Thursday, May 24, 2018

Surprising Ways to Save Energy This Summer: Tips For Families

Summertime's soaring temperatures might be a welcome relief from the frigid winter -- but they aren't always good news. Although the sky stays lighter later, our bills tend to spike during the summer months due to air conditioner use. But conserving energy (and lowering your bills) might be easier than you think. Here are some ways to save energy that you might never have considered.

  • Fill up the fridge: Every time you open your refrigerator or freezer, the warm air rushes in and quickly replaces the cool air inside. That means your fridge needs to use more power to get those temperatures back down. Of course, this is why you should keep those doors closed (and never stand in front of them, deep in thought!) whenever possible. But it also helps if you don't have a lot of empty space, as that can allow more warm air to find its way in. This isn't to say that you should fill your fridge with food that will only spoil; that's a waste of money and resources, for sure. But it'll help if you can pack your freezer tightly with items you know your family will consume and that you keep extra bottles of water in your fridge to take up space. As long as these items won't go to waste, this can help with your conservation efforts.

  • Plant a tree (or several): The landscaping on your property can actually help you save electricity, providing you put some thought into it. By strategically planting trees around your home and even surrounding your air conditioner, you can provide some additional shade and thereby reduce the heat that gets into your home. Plus, the shade from trees can conserve up to 2.4 tons of CO2 emissions every year! You'll need to keep the position of your property in mind to make the most of this. Be sure to consult with a professional landscaper to ensure your chosen trees will block out sunlight during the hottest parts of the day.

  • Take a cool, short shower: A short shower is typically better than a long bath in terms of water waste. And a cool shower definitely snags the top spot for saving energy. When it's already hot outside, taking a cool shower can feel like sweet relief. But it can also do wonders for your pocket book and your conservation goals! Your hot water heater won't have to work nearly as hard, which means you'll save money and reduce your energy use. Since the water is cooler, you probably won't want to take a long shower anyway, which will save you more on your water bills.

  • Use fans thoughtfully: You might assume that switching on a ceiling fan doesn't allow you to save electricity. But actually, it's much more energy efficient than relying on your central cooling system. In fact, you'll actually be able to raise your thermostat setting by a few degrees and still stay comfortable, since your ceiling fan will help keep you cool. Just remember to turn off those fans once you leave the room you're in. The fan cools you, not the room, which means it's not beneficial to keep it on when no one's home.
  • Switch up your cooking routine: Baking can be cozy in winter, but you'll want to avoid it in summer if you want to keep your home cool. Instead, use a microwave, a solar cooker, an outdoor propane grill, or a halogen oven. These methods are generally more efficient and will keep your home a lot cooler. No one wants to slave over a hot stove on a hot day! You may even want to adopt some elements of a raw diet for the summer, which will keep temperatures cooler and can allow your body to absorb even more nutrients. The more bearable you can make your kitchen, the happier you'll be (and the lower bills won't hurt, either).

We hope these tips will help you reach your green goals this summer and will make your family feel much more comfortable when at home. To find out more about reducing your energy use, please contact us today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

What is Renewable Energy Going to Look Like This Year?

As the years go by, more and more people, agencies, and energy companies are focusing on renewable energy. With the money these renewable energy option save homeowners and businesses, as well as the positive impact green energy has on the environment, these sustainable energy sources are becoming a main focus in the energy industry. In fact, about 10% of energy consumption in the U.S. was from renewable energy sources in 2015 and has continued to increase. But how has this focus on renewable energy changed recently? This article is going to discuss a few key trends this year will see on the renewable energy front.

Costs will continue to decrease. Over the past few years, prices of renewable energy sources have continued to steadily decrease. As more people invest in renewable energy, costs will become lower and lower. Because of this, sustainable energy options are slowly but surely becoming more favorable than nonrenewable sources. People around the world are realizing how low prices are for solar, wind, and other types of sustainable energy options and are taking advantage of these low costs.

Waste-to-energy facilities are on the rise. Waste management is a major problem in many places around the world. Fortunately, waste-to-energy facilities can help manage this growing problem. These facilities process waste and help control landfill expansion. This is crucial in areas that are running out of room for landfills and need an alternative solution. Because of this, this year is expected to see more projects revolving around waste-to-energy facilities.

Energy storage efforts continue. In order to fully support the integration of renewable energy into power availability from energy companies and the like, there needs to be serious developments in renewable energy storage. Last year saw a lot of states focusing on energy storage, with a heavy interest on education and training programs. However, more companies are exploring options for storing renewable energy and how this stored energy can be used.

Corporations are choosing sustainable energy. Last year saw a ton of announcements from big corporations regarding their energy efforts. With the push from customers and the money big businesses can save by choosing renewable energy options, this year is expected to see plenty more big corporations going green.

Hopefully, this year will see some major developments in the green energy field. Businesses, individuals, and energy companies are beginning to see all of the benefits renewable energy can offer and starting to take advantage of them.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Save Money and Mother Earth This Summer With These Green Savvy AC Tips

Of the range of renewable energy types, the goal boils down to cutting costs and our carbon footprint. That doesn't make us want to be uncomfortable, especially when the season heats up and your air conditioner becomes your saving grace.

Energy savings doesn't have to be a full investment in wind farms or acres of solar panels (though, wouldn't that be nice?), but there are simple ways to make your current energy consumption less than usual. You'll definitely want to know how to reduce energy use this summer and stay cool at the same time.

Up your technology game

Lowering your thermostat during the winter by a margin of two degrees can save 6% on carbon emissions. That's about 420 pounds of carbon dioxide per year that you're not putting into the air. The same goes for air conditioning. A huge part of this is system automation. Investing in an automated thermostat will help reduce energy costs across the board. Mobile accessibility and smart temperature control are small technologies that make a difference through the convenience of remote access and smart systems.

Duct, duct, goose

Your AC unit, like your furnace, transports air of whatever temperature through your ducts to all the rooms in your house. Over time, ducts can get a little leaky. It might not be something you readily notice, too, so having professionals look at your ducts is important. Properly sealing your ducts makes for more efficient air distribution and, in turn, lowers your energy bills. If you start noticing a room (or two) not getting to the right temperature, that's a telltale sign of leaky ducting.

Homefront focus

Similar to duct sealing, the air in your house should be well circulated and stay in the house. It seems obvious, but a lot of households neglect problem areas like entrance ways, windows, skylights, and vents. All of these small leaks add up when it comes to air escaping, which definitely hikes up the bill and does nothing to keep temperature properly maintained.

There are tons of ways to adjust your lifestyle the smallest bit to cut down energy costs and hoist the environmentally friendly banner. Renewable energy types are certainly becoming more popular as time and technology move forward, but it remains our responsibility to alter our commonly practiced habits first and impact change in everyday life. Living consciously this way, our path toward the future looks green as can be.