Wednesday, July 29, 2015

3 Steps to Conserve Energy in Your Home

It seems as if we see the terms 'green energy' and 'renewable energy' everywhere these days, but how much of a role can you play in those goals as a homeowner? The answer is, you can play a pretty sizable one! Not only would you be helping out the environment by following steps to minimize your Eco-footprint, but also you can actually benefit from it in terms of money saved. There are five main tips to follow when you decide that energy conservation is something you want to take part in:

Talk to your electricity provider.

Many energy suppliers and electricity providers now take their own measures to conserve energy, and you should first check to see if yours is one of them. If yours does not take action on their own, you can consider planning your own energy conservation accordingly.

Account for what you use.

Chances are, you aren't cataloging where you're using energy in a typical day. In order to figure out where you can conserve energy, you should first take a few days to a week and make a list of where you're using energy and for how long. You may be surprised to see how long you leave the TV on when you're not watching it, or how much energy you could save by shutting your computer down every once in a while.


Now you're ready to cut down on your energy use. Electricity providers say that you can save almost 10% on your heating and cooling just by using a programmable thermostat. Or, you can take shorter, cooler showers and save 14 to 18% on water heating costs. Throughout the summer, look for air conditioning alternatives -- it could save you about 19%.

Don't forget: even the smallest things add up! Start saving energy and money now!

Friday, July 10, 2015

7 Simple Strategies for Making Your Pool More Energy Efficient

With hot summer weather descending over most of the country, you’re probably feeling pretty grateful if you have a pool. But that feeling may be diminished every time you open up a bill from the electric company. The good news is that there are many energy solutions that can help you to reduce your pool’s energy usage and keep your electric company bills under control. Here are seven simple strategies for energy savings when it comes to your pool:

Get a Pool Cover
You might think that a pool cover only matters in the cooler months when you’re heating your pool (just as water heating is an expense inside your home, accounting for between 14% and 18% of your utility bills, heating water for the pool can be very expensive). But in addition to regulating temperature, pool covers help to reduce evaporation; because of all the energy that goes into cleaning and treating water, having to constantly top up your pool actually uses quite a bit of energy.

Install a Windbreak
Wind blowing over the surface of your pool can be a major cause of both evaporation and heat loss. By installing a fence that also provides a windbreak (either with screens between the posts or taller landscaping), you’ll achieve both safety and energy efficiency goals.

Schedule Your Pump
One of the easiest ways to see an energy reduction with your pool is to schedule your pump to make sure it runs for only as long as it needs. The amount of time will depend on the size of your pool, but the goal is to have all the water circulate once and only once daily.

Use LED Lighting
Make sure all the lighting in and around your pool uses LED bulbs. These last many times longer and draw far less electrical energy than traditional or CFL bulbs.

Turn Down the Temp
You know how you can save around 10% on heating and cooling costs in your house using a programmable thermostat? That goes for the pool, too. Make sure your pool temperature is set lower when you’re not using it so that the heater doesn’t work overtime.

Skim Regularly
The less debris that makes it to the filter, the less likely your filters are to get clogged and lower the efficiency of your system. Try to skim daily (and keep in mind that a cover will also keep leaves and dirt out of the pool).

Buy the Right Tech
Sometimes, energy efficiency simply comes down to newer, better technology. Having a high-efficiency pool pump can lead to savings you’ll notice on every single electric company bill, winter or summer.

Did you know that as of 2013, U.S. electricity usage had gone up by 13 times since 1950? Share your tips for reducing a pool’s energy usage in the comments.