Using less of what is needed to run your homestead may be much easier than you think. With some small changes you can decrease your carbon footprint and save money. The article below will give you some ideas and suggestions that will help you get started to becoming a greener consumer.
Changing your heating to solar water can reduce the price to heat your water, hot tub and pool. Solar water heaters use the sun’s energy to heat water resulting in energy savings. Making some of these changes will cost you some money up front, but you can recoup some of these costs with tax deductions for using green energy.
The government has grants available to those who are willing to invest in alternative renewable energies. If you are interested in getting free money to improve your home you should contact your local government for more information. Who knows, you may qualify for low or no-cost wind or solar installation. Even if you don’t qualify for a grant, you can still use these items as a tax deduction.
Check your furnace and air conditioning filters monthly. Clean or replace them as needed. Filters can also be installed in every warm-air register. This helps keep debris (or Hot Wheels cars) from getting into heating ducts and reducing efficiency.
Try to use cold water for washing clothes. Almost all of the energy used to wash clothes is used to heat the water. Good detergents wash clothes even in cold water. Furthermore, remember to always wash a full load, as this is more energy efficient.
A good benchmark to use when determining how much power a new solar system is likely to generate is the number of hours of sunlight in the winter. You will avoid unpleasant surprises during winter, and you will also ensure your energy needs are met in summer. If your plan is contingent on net usage, you will even get money back from your utility company because of the excess energy you are creating!
The power-storing batteries of your solar system should be installed close to the cells. This makes sure power is not lost somewhere in the cable. It will also minimize the possibility of a cable shading out the cells and lowering their generation capability.
Spend time in order to learn the difference between passive and active solar power. Active power can be stored for later use. Passive power must be utilized more quickly but no expensive storage cells are required. To use active power, you must install mechanical systems, cells and solar panels. Passive solar power uses the heat of the sun to hold thermal energy within your home.
Use a laptop instead of a desktop computer. You can save a ton of electricity by using a laptop. Both the Internet and most word processing software packages use a lot of energy on desktop computers, so getting a laptop can really save money if you use these features. In addition, the laptop is portable and be used anywhere in the house.
Another great idea would be to use bio-fuels for house heating. Biofuels are made out of a variety of things, including: oil, wood, and animal/vegetable fats. If you have a propane furnace, you may be able to have a professional retrofit your furnace to work with biofuel blend. Up to 99% can be biodiesel. Make sure you talk with a professional first before you try this fuel out.
A good, old common sense tip for saving energy is turning off the lights as you leave the room. You would be surprised how much energy you could end up saving over time if you get into the habit of turning off your lights. There’s also the extra benefit of having a lower electric bill.
A water heater that provides hot water on demand is a wonderful appliance for green energy. Traditional water heaters heat water all day long, even when hot water is not needed; this wastes energy. An on-demand water heater instantly heats water when necessary and saves energy.
Even though everyone knows better, many people do not bother to turn off electrical devices when they finish using them. Just by making some simple mindset alterations, a large amount of money can be saved in energy costs. Consider what you actually use and unplug the rest.
You will save money eventually if you buy green appliances. Even though green technology may be costlier, it pays off in the long run when you see cheaper utility bills. It will also make a big difference for the environment.
Energy Star Designation
One simple way to recognize products and appliances that are energy efficient is to locate those with the ENERGY STAR designation. Appliances with an ENERGY STAR designation meet the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Energy and additionally the EPA Products that meet ENERGY STAR criteria are usually eligible for some form of tax rebate.
Don’t neglect your ceiling fans in the winter. Warm air is pushed down when the fan is running in a clockwise rotation. Running your fans is less costly than leaving your furnace on all the time.
Set your water heater’s temperature to about 120 degrees if you would like to go green and lower your bills. Contrary to popular belief, this temperature is both safe and comfortable, and more importantly, it can reduce your electricity bill by up to 10%.
Do not use bottle water. What a lot of people don’t know is that a lot of bottled water comes from the taps of other cities; a lot of energy is wasted in the process. If you choose not to use tap water from your area, you can buy a re-usable water bottle with a filter.
The aforementioned tips and techniques can help you incorporate green energy into your life. You will be saving the environment and reducing your bills at the same time. Work at it little by little and before you realize it, your house will be green!