other circulating fans to help with airflow. Whether the air is on or not, using ceiling fans can be a great way to make your home feel cooler. Just remember to turn them off when no one is in the room, otherwise, you'll waste electricity.

Clean the AC unit: Over time, AC units become clogged with debris. When this happens, the unit has to work harder to get the cool air throughout the house which, in turn, increases energy use. Cleaning and replacing filters when necessary can significantly decrease the amount of energy your AC unit uses. And if your unit is pretty old, you may want to consider upgrading to an energy-efficient model. Furthermore, you could install a programmable thermostat, which can help save up to 10% on cooling energy expenses.

Open the windows: If you're looking for really simple energy saving tips, start with your windows. If you live in an area where it's generally cooler at night, turn off the AC and open the windows before you go to bed. This can help get fresh, cool air into your home. Additionally, if the sun shines into your home during the day, try keeping your shades or blinds shut to prevent the sunlight from increasing the temperature in your home. And if your windows aren't in great shape and let air escape from the house, energy saving windows can help significantly reduce energy expenses.

Just because the heat rises in the summer doesn't mean your energy bill has to do the same. With these simple tips, you'll be able to keep cool and keep energy expenses low all summer long.

Friday, September 14, 2018

How to Throw an Eco-Friendly Party

Party planning is a task that involves a surprising amount of work -- from sending invitations to choosing amazing decorations, you're sure to put a lot of time and thought into planning parties this summer. But one factor that many party-throwers fail to think about is the environment. Parties can amount to a lot of waste that can be harmful to the environment. So to help you keep your parties eco-friendly this summer, here are a few tips.

Go paperless: Unfortunately, many party aspects involve paper: from the invitations to paper cups and plates, there can be a lot of paper waste after a party is done. But it's quite easy to go the paperless route with your party. Instead of paper invitations, consider e-invites -- these won't waste paper and can actually be more convenient. And when it comes to cups, plates, and silverware, don't choose paper or plastic. Instead, use real cups and plates that can be washed and reused. This way, you won't have a ton of garbage after the party is done and you can feel good about saving some trees. If you do have to use some paper elements, make sure they get recycled properly.

Reduce and reuse decorations: When it comes to decorations, many party planners rely on streamers, balloons, and more decor that can't be reused or has to be thrown out after it's been used. This can amount to having a lot of waste when the party is done. So instead, consider reducing the number of decorations and reusing items you already have. For example, empty wine bottles and other vases can be filled with wildflowers and serve as beautifully simple centerpieces. Or if you don't have party-approved decorations laying around, check out local thrift shops for some second-hand goods that can be used again in the future.

Choose eco-friendly lighting: One of the easiest ways to see a reward for using less energy is choosing energy-efficient lighting. Lighting can use a lot of energy in a home but fortunately, choosing the right lighting is one of the easiest ways to save energy in your home. By doing something as simple as switching to energy-efficient LEDs and halogen incandescent bulbs, homeowners can reduce energy use by about a third up to as much as 80%. So if you're choosing lighting for your summer parties and want some fancy string lights, make sure you're choosing the right type of bulbs. Additionally, you can go for lighting options that don't use any energy, like candles or solar lights. Either way, you'll have the opportunity to have some great party lighting and see a reward for using less energy.

Parties don't have to produce a ton of harmful waste. By following these simple tips, you can feel good that you're helping the environment and seeing a reward for using less energy, all while having an awesome party.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Undeniable Benefits of Solar Energy

Over the past years, solar energy technology has evolved immensely. More people are using solar energy than ever -- which is a good thing because each year, 75 million barrels of oil are saved by those utilizing solar energy. But despite all the good solar energy and green energy services offer, people still aren't quite sure if solar energy is worth the investment. Well, we're here to tell you that it definitely is, and here are just a few reasons why.

It's good for the environment: This is one of the most obvious benefits of solar energy. As one of the most popular sustainable energy options, solar energy has little to no effect on the environment. This is compared to other non-renewable energy sources, like oil and coal, which emit harmful gases and contribute to global warming. When people decide to use energy from a renewable source, like the sun, they're significantly reducing their carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment. So when you choose to consider green energy services and invest in solar energy, you're doing your part to protect the environment from further harm.

It's affordable: Many people make the mistake of thinking that solar energy is extremely expensive and only the wealthiest of people can afford it. But that's not the case at all. In fact, solar panel systems are more affordable than ever because so many people have started using them. While the upfront cost of installing solar panels may be a little expensive, the money saved on energy costs down the line will outweigh that initial cost. Within a few short years, the system will pay for itself and then continue to help homeowners save money on energy bills for as long as the system is installed.

It's a secure energy source: Unfortunately, the resources we currently depend on to provide us energy will run out eventually. And then what? When we invest our time and energy into using things like coal and oil, we're just buying ourselves time. But that big, fiery ball in the sky? That's not going anywhere. That's one of the many great things about investing in solar energy -- you know you'll never run out of an energy source. Solar panels use next to nothing compared to the amount of energy the sun produces, meaning we'll never run out of energy when we utilize solar energy.

As you can see, there are a number of reasons to invest in solar energy -- and other green energy services as well. With the right services and equipment, you can enjoy clean, inexpensive energy from the sun for years to come.

Friday, August 31, 2018

How Can You Benefit from Conserving Energy at Home?

Most people are aware of the impact energy consumption has on the environment. But sadly, not many people choose to change their actions to decrease their impact on the environment. Conserving energy can offer people multiple benefits, including the ones discussed in this article.

Saves you money: One of the most obvious and immediate rewards for using less energy is that homeowners can save on energy costs. Conserving energy helps homeowners save money in two ways. First, homeowners who invest in renewable energy options and energy-efficient appliances will see a significant reduction in their utility bills. When you use less energy, you pay for less energy. And second, when homeowners invest in energy-efficient options like appliances and light bulbs, they'll see a return on investment. These energy-efficient purchases will last longer and will help homeowners save money over time. Overall, conserving energy is a simple and smart way to cut down on some expenses.

Decreases the amount of pollution: Non-sustainable energy sources, like coal and other fossil fuels, release harmful gases into the atmosphere when they're burned. These gases are slowly building up and causing significant damage to the environment. Fortunately, choosing renewable energy options can help decrease air pollution. In fact, all solar energy uses help save 25 Million Tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. So when homeowners choose sustainable energy options, they're doing their part to improve the air quality and help keep the environment clean and healthy.

Increase quality of life: When nonrenewable energy sources are used, they can cause the air to become unhealthy to inhale. Additionally, a home that runs on nonrenewable energy sources can see an increased risk of buildup of indoor pollutants. So when homeowners begin conserving energy and are more aware of the energy sources they use, they can enhance the quality of their life -- they'll experience a lower risk of illnesses and mold growth in their home. Overall, there are many health advantages to be found when homeowners choose greener energy options.

Hopefully, this article has shown you a few reasons why you should consider choosing green energy. Conserving energy is good for your health, the environment, and your bank account.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tips for Reducing Energy Costs

With the hot summer sun beating down, many homeowners are hiding away inside their cool air-conditioned home. But with the air conditioning blasting, electronics being used more often, and loads of wash increasing with the kids being home, energy bills can skyrocket during the summer months. So how can homeowners save money on their energy bills and still survive the heat? Well, let's take a look at a few tips on how to reduce energy use this summer.

Use fans instead of the AC: While it certainly can be tempting to blast the refreshing air conditioning to quickly cool down your home, air conditioning is a huge use of energy in homes. So instead of using AC all the time, try using a variety of fans to circulate cool air throughout the home. And open windows during those cool, breezy nights to let in some fresh air. If you must use air conditioning, consider installing a programmable thermostat to control temperature and save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs.

Consider cooking outside: One of the most common reasons houses get so hot in the summer is from people using the oven and stove in the kitchen to cook. To avoid this from happening, take advantage of that nice summer weather and cook outside. Grilling or smoking food outside is an easy way to keep the house cool and soak up some of that vitamin D. And if you're using gas grills, that's another easy way to reduce energy usage at home.

Be smart about electronics: With the kids out of school, electronics are probably being used a lot more often. And while it may not seem like they use a lot of energy, keeping track of electronic use is an easy way to save electricity. So when electronics, like TVs, tablets, laptops, and other devices, aren't in use, try to keep them unplugged. This will not only prevent them from continuing to use energy, but it will also keep them from heating up and increasing room temperature. So safely storing your electronics away can be an easy tip when it comes to figuring out how to reduce energy use.

Just because summer weather generally means higher utility bills doesn't mean you have to one of the homeowners who have to watch energy costs skyrocket. By following these few simple tips, you can keep cool, have a fun summer, and reduce your energy use.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What to Know About Using Solar Panels in the Summertime

It's no secret that we've come a long way in how we generate, use, and innovate with energy. More than 150 years ago, about 90% of the nation's energy needs were fulfilled with wood. But in today's society, there is a major focus on energy conservation and using renewable energy sources. While there are several renewable energy options, one of the most common options is solar power. Solar panels are becoming more accessible to people around the world and they can help significantly when it comes to energy conservation. But when the sun is beating down during the summertime, is this a good thing for solar energy users?

Summertime can mean both added benefits and slight downsides for solar energy users. Fortunately, the longer, sunnier days amounts to more energy produced by solar panels. Because of the added sunlight solar panels receive during the summertime, solar panel users can see a significant increase in the amount of energy produced. Which, of course, is a great thing, especially for energy conservation.

However, it's important to remember that solar panels convert sunlight into energy, not heat. So on those long, hot and humid days, solar panel users may actually see a decrease in productivity. This is because too much heat can actually cause solar panels to overheat and become less efficient. So even if the sun is shining, hot summer days can sometimes do more harm than good.

So how can homeowners make the most of their solar panels during the summer? First off, it's important to optimize cool, sunny days. With lowered temperatures but plenty of sunshine, solar panels will be working perfectly. Additionally, it's important to consider the location of the solar panels. Most homeowners use solar panels on their roofs, where they can get maximum sun exposure. But during the summer, the sun hits a direct angle -- this means solar panel users should position their panels at a slightly lower angle to catch the most sun. If solar panels are located places other than the roof, it's important to make sure they're not blocked by any shade throughout the day to ensure they're being exposed to all the sun they can get.

Solar panels are a great way to practice energy conservation and start leaning towards using more efficient energy sources. By remembering these few tips, solar panel users can make the most out of the long, sunny summer days ahead.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Ways To Keep You And Your Bills Cool

This summer has been so hot it's been breaking records from coast to coast. In fact, in the month of July, Death Valley, California did break the record for hottest month in the history of the United States with an average daily temperature of 108.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

Air conditioners are working overtime these summer months and we're looking at conserving energy as much as we can. Read on if you want to save on energy costs and not be taken to the cleaners by your utility company.

Look out for leaks

Yes, leaks are difficult to actually look out for. However small they may be, they're present and are your enemy if you're looking to save on energy costs. Sealing air leaks can save you up to 20% on annual heating and cooling bills, not to mention making your home a more comfortable place to exist. Don't cool the outdoors, get those leaks looked at.

Tailor your physical environment

It's easy to let an air conditioner do all the work when it's stifling outside, but you have a bunch of manual things that can be done in alliance with your air conditioner. Outside, having trees that block a portion of the sun (especially in the late afternoon) does a great deal to reduce your house's internal temperature. Inside, drawing shades and closing blinds while the sun is brightest will keep the window borne heat at bay throughout the day. Then, at night, open the windows and let a cool evening breeze plus a fan or two recirculate refreshing air.

Get smart

On the other end of the spectrum from the previous point, more advanced technology is your friend. Use programmable thermostats to your advantage. If you know there are certain times of day you won't be home, raise the temperature, then run the air conditioning only when people are home. Reducing energy costs is about consciously using energy directly when it's needed, not cooling an empty house.

Trying to stay cool this summer might seem like a lot of work, but that extra work you put in will be reflected in a comfortable home with a little extra money in your pocket.