Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Simple Ways to Save Energy At Home

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Saving energy can be simple and save money as well. Here are a few hints that can be done inexpensively and by everyone. If you educate yourself and everyone in your household about saving energy, not only will you help the world, but you will help yourself by lowering energy bills. It will be a win/win situation for everyone.

Saving energy and money at home.

Saving Energy ay Home

You can save energy by changing your light bulbs to fluorescent bulbs. This may take a small investment at first as they are more expensive than regular bulbs, but the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) says that they use 67% less energy than incandescent bulbs. You may be able to save $50- $60 in energy costs over the life of one bulb.

Use less hot water to save energy. Install low flow shower heads. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. Less hot water used means less hot water heated and less energy used.

Insulate windows by putting up plastic can save you money and energy. Of course, in the best of all worlds, everyone would have double paned windows, but that is a fairly large investment. Rolls of plastic are much less expensive.

Change your manner of dress to suit the temperature in your house rather than change the thermostat to suit the way your are dressed. Wear sweaters and warm slippers in the winter and in the summer wear shorts or thin clothing.

Set your thermostat to no more than 68 degrees in the winter (55 at bedtime) and to no less than 78 degrees in the summer. Use fans or ceiling fans whenever possible, as these do not use as much energy as air conditioners.

Keep the use of other small appliances to a minimum. These use great amounts of electricity. When you replace appliances, buy Energy Star appliances to replace the old ones. These use 10- 50% less energy. Also unplug appliances when not in use. People do not realize it, but even when turned off these appliances continue to use small amounts of electricity when not unplugged.

Efficient use of blinds and curtains can help. Open the blinds and curtains during the day during the winter to let the sunshine help heat the house. Close them at night to keep the heat in. Do the opposite in the summer to combat heat.

Close the doors and vents to vacant rooms. There is no sense heating or cooling unused areas. Not heating or cooling unoccupied areas can save energy quickly, and you will notice it on your utility bill.

These steps may take a little adjustment to get used to, but you will see the benefit on your energy savings.

Choosing Energy-Efficient Windows

Monday, May 20th, 2013
Double Pane, Double Tilt, Vertical Replacement Window

Double Pane, Double Tilt, Vertical Replacement Window

There are hundreds of ways to conserve energy without having to time your showers or stop using your air conditioner. Anyone worried about energy usage should consider installing energy-efficient replacement windows, as the right windows prevent heat transfer and keep cold air outdoors. This reduces energy usage, decreases heating and cooling costs, and makes homes more comfortable. When searching for windows, choose products made with energy-efficient materials to reduce energy usage.

Framing Materials

Energy-efficient replacement windows come in a wide selection of framing materials. One of the most important considerations when choosing a framing material is how well the material insulates against heat and cold. Some of the best framing materials for reducing energy usage include vinyl, fiberglass, wood, aluminum, and composite. Vinyl frames provide excellent insulation against heat. Fiberglass is durable and requires very little maintenance. It is also a good insulating material for windows.

Wood and aluminum are both very durable, but wood requires more frequent maintenance to protect against rotting. Aluminum is recyclable, so it is a good choice for homeowners who are concerned about how their buying decisions affect the environment. Composite materials are made from materials that have been blended together. These materials provide good insulation and require very little maintenance.

Glass and Glazing

If your home has single-paned windows, consider replacing them with double-paned windows or glazed windows. A single pane of glass does not do much to insulate a home, so switching to a more energy-efficient window can reduce energy usage and slash home energy costs. Double-paned windows do a better job of insulating because there are air spaces between the two panes of glass. These spaces reduce the amount of heat lost, which makes it possible to keep a home warm without using as much heat.

Double pane glass cataway view.

Double Pane Glass

Special coatings also increase energy efficiency and reduce the amount of energy used to heat or cool a home. Low-emittance glass, also called low-e glass, is a treatment used to increase the energy efficiency of double-paned windows. Double-paned windows made with low-emittance glass are 35 percent more efficient than double-paned windows that have not been treated with the coating, according to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Another way to reduce energy usage is to purchase windows that have been filled with argon. Argon is a safe, inexpensive gas that does not transfer heat very well, so it provides insulation against heat loss.

Energy-efficient replacement windows cost a little more than some windows, but they are well worth the expense when you consider how much energy they save. After you select your replacement windows, have an experienced contractor install them. If the windows are not installed properly, they will not insulate your home and reduce your energy usage as much as expected.

 

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Energy Saving Tips For Your Roof

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Quality comp roofingHave you ever really given any thought to how your roof can save you energy? It can! With the increase of people becoming eco-friendly, we are all looking for ways and products that will help reduce carbon footprint in our world. Saving money is always everyone’s priority, but saving the environment has become a number two priority in most households today. Energy star appliances and hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular. Today, homeowners are looking at how they can save energy with the roof over their heads. This will help them be more eco-friendly and save a lot of money.

Choosing Your Roofing Material – The material you choose for your roof plays a big part in the cost of heating and cooling your home. If you have an asphalt roof, it tends to absorb and attract heat. The heat is then dispersed inside the home. In a multi-level home, this is not good because everyone knows that heat is going to rise. This means that the upstairs level of your home will always be warmer. If you are someone who does not like sleeping in a hot bedroom, you will have to leave a fan on or the air conditioner running to stay cool. During the hot summer months, your air conditioner and fans will be running hard to keep the house cool. If you live in a place that is normally hot all summer, an asphalt roof is not the best idea. A metal roof will deflect and disperse the heat, which will help reduce the cost of cooling.

Insulating Your Roof – Another great way to reduce costs is to insulate your roof. Roofs are not constructed in the same manner they were years ago. If you have recently purchased a new home and live in the suburbs, it is likely that the roof has the bare minimum insulation so that it just passes inspection. If you want to reduce costs, add more insulation to the roof. In the colder months of the year, the extra insulation will keep the heat inside the home and the cold air outside. You will be able to reduce the need for the furnace and heater running so often.

Adding Solar Panels – Another good way to reduce costs is by adding solar panels on the roof. Throughout the day, the solar panels will collect sunlight and change it over into energy. This will help power the house. Of course, the initial cost for installing solar panels might be high, but they will still save you money be reducing costs over the long run.

Knowing which material to use on your roof and how to insulate it better will keep the temperatures inside the home better regulated. By doing so, you will reduce energy costs.

Peter Wendt is an article writer residing in Austin, Texas. He is always finding ways to cut his costs of living down. Recently, he has moved into a ‘green’ phase. Peter would like to create a very green home for his family and has found great tips from these expert Austin roofing contractors on how to improve his roof and quality of living.