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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Instead of Burning All That Cash, SAVE It With These Great Energy Conservation Tips!

When your home is poorly insulated, running on faulty ground or operating on less-than-efficient standards, rest assured, you WILL at some point have to empty those pockets and suffer some serious damages. It’s not just a matter of being ‘green’, though that is always a great way to live, it’s actually more a matter of finding the best and most efficient ways to live in your home so that you and your family aren’t losing out. It doesn’t have to be this way forever. By following just a few straightforward adjustments you can conserve energy and live comfortably. Here’s how:

Close the Gaps

The biggest lost opportunity to save energy is when people don’t make sure all seals are properly closed. This holds true for all areas that lead from one environment to the next – even indoor climate changes apply here. So if you don’t heat your basement in the wintertime by placing a draft roll at the base of the door that leads from the basement to the heated area, you are doing yourself a huge financial favor. A lot of times, homeowners are simply not aware of how much energy is lost through these gaps. You can save several hundred dollars per year if you make sure there are no drafts coming through your windows, doors and other similar closures. Making sure there are no gaps left unclosed will also keep the heat out or cool in depending on the season.

If it’s Broken, Fix It

Few people actually realize just how much a broken or inefficiently running appliance can become an energy-monger. Take a dishwasher, for instance. When a dishwasher is run at a less-than optimal level, it uses up more electricity, tends to run in a way that requires more than the usual cycles because the dishes don’t end up as clean as they should be. If the electrical systems are not working properly, for example, the appliance will run on a lower voltage, for a longer period. All these things are examples of things that go wrong when a machine is not working 100% properly. The same philosophy applies to heating/cooling systems, bathroom fixtures (imagine how much water wastage occurs with leaking faucets or toilets!), faulty security devices or even bad window and doors installation.

Light Up With Sky Lights

In the dark ages it was literally dark. Ok, so maybe not all the time but the basic concept of daylight and twilight remained, leaving activities that required light to be done after dawn. Since the advent of electricity, however, all that has changed. But it doesn’t mean that just because we can have ‘daylight’ around the clock, that we should. By seizing the energy opportunities availed to us by the sun, you can save a lot of money on unused (and unnecessary) wasted electricity. A skylight is an excellent solution because depending on the design, not only does it light up a large area of space in your home, it is also stylish, modern and green. Skylights were around long before everyone starting ‘going green’ but they have significantly evolved and they are definitely here to stay.

Plant Roots on the Roof

Plants are a surprisingly good insulator against the elements – and they look great too! Most people think of plants as an aesthetic addition to their home, to liven it up and add that greenery that is loved so much. But did you know that plants are also a great way to naturally clean the air and block irritants like dust and insects by acting as barriers if placed strategically in your home? The most unknown benefit of greenery from an energy conservation standpoint, however, is the insulation effect it offers when used on rooftops. The phenomenon of rooftop gardening for this purpose is very prevalent in Europe and other parts of the world and extends beyond household real estate to commercial real estate as well. As an excellent way to seal in the cool (or warmth) inside a space and of course ideal for flat rooftops, if yours is an outside space that you can cover with greenery, you will start seeing the savings pile up with less energy costs.

Use the Sun

Install solar energy panels wherever possible so you can generate electricity using the natural power of our sun, rather than the energy company with constantly rising costs. With so many options, sizes and styles of solar panels, you can even go one step further and purchase things like solar-powered outdoor lamps, heating and cooling and air conditioning too. The choices and price ranges are limitless.

Whether you decide to go on a maintenance spree, invite the sun right inside your home or go green on your roof, you are sure to save enough to return any investments made to conserve the energy in the first place. It doesn’t take much but if you and your family are consciously aware of making these few changes to your home and lifestyle, before you know it, you will be able to take a vacation with all that money you save!

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