Home Energy Utilization

November 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Energy Efficiency Help

Today, “Expensive” is one of the appropriate words used by people to describe home energy bills. It looks like that the electricity cost is kept on getting higher day by day. This is why people need to search and go for alternative means of energy sources. On the other hand, government is constantly telling the public that the search for other energy sources may not be economical too. At times, the cost of one type of unconventional energy source is just not reasonable enough to be surveyed by the government.

There is also the difficulty of transition from the usual energy sources to the unconventional one. Several people are doubtful about any new mean of energy source. They usually prefer to stick with the old conventional electric sources. But, the public is gradually persuading to the alternative side of energy sources basically due to the high price of energy consumption at homes.
Of course, new power technology will take some time to be ideal. Meanwhile, there are numerous things you can do to reduce your home energy utilization.

In 2001, the department of energy in USA has accomplished a survey on the home energy consumption of American households. With this data one can at least get an insight of the electric appliances, which are more energy costing. The climate control is at the top of the list. The USA households use about 355.7 billion kWh just to keep them cool or hot. This is about 31.2% of the total energy utilization of a single house.

Whenever you make use of an air-conditioner or electric heater/ furnace you shouldn’t turn the thermostat at higher temperature; you are not living on the North Pole or equator. Keep both the things off when you are not at home. You can reduce a great deal of your home energy expenditure just by turning such appliances off when you really do not need them.

Now, come to the kitchen, where appliances count for 26.7% of total home energy expenses. Obviously, you may not turn off your refrigerator when you are out of the house, could you? No problem; there a range of alternatives, which will surely help you in reducing reduce the electric bill.

Do not leave the refrigerator door open because it can increase your house energy utilization. The fridge will consume more electricity to maintain its inner temperature as cooling rushes out if the door remains open for long time.

Water heating system costs about 104.1 billion kWh of electricity use. You can have cold water showers as billion of people across the globe are utilizing it. Try to use other alternatives of electricity to heat the water required for any purpose. The solar heaters can save a lot of energy. You can go for it to heat your water. These may also be linked to power small electrical devices.

Lighting counts for about 8.8% of the whole energy consumption of any house. Try to use energy saving appliances and also do not keep lights on uselessly.

So, just by very little effort you can save a lot on your home energy consumption.

Save Money With An Energy Audit

November 1, 2014 by

 
Filed under Energy Efficiency Help, Featured

Each month your electricity bills give you a shock? And you always think of keeping a close check on electricity usage? It’s quite simple if you really want to ‘audit’ your electricity expenses. Similar to an official audit, your home energy audit will give you a clear understanding of the usage per appliance, the peak hours of electricity consumption and cost-benefit analysis. Ultimately you’ll be in a better position to take control of your monthly bill. Once you get to know the consumption pattern, you’ll be able to take corrective actions that will not only reduce unnecessary electricity usage but will also improve your budget.

You can perform this energy audit yourself if you have the necessary knowledge of energy requirements, consumption pattern and methods to measure energy leakage. Otherwise you can hire an ‘external auditor’ that has been trained for such purpose and are well-equipped for the assessment. They have the blower doors and infrared cameras to assess the loss of cooling and heat from a house. Any hidden holes and cracks are detected. These auditors check the walls, ceilings, doors and every other prospect that can contribute to energy conservation. But if you want to save cost, you can perform an energy audit yourself. You first have to familiarize yourself with the procedure of energy assessment. Make sure to make a list of spots and ways you discover to improve energy usage.

The first and foremost factor in energy spill is air. Any crevices or gaps in walls, window panes, after split units, holes in cupboards or in walls can fairly raise the cooling and heating requirements. Check for any such cracks in your house and fill them up, which can reduce electricity usage by almost 30% a year. Examine each wall, door, ceiling separately and don’t forget to take a look at fireplace dampers and switch boards too. After internal examination, check exterior walls and chimney too but beware of any possible air combustion. Inspect the insulated walls and ceilings, read installation manual and check if the insulation is meeting those requirements. You will need some electricity voltage readers when you’ll deal with the insulation.

A thorough examination of cooling and heating system is must and any defects must be removed immediately. Dilapidated cooling or heating systems consume considerably higher amount of energy than the newer ones. Determine whether you really need to replace your system. It is advisable to take services of professionals as they can accurately measure air filtration, heat conduction, energy input rate and R-value (rate of resistance) of various components. Before his inspection, you must have your own list of possible energy leakage problems.

He can also report the mechanical efficiency of each device by measuring the input and output rate. Home energy auditor is an expert of thermograph and can record surface temperature of each wall. Thus identifying any loss of heat or cooling either through convection or radiation. A thermal assessment can nearly cost $300 to $600.A noncontact infrared thermometer can be used to make a rough estimate of heat loss if you don’t want to spend this much on thermal assessment. Temperature of exterior walls is measures in this method to calculate gross temperature.

Use Bricks, Save Energy

If you are thinking about building your house or renovating it, consider the savings you can ensure by making some design changes in your house. Be sure to make the right decision regarding building material that can ease your life in future. Lightweight construction material can contribute greatly to your monthly electricity bill.

How? Extreme weather conditions require indoor adjustment of temperature that result in installation of multiple cooling units and electric heaters. Ultimately your monthly bills go up. In various parts of the world, houses are built with bricks instead of wood that not only save forests from depletion but also minimize the energy requirements of the house. Governments of some countries have even passed a regulation that requires people to build houses using clay bricks.

If you plan your house design and building material rationally, you’ll end up in saving many dollars monthly to spend that elsewhere.

Design your house according to the established standards of a passive house, which will moderate the temperature by repelling intense heat and wintriness externally. The wall facing the north must be made of glass that would ensure maximum input of sunlight during winters and will keep house illuminated even in cloudy days. During hot weather you can block direct sunlight by using extended shades or eaves.

In passive houses, wind is allowed to enter and exit through ventilators that are usually positioned at upper part of each wall. The air crosses freely and eliminates the need of an Air conditioner. In summers the openings must be reasonable so as not to incorporate heated air. An significant concern in passive houses is insulation that acts as a barrier between internal and external temperatures of house.

When the wind is too icy, insulated ceilings and walls maintain rooms’ temperature and keep it from falling. Similarly during summers, blazing sunlight can’t produce intense heat in house.

Thermal mass bricks do not conduct heat as freely as light construction materials do. Clay bricks obstruct the heat from penetrating into the house because of the thermal mass. Building your house with thermal mass bricks will reduce the energy requirements.

Resistance of walls is measured through R-value, which is very high in passive houses. The indoor environment will always be moderate because of the bricks that act like shield against intense weather conditions. All rooms have standardized temperature unlike the uneven temperatures in ordinary houses. Discuss these issues with your contractor and architect, ensure that your house is properly ventilated and is made up of bricks that contain high amount of thermal mass. Bricks rebound heat to the eternal environment and absorb the remaining, keeping the house safe from becoming too hot or too cold.

Denser material maintains and stabilizes home temperature in all weathers. Passive design of houses makes them more energy efficient by optimally utilizing sunlight and saving cooling and heating expenses. You can even erect solar panels on the external surface of house, which will suffice your electricity necessities. Planting deciduous trees beside house will help in temperature control.