We should all think of our homes as an energy system. Although the furnace may create and deliver heat, it can’t do so effectively if heat is lost in ducts, through walls, in the attic or through cracks in doors and windows.
Even the most efficient furnace needs a little help and proper maintenance to provide the best results.
Since heating and cooling often make up 45 percent of the energy bill, it’s well worth it to tidy up operations.
Efficient furnaces and air conditioners
If you’re in the market for a new heating or cooling system, it’s the perfect time to go for high-efficiency. Your contractor should be able to point out the best models and help you find the right fit for your home. If you’ve already insulated and been busy sealing leaks and drafts in the home, you might even be able to get away with a smaller, cheaper furnace.
Furnaces have a minimum 78 percent AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating, but some models are over 90 percent efficient. Air conditioners go by the SEER standard (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), and must meet a minimum of SEER 13.
When ventilation has been reduced through efficiency measures, it can become necessary to install air exchange units. Heat-recovery ventilators trade indoor air for out but keep the heat from leaving, too.
Change furnace and air conditioning filters – Furnaces and air conditioners must work harder to pull air in through clogged filters, wasting energy to do … More...
Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs as the often spiral-shaped bulbs are known, can work just as well as any incandescent bulb, while using less energy, lasting longer and providing increased safety. If you want to ease yourself into fluorescent lighting – because it does cost more initially – replace the most often-used bulbs.
Those are usually the kitchen, living room, bathroom and outdoor porch lights.
CFL’s save money
According to the statistics, changing just five lights to efficient bulbs like CFLs would save $60 a year in energy costs. But you don’t have to stop there. Although CFLs cost more, it’s easy to find them on sale and they are often cheaper in large quantities. Buy enough to fit most of the fixtures in your home, even if you don’t need to replace the bulbs yet. When current bulbs burn out, the new CFLs are already on hand.
Almost an entire home can be lit by compact fluorescent light bulbs, meaning frequent light bulb changes will be a thing of the past and power consumption will be cut drastically.
Some CFL facts:
- Last up to 10 times longer than incandescents
- Use about 2/3 less energy
- Generate only 30 percent the heat, meaning safer operation (and less heat added to the home)
- Different types can fit most regular fixtures
- Can work indoors or out
To be qualified as Energy Star, the gold standard in energy efficiency, CFLs must give off the same amount of light as regular bulbs, turn on … More...
What is the greenhouse effect?
The concept is pretty basic but, the effects will be catastrophic if we do nothing to end it. If you look at the purpose of a greenhouse, which is to capture solar radiation that comes through the glass windows and to prevent airflow, then it’s basically the same thing as our atmosphere.
What is the greenhouse effect and what causes it?
In our atmosphere, solar radiation is allowed to enter the atmosphere by the ozone layer. The ozone layer can be seen as the “glass of the greenhouse,” or rather what is left of the ozone layer. As we pour more and more greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere, is thickens the layer that allows the sun’s rays in. When it gets to a point of being too thick, it will act like insulation. It holds the heat in. This is what is causing global warming.
What is the greenhouse effect and a normal atmosphere?
A normal atmosphere allows the solar radiation in, during the day but, it also allows the heat to be released out of the atmosphere at night. With the introduction of so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere the heat is not able to escape. Hence, a warming of the planet is occurring.The earth has a natural greenhouse effect that allows life to exist, but burning fossil-fuels and destroying forests have turned the greenhouse into a hothouse. The damaged ozone layer, also a result of harmful gases, can’t … More...
If you have been thinking about investing in solar panels for your home, then you are probably aware of the proposed changes to the feed in tariff (FITs) for new Solar Photovoltaic (PV) installations.
As part of the review consultation, the proposal is that if you install Solar PV and your solar panel installation is not registered with your utility provider on or before 12th December 2011 you could be affected by the proposed changes, which are broadly as set out here:
It is true that these figures are still under discussion and review, but if you are considering installing solar panels for your home after 12th December 2011 then it is recommended that you base your decision on the lower rates of feed in tariff.
In terms of deciding whether to install solar panels (setting the environmental considerations aside) the potential financial returns from investing are possibly the biggest influencing factor – do solar panels still represent a good investment?
As is clearly demonstrated by this example, double digit tax free returns are still realistically achievable, (even lower installation prices have been quoted to the writer) due in part to the significant reductions in cost for the hardware (solar panels) and high levels of competition in the solar pv market.
In my opinion, installing solar panels for your home still represents one of the best investments around, to find out if your home is suitable for installing solar pv and what financial benefits you could receive, simply … More...
Steady funds from the government and the pouring support of investors have lead to innovations in solar energy’s infinite potential. One of the companies currently working in this arena is MES Power who also specialise in high voltage power engineering and wind turbine hookups. There are three solar energy active conversions: solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar power, and solar heating and cooling.
Photovoltaic panels use silicon solar panels to convert the sun’s radiation to electrical energy. PV cells can be installed according to electricity needs and can power small devices like calculators and watches to a whole residential power requirement. There are also two kinds of photovoltaic panels: crystalline silicon (c-Si) modules and thin film modules.
C-Si modules. The majority of PV modules are based in crystalline silicon due to abundant resources. There are two main forms of c-Si: single-c-Si module and mc-Si or multi-crystalline silicon module. Commercial sc-Si converts electricity better than mc-Si while the latter is less expensive than single crystalline silicon modules.
Thin film modules Thin film PV modules are made by depositing extremely thin layers of photosensitive materials in glass, plastic, or stainless steel backing. The first thin film produce is a-Si or amorphous silicon. It offers several advantages including low consumption of raw materials, high production and automation efficiency, better performance in high ambient temperature, simple assembly and manufacturing integration, and more resistant to overheating. On the other hand, thin film modules have lower efficiency than crystalline silicon modules and the industry is yet … More...
Tankless water heaters are exactly what they sounds like – they heat water up so quickly, that they don’t need for the water to stand in a tank while they heat the water. These appliances can heat water that’s just passing through. When you look at an electric tankless water heater, you’ll probably be appalled at how much power it consumes – usually, these machines consume about as much power as a dozen 12,000 BTU domestic air conditioners. A typical model uses up about 13,000 watts. You’d think that it would be able to practically boil water with that kind of power. But you would be wrong.
In deep winter, when it’s snowing outside, a tankless water heater that promises to put out 3 gallons of water a minute will not be hot enough for most people. It’ll just be tolerable. For a really invigorating hot shower, you’ll probably need something that’s even more powerful.
The thing is, even with something that uses a power this quickly, you still get a tax credit in some places for using an energy-efficient device. That’s because the alternative – using a storage water heater – is very wasteful. There’s all that water that you heat that you don’t end up using right away. All of it is just heated for no reason. Even with the most powerful tankless water heater, for a full 20 min. shower, you won’t spend more than 20 cents.
Basically, if you’re going to buy an electric tankless water … More...
Affluent ancient Greeks designed their homes orientated to the sun to use winter sunlight for heating. Large south-facing windows were used to collect solar heat, which was stored in massive walls and floors for gradual release throughout the night. The overhangs would heat the homes in the winter and shade out the sun in summer.
“Sun power is a pure gain to humanity, It subtracts nothing, the world will not be in the last impoverished tomorrow by the fullest use of visible solar heat to-day” -C.H. Pope 1903
Solar energy has been suppressed for too long. The question is, who will own the sun? Some might say that “power corrupts” was written about man’s control over other men but it also applies to his control over energy resources. Solar energy put to full use would help to give the world energy independence, minimizing dangerous pollution levels and our dependence on fossil fuels.
Who would think, in this age of environmental concern that some people can still feel that solar energy does not work. Some people feel solar will be practical when all the oil runs out. This is not true!. Solar is cost effective right now, especially when you consider the cost to our health from air pollution, solar is just as competitive as any other energy source.
There are over one hundred thousand solar powered homes in the world. These pioneering home owners can now cut their ties to the utility grid and become their own power company. … More...
When it comes to providing your home with a better supplement of energy, there is no better way to save money when it comes to using do it yourself solar kits. There are numerous reasons when it comes to why these have become so popular over the last few years. Lets examine why.
The kits not only are capable of saving money, but they can even be simply installed using standard household tools. As well as having the ability of being able to save money on your next energy bill, solar panels are considered a great way of getting started to use solar energy. Also, the kits are ideal for those of us who are looking a way to cut down on high energy costs and therefore making our energy bill more affordable than they have been in the past.
When it comes to checking to see if your house is suitable for installing a solar power kit, then there are a few thing to consider. These things can include; making sure your house is moderne, and very energy efficient.Do it yourself solar kits are available in a few different models, but all will consist of almost the same components. The primary compnent, of course, are the solar cells. Silicone based panels have been generally considered to be the best, but there are many different sizes available. The main sizes are squares and rectangles, the reason for this is because so they can easily be placed side by side.
Another … More...
Recently I was speaking to a very good friend of mine who runs how own successful landscaping business. Whats more, hes done this for over 20 years and has grown it (organically!) to be a profitable venture. Hes well known in the local area for producing hgh quality work and has built up a loyal customer base. Not only that but the success has meant he is able to pay his employees well and also has a number of dedicated work crews that operate all over the region. I once asked him if he would mind sharing with me how much he was making, because I couldn’t help but notice that he owned a lovely home, had a couple of brand new cars (and work vehicles) and was able to pay his childrens’ way through college which is no mean feat these days! I actually came to discover that he makes very good money and that a successful landscaping business can be very profitable.But, I wondered was this at the expense of his green credentials?
I asked him if he had ever had the desire to do anything other than run his landscaping business. But, you know what, he didn’t even have to think about it. He simply shook his head no, and that was that. I asked him why, and, in typical style, he just made a joke that he was just too stupid to do anything else. but, of course, the real reason he loves this business is … More...
Just recently, we had the privilege of working with a team of management consultants who we brought in to streamline some of our business processes. Here’s what we learned from the exercise.
There’s never a shortage of buzzwords in business, but these days the term management leadership training seems to be of particular interest to a lot of entrepreneurs. So much so, that when we hear about management leadership training, many of us start to turn off and wonder whether or not it’s just another passing fad. After all, aren’t natural leaders born not made so, if you own a small business, for example, is this really the kind of exotic training that is the solution to help you run a leaner more efficient, and more profitable business.
Well, you may be surprised to find out that the answer is actually yes. If you would like to find out more about management leadership training, then I suggest that you visit this website. Business port have been supplying management consultancy, training and related services to a wide range of business for over 20 years now and are experts in delivering eyes oh training and consultancy The reason for this is that many companies are now switching to a much more cooperative business model. In the past, you had bosses and workers and it seemed that they would always work against each other. The worker was supposed to do as he (or she) was told and the boss gave directions without actually … More...