From the Outside In: Conventional and Unconventional Ways to Reduce Energy Usage

comments (0) September 24th, 2016

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SeanMallard SeanMallard, member
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Your greenhouse can offer an excellent energy saving solution.Click To Enlarge

Your greenhouse can offer an excellent energy saving solution.

Photo: http://d2vtfqqxop1qom.cloudfront.net/media/original/SI671520_03.jpg

Energy is a monthly expense every household has to account for month after month. It's not cheap, but without electricity life just wouldn't be normal.

However, energy use comes at a cost that goes beyond a household budget. Every kilowatt of power you use at home has to be generated somehow. Renewable energy sources are producing more power, but the majority of electricity still comes from coal and natural gas. These power sources take a serious toll on the environment.

If we want to preserve the world we live in it's up to each and every one of us to reduce our electrical usage every day. With a few conventional and unconventional changes around the house, you can reduce energy use without even trying.

Unconventional Ways to Reduce Energy Usage

Switch to an Alternative Energy Plan

More and more electric providers are beginning to offer green plans that are powered by alternative energy sources. Instead of coal or gas, these plans feature solar and wind power. But finding available plans can take a little bit of research at a comparison site. For example, you can compare plans at this website to find providers offering alternative energy plans in the Alberta area.

Build a Greenhouse

As the name suggests, greenhouses are good for the environment. Building a greenhouse requires very few materials, many of which can be from recycled sources. All the food you grow means less you have to buy at the grocery store and a smaller overall eco-footprint. It's also a pastime that requires no need for electricity. All the energy you need is provided by the sun.

Use Smart Window Shades

Lots of people are using smart light bulbs, but there's another technologically advanced product that's just as energy efficient. If you are looking for new window treatments consider using smart shades. They have components built in that connect wirelessly and can be controlled by an app. You can also program the shades to open and close at specific times to make the best use of the natural light. Optimized window shades can also help control the amount of heat and cold that penetrates in from outside.

Skip the Oven

The energy used by appliances can add up, but that's not the only way it can affect electricity use. The oven can make the kitchen considerably warmer. Using a toaster oven, microwave or crockpot is the more energy efficient option.

Conventional Ways to Reduce Energy Usage

Energy Efficient Lighting

One of the easiest and best-known ways to save energy on a daily basis is by switching to energy efficient light bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and LEDs are up to 80% more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. Plus, they last up to 25 times longer.

Putting Electronics on Advanced Power Strips

Areas of the home like the entertainment center and office have a number of power-hungry electronics. Even when they aren't turned on they can eat up electricity if they're plugged in. You could plug and unplug each one every day, or you could flip a single switch on an advanced power strip. An advanced power strip can completely cut the power to electronics based on a schedule or activity.

Use a Fan in the Spring and Summer

Fans can't physically change the temperature of a room but they can make it feel much cooler. Fans create a wind chill effect that cools the skin when you're in the room. By using a fan you can set the temperature on the AC a few degrees higher so less energy is consumed. Just make sure to turn the fan off because it's a waste of energy if no one is in the room to feel the wind.

Adjust the Temperature on the Water Heater

A few minutes could save you hundreds of dollars on your electric bills. All you have to do is check the temperature setting on your water heater. For maximum energy efficiency, it should be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the factory setting of 140 degrees.

 


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posted in: , Greenhouse, energy, energy-efficient