Category Archives: solar panels

5 Benefits of Solar Panels for Schools and Universities


For most people, solar panels are synonymous with residential and commercial use. People put solar panels on their homes to cover electric bills, and augment their commercial buildings to draw new business and “go green.” But what happens when solar panels are added to the layout of schools or universities? Today, solar panel installations in schools are becoming more popular.

As it does, it’s decreasing the environmental impact of these institutions and making them greener and more eco-friendly. In many cases, eco-friendly universities may also see increased enrollment and greater interest levels across the student base.

solar-roof-solar-energy

Thanks to these perks, it’s a trend solar installers, students, teachers, and citizens alike can expect to see much more of.

Why Should my School go Solar? 5 Smart Reasons

Solar panels for schools have many benefits. In addition to decreasing an institution’s carbon footprint, solar panels also generate a great deal of power. Here are a few of the most significant benefits of solar panels for schools:

1. Solar Panels Work Well on Most University Roofs

Most residential homes have pitched roofs, which can make adding solar panels difficult. Universities and schools, on the other hand, typically have flat, expansive roofs made of materials that are ideal for solar panel installation.

In addition to providing plenty of open, unshaded space for solar panels to work to their highest potential, these roofs are also unlikely to feature sensitive materials, like wood shingles, which can make solar installation more challenging. Since roof angle and material have a major impact on the effectiveness of solar arrays, this is excellent news for any college or university that wants to install panels.

2. Solar Power Will Reduce Operating Costs for the School

Electric prices have risen over the past ten years. Because they use a great deal of electricity, schools and universities have been some of the primary victims of these price hikes.

Fortunately, solar power is a free source of energy, found in abundance throughout the world, and advanced technology and skilled installers have made it even more accessible for institutions.

In fact, colleges and universities have access to some of the least expensive (in terms of cost-per-watt) systems available. As systems get larger, their cost per watt price falls. This means colleges and universities can enjoy affordable power without the guessing game of the grid.

3. Solar Power Could Help Boost Enrollment

Solar power is cutting-edge and attractive to eco-minded students, teachers, and supporters. As such, a college or university that installs a solar panel system could easily see an increase in enrollment.

This is especially true in competitive areas, where having solar panels on a building could be the factor that distinguishes one university from its competitors in the eyes of potential enrollees.

When modern students choose schools, many of them look for options that offer environmentally-conscious practices, renewable power, and eco-friendly facilities. As such, some colleges and universities have even established Sustainability Offices designed to drive the institution’s green initiatives forward.

When these things all come together at a single institution, it’s easy for that school to gain a reputation for innovativeness and creativity.  Not only do solar panels produce energy, but they also stand out as a unique social and cultural symbol.

4. Solar Power Provides Unlimited and Reliable Energy

For universities, schools, and residences alike, solar power systems offer a dependable source of unlimited energy. While fossil fuels are a finite source of energy, solar power is not. Designed to work on cloudy days, in part sun, and even in wintery environments, solar panels can generate a significant amount of power for universities and schools that install them.

5. Solar Arrays at Colleges Helps Drive Solar Power Forward

To invest in solar panels, people need to see them at work, first. Since universities are busy public places, campuses that install solar panels do the important work of driving the solar industry forward by providing greater exposure for solar arrays. This is especially true for universities that install large, campus-powering systems.

Unless people have the opportunity to see solar panels at work, they can feel relatively strange and alien. Luckily, students, faculty, and visitors who come into contact with solar panels on university campuses have the opportunity to learn how the arrays work. This helps familiarize people with the panels and, hopefully, inspire them to invest in solar energy on their own accords.

What About Solar Panels for School Grants?

When residential owners want to install solar panels on their homes, they’re eligible for grants from the federal government to help cover the cost. Luckily, the same is true for colleges and universities. Today, there are many different federal programs available to schools that want to install solar arrays.

For example, the Department of Energy introduced the SunShot Initiative in 2011, which supports research and development surrounding solar energy, and establishes projects designed to reduce the cost of obtaining it. In fact, the initiative’s primary goal has been to make the price of solar energy comparable to that of fossil fuel-based electricity by 2020.

Programs like these can go a long way toward offsetting the price of solar installation for schools and universities and making them that much more accessible for establishments that are interested in exploring them.

The Future of University Solar Installs Looks Bright

Today, colleges and universities have a great deal to gain when it comes to the installation of solar panels. Ideal for reducing energy bills and cutting costs associated with powering a school’s facilities, solar panels are an eco-friendly addition that can also have wide-reaching social and cultural impacts, and companies like Sandbar Solar are installing more and more of them.

When students see a university taking steps to go green and reduce their carbon footprint, it could easily impact the student’s attendance decision and result in higher enrollment numbers for the school.

What’s more, since tax rebates and credits are available for schools that want to install solar panels, it’s an affordable option that will pay off down the road.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

15+ Magnificent Reasons to Build Earthship Right Now


Pioneered by Architect Michael Reynolds, Earthships are sustainable homes because they encourage easy living and above all, they are cost-effectiveness to construct. Their sustainability is attributed to the fact that they utilize readily available natural materials as well as reusing resources that would otherwise harm the environment. The design and architecture of an Earthship is equally oriented towards environmental sustainability by optimizing on the use of natural resources such as solar energy and the harvesting of rainwater.

Besides, the presence of both solar energy and rain water supports the production of food which can be grown in the shelter. These are just a few of the many benefits of Earthships as there are a myriad of reasons individuals should build an Earthship home. This article thus seeks to unveil the 15+ magnificent reasons it is essential in this time and age to build an Earthship shelter.

earthship-visitor-center-near-Taos

1. They are easily sustainable. Earthships are very sustainable as they require less and provide a lot. For instance, it is easy to harvest natural water from rain and snow melt. Moreover, the house supports the growing of food which means one gets to eat healthy and cuts back on food expenses. The availability of water ensures the crops have constant supply of water for growth and there is also warmth in and out of season sustained by the solar energy conserved in the house.

2. Presence of free food. One of the most rewarding advantages of an Earthship is that it is very conducive for crop production. The construction design allowing for the utilization of solar and water harvesting guarantees there is adequate warmth and water for the growth of crops.

An individual residing in an Earthship therefore has the capability of producing own food which translates into saving on food budgets. For this reason, the more the care and attention taken by the owner, the greater the success of crop production.

3. There is an efficient way of recycling water. Through the effective water harvesting techniques of an Earthship from rain or melting of snow, the structures offer an efficient way of recycling water. The water is tapped through the help of gutters set up all round the house and collected in a cistern. The water is pumped to the showers and sinks for ordinary chores and cooking activities. The waste water recovered is used in a greenhouse for the purpose of watering the plants therein.

4. Presence of warmth in the shelter. Earthships are designed with a lining of thermal mass conduction which promotes the absorption of heat from the atmosphere while preventing it from escaping. The heat is therefore regulated which ensures the shelter is warm even in winter. Apart from the thermal lining, the Earthship has large glass windows facing the sun that facilities the entry of heat into the shelter.

5. Presence of sufficient energy. Earthships are built to encourage the tapping solar energy through the use of solar panels. Given that it is a self-sustainable shelter, the installation of solar panel is part of its essentiality. Consequently, there is adequate energy realized in the shelter. An individual who is a cautious user of energy in the house will find the energy sufficient and will see no need to install electricity.

6. There is a feel of freedom. Work is a necessity for people to get the finances for food, clothing, shelter and other needs. It is for this reason that globally, people work on a daily basis to put food on their table, have a place to call home, and have clothing. However, with this structure, there is recycling of water and growing of crops, which means less incentive to put much effort in working. It is through this rewarding outcome of the structure that gives one a chance of freedom to enjoy his/her hobbies as well as activities that are fulfilling.

7. It is easy to build. The design of the structure is very easy to comprehend and put up. It does not necessarily require the advice or supervision of a house contractor. Minimal knowledge is required to construct an Earthship. Besides, most of the Earthships are single-story making it even easier to build. Also, the construction does not require the use of heavy machinery but the output of an individual seeking to have the shelter.

8. It is cheap to build or buy. Earthships have a considerable low price when compared to other modern houses. The reason for this is that there is less use of expensive materials in construction. A basic Earthship requires readily available materials for its construction, making it cheaper than others.

Nevertheless, they differ in prices depending on the level of décor in the house as well as other factors such as available rooms, architectural design and space. In consequence of this, both the wealthy and the less privileged can have such shelters with different designs on the basis of preference.

9. It makes use of recyclable materials. Because of this, Earthships aid in environmental conservation. For instance, most landfills are full of waste that requires proper disposal. With Earthships, some of the materials found in landfills ranging from car tires, plastic, glass bottles to cans can be utilized in construction. The materials only require their reinforcement with concrete.

beautiful-earthship

10. Proper treatment of sewage. The design and construction of ordinary houses usually results in challenges especially regarding the proper treatment of sewer waste. Earthships, on the other hand, enable the treatment of sewage on-site as it is part of its design. Waste water from sinks is taken to the green houses or gardens for cleaning and watering the plants. The water is then piped to the toilets for use and later drained to the ground for crop growth.

11. Initiates a difference in thinking. Through the use of sustainable housing which is not only easy to build but also cheap, there is an influence regarding new strategies in environmental conservation. For example, the initiative has brought about the resourceful use or recycling of waste that is often regarded as useless.

It also conserves the water available and utilizes natural heat to keep the house warm. It is thus mind blowing to the point that people are now opting to go this way and to use their time to discover more on how best to preserve the environment.

12. It is possible to build as per individual preference. Most of the conventional houses have already been built and are rented out or purchased with a set of preferences as pictured by the contractor. In this case, however, there is a chance to build a home that suits your preference. What comes into mind when you hear of an Earthship is that it is a “stupid house.” If you do your homework, however, you’ll realize there are numerous beautifully built Earthship. This is possible since the design and modeling of the Earthship is up to the owner.

13. Little to no bills to cater for. Since Earthships main goal is self-sustainability, it is a huge plus. For starters, if you built the house, there is no chance of paying monthly rent rates. Also, through the use of solar energy self-installed in the house, there is no chance of paying electric bills and if so, in minimal amounts. With free flowing water, there is no need for water provided by the state that will subsequently bring about more bills.

14. Earthships can be built in almost all locations. The structures are easy to construct in any location with less difficulty. It can be built in the most adverse locations like the snow-laden areas, sandy areas, windy areas, forested areas and mountain tops. The possibility of this is attributed to the fact that there are a myriad of materials which can be used for the construction.

15. It is now possible to connect with nature and still be part of society. The world we live in today is characterized by a lot of modern technology from phones to laptops to the internet. Therefore, if you are an individual seeking to opt out from this kind of society without completely detaching yourself, an Earthship will provide such a company. Presence of solar energy instead of electricity, presence of food instead of going to the stores for groceries and much more. Moreover, one is able to venture in green house production which provides adequate connection with nature.

16. Presence of an Earthship community. There exists other people globally who advocate for the evolution of Earthship houses. On this basis, if you are an individual seeking to build such a structure, you will have the support of other like-minded people who will not only provide physical support in construction but also revolutionary support as the globe moves towards initiatives that bring about less destruction of the environment.

Image credit: Rong , Kyle

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

18 Eco-Friendly Home Projects to Complete in 2018


Do you have any home improvement projects on the radar in 2018? Why not make them eco-friendly? Eco-friendly or environmentally friendly are those products that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment. Environmentally conscious updates to your living space can save you money and help preserve the environment.

With just couple of days left for new year to set in, let’s start this new year with some easy and eco-friendly projects that have minimum impact on the environment. Here are 18 eco-conscious home improvement ideas for 2018.

nature-sky-clouds-field-eco-friendly

1. Start Composting

Instead of tossing organic waste into the trash, start a compost pile in your backyard. The EPA estimates nearly 25 percent of the waste dumped into landfills each year could have been composted. Additionally, composting improves soil quality and decreases erosion.

Composting also helps deter pests in your garden. You’ll save cash on pesticide costs, increase your produce yield and grow healthier, more organic food for your family.

2. Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

Are you in the market for a new kitchen? Instead of trashing your old cabinetry and drawers, try re-purposing them and changing their layout. Refinishing old cabinetry and changing out fixtures, knobs and handles is an environmentally friendly way to get a new look without breaking the bank.

3. Upgrade Your Flooring

New flooring can brighten and completely change the look of a room. Make your new choice eco-conscious by choosing linoleum over vinyl. Vinyl flooring can emit VOCs over time, which can degrade indoor air quality and lead to respiratory illnesses. Choose linoleum flooring instead. Linoleum is nontoxic and won’t leach noxious gases.

4. Repaint Your Home With No- to Low-VOC Paint

A fresh coat of paint can make any room look cleaner and more open. While color is important, so is paint quality. Choose a paint brand that won’t emit VOCs, or at the very least, emits them in low concentrations. Standard paints often release toxic VOCs, similar to vinyl flooring. You’ll improve your indoor air quality and your health.

5. Switch to Geothermal Heating

Geothermal systems use the Earth’s stable ground temperature to maintain a comfortable climate in your home. A pump sends liquid 300 feet beneath the Earth’s surface and returns it to a geothermal heater, which then distributes the temperate liquid through the flooring in your home. In the hot summer months, heat is drawn from the air and deposited back into the Earth.

On average, geothermal systems use 80 percent less energy compared to traditional heating systems. Additionally, they don’t require fossil fuels to operate. It’ll take approximately 10 years before your geothermal investment pays off.

6. Purchase Used Furniture

Consignment shops, antique stores and garage sales often offer excellent deals on high-quality, gently used furniture. Purchasing preowned furniture limits the amount of waste that may make it into landfills and usually costs less than newer options.

7. Add Larger Windows

Are you looking for a more drastic change? Add larger windows to your home or change their layout. Optimizing the natural light that enters your home can help lower your energy bill by reducing heating and lighting costs. Larger windows will also help improve air circulation throughout the year, which can help improve indoor air quality.

8. Install Solar Panels

The cost of installing a solar energy system is on the decline, thanks to technological improvements and solar energy becoming a more mainstream option. Additionally, many state governments, in addition to the federal government, offer tax incentives for homeowners interested in converting to solar energy.

Before you make the jump, have an expert or industry professional analyze your home to determine whether it’s suitable for solar panels. Factors to consider include your local climate, the slope of your roof and tree cover.

9. Reinsulate Your Home

New insulation won’t change the overall look of your home, but it will change the overall feel. Insulation degrades over time, leading to gaps in coverage. Poor insulation will allow air to escape from your home and can dramatically increase your heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

Some insulation can last up to 100 years, but leaking roofs, punctures, animals and other factors can drastically reduce this timeline. Review your home’s history and energy bills to determine if your home can benefit from new insulation.

10. Perform an Energy Audit

Hire an energy professional to perform an energy audit in your home to determine where you can make the most impact. Energy auditors review your home to see where you may be losing energy and provide recommendations on where to make the most impact. Energy auditors can help homeowners can save anywhere from 5 to 30 percent on their energy bill.

11. Invest in Energy Star Appliances

Appliances account for up to 30 percent of home energy usage. Switching the appliances in your home to those with the Energy Star label can save you money on your energy bill and help preserve the environment.

The government backs Energy Star appliances and guarantees they will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operate more efficiently compared to non-Energy Star competitors. When shopping for replacements, check to see whether an appliance has the government-certified Energy Star label.

woman-nature-environment-young

12. Do a Little Spring Cleaning

Set aside time to dig through the attic, your closet and the other areas in your home where you’ve been storing unused or unwanted items. Instead of throwing things directly into the trash, donate them to a local thrift store or hold a garage sale to earn some extra cash. Repurposing unwanted items helps keep them out of landfills.

13. Greenify Your Living Space

Houseplants can help improve indoor air quality by reducing carbon dioxide and absorbing airborne toxins, including benzene and formaldehyde. Not all plants are created equal, however. Spider plants, snake plants and rubber trees are among some of the easiest plants to grow with the best indoor air quality benefits.

14. Switch to Energy-Efficient Windows

Poorly sealed or aging windows can decrease your energy efficiency dramatically. Consider investing in a more energy-efficient option to improve your home’s overall comfort and reduce your energy costs.

If new windows aren’t in your budget, try repairing or updating your existing ones. Improving the caulking around window seals, installing storm windows and adding treatments can also help reduce your overall energy consumption.

15. Install a Low-Flow Toilet

Low-flow toilets use 25 to 50 percent of the water used by conventional toilets per flush. Over one year, the average family of four can save up to 22,000 gallons of water, which translates to nearly $100 in savings on your annual water bill.

A variety of options exist depending on your budget and the type of toilet you’re looking for. Some systems recycle greywater from your sink, leading to further water conservation and even lower water bills.

16. Update Your Landscaping

Adding native plants to your yard can provide additional habitat for local wildlife and reduce your water bill. Local plants are better suited to your environment and won’t require the same amount of water or fertilizer to flourish.

Excess fertilizers can wash off plants and soil in heavy rain events and into local waterbodies. The excess chemicals are harmful to marine life and can lead to an overabundance of algae and other plants, which reduces oxygen levels in the water.

17. Invest in Rain Barrels

Rain barrels capture excess stormwater from your rooftop for future use. They are relatively inexpensive to install and provide a free source of water for use on your lawn or garden.

Additionally, rain barrels prevent excess rainwater from contributing to stormwater runoff. Water flows faster over hard surfaces and can lead to more instances of flooding.

18. Install a Rain Garden

Properly installed rain gardens act as small wetlands. They reduce excess stormwater runoff while the plants neutralize pollutants in the water. When stormwater runoff flows over hard surfaces, it picks up pollutants from oil and gas spills and fertilizers. Rain gardens prevent these contaminants from making their way into water bodies.

With a little effort, you can reduce your family’s carbon footprint and make your 2018 a little bit greener.

Image credit: pexels

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

25 Simple and Easy Ways to Increase Your Home’s Efficiency


Several benefits come along with improving the efficiency of your home, including healthier living conditions, increased savings, positive environmental effects, a higher level of energy independence, and even a boost in property value.

Ultra-efficient homes aim to reduce unnecessary energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and demands for nonrenewable resources by combining state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction, appliances, and lighting with commercially available renewable energy systems, such as solar water heating and solar electricity. By taking advantage of local climate and site conditions, designers can even incorporate passive solar heating and cooling and energy-efficient landscaping strategies.

fluorescent bulbs

However, not everyone has the time, money, or ability to transform his or her dwelling into an ultra-efficient house. Luckily, there are a number of simple things you can do that will still boost your home’s efficiency and help you to start saving both your wallet and the environment.

Note that before you begin to make your home more energy efficient, it’s important to know where you currently stand. Several solar companies offer energy audits, during which an energy professional will inspect your home and determine areas where efficiency can be improved, as well as which parts of the property could use additional attention. It’s recommended to start with an audit to find out which items on this list will be most beneficial for you specifically. Here are 25 simple and easy ways to increase your home’s efficiency.

1. Get a programmable thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat can save money and increase efficiency by automatically turning down heating and cooling appliances during times when no one is home and at night. Programmable thermostats contain no mercury and, in some climate zones, can save homeowners hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs.

2. Check weather stripping and caulking

Ensuring that your windows are properly caulked and your doors have good weather stripping can help keep cold drafts and warm air from seeping into your home. If you do find that your weather stripping and caulking needs to be replaced, it’s a quick, inexpensive DIY project that you could likely complete in just a few hours.

3. Unplug appliances when not in use

If you have appliances that you only use occasionally, there is no reason for them to be drawing energy around the clock. Getting in the habit of unplugging appliances when you’re not using them is a simple way to conserve energy.

4. Revamp windows

Windows are a major source of heat loss in a home, so it’s important to make sure that your windows are as efficient as possible. There are a number of ways to revamp your windows, including replacing aluminum frames with vinyl, installing multiple panes, tinting, and replacing your current windows with Energy Star-rated panes.

5. Switch out light bulbs

If you currently have incandescent lights, consider replacing them with fluorescents. Although compact fluorescent bulbs are more expensive initially, they provide considerable savings in the long run because they last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Even using a mix of fluorescent and incandescent lighting throughout your home can have a significant impact on overall energy usage.

6. Add insulation

Insulation is the key to maintaining heat in your home. As a result, a tightly sealed house can improve comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility bills. Because hot air rises, air leaks are most likely to occur in the attic. Taking the time to add a little extra insulation to your attic, ceilings, and walls will prevent cold drafts and ensure that you won’t pay unnecessary heating costs.

7. Update old appliances with Energy Star appliances

Older appliances are less energy-efficient than newer models, so replacing old kitchen appliances, washers, dryers, water heaters, and furnaces with Energy Star-certified devices will go a long way towards saving energy and lowering your electric bills. Look for the Energy Star label while shopping to make sure you’re getting an energy- and money-saving appliance.

8. Audit temperature settings

Check both your home thermostat and your water heater thermostat to ensure that they are each set at an optimal temperature. A water heater set higher than 140 degrees wastes quite a bit of energy, so the savings may be worth turning it down a bit.

9. Hang curtains

Hanging thick curtains over your windows not only makes your home more decorative and snug, it can also help prevent heat from escaping from your house.

10. Improve water heater

Improving the efficiency of your water heater is a great way to conserve energy and lower your bills. You can insulate the hot water lines to prevent them from cooling off quickly between uses, or install on-demand hot water circulating loops that are activated when you turn on the tap and deactivated when hot water has reached the fixture.

11. Fix furnace

Take a look at your furnace and see if you can increase its efficiency by switching out the air filters or sealing the ducts. If you really want to boost efficiency, consider exchanging your current furnace with a new, high efficiency module that burns less gas and produces fewer carbon emissions. Don’t forget to close the vents in rooms that you use less frequently to ensure that you’re only heating or cooling rooms that are occupied.

12. Add solar panels

Adding solar panels to your house can help you cut down on energy costs by giving you the ability to produce your own electricity. If you aren’t interested in purchasing panels, many solar companies offer lease and power purchase agreement options that still give you the opportunity to utilize green energy and save money.

13. Install ceiling fans

Air conditioners require a large amount of energy to cool a home. Consider installing ceiling fans throughout your home and using them in place of air conditioners.

planting-environment-nature-botany

14. Plant a tree

If you have room, plant a tree in your yard on the side of your house that gets the most sun. During the summer, the tree and its leaves will provide shade to help keep your home cool. In winter, the tree will be bare and allow warm sunshine into your house during the most optimal time of day.

15. Install a rainwater collection system

Buying or building a rainwater collection system will allow you to trap rainwater that would otherwise become runoff. That trapped water can then be used as irrigation water for your lawn or plants, cutting down on the water you’ll need to pull from other sources.

16. Update toilets

Toilets alone account for approximately 30 to 40 percent of the total water used in a home. To conserve water usage, install something more efficient, like low-flow toilets, vacuum-assist toilets, or dual-flush toilets.

17. Install daylighting

Daylighting is the practice of using natural light rather than electricity to illuminate the home’s interior. It can be achieved by installing skylights, light shelves, clerestory windows, and light tubes.

18. Update roof

Some roofs are made from special materials that are designed to reflect sunlight and lower roofing temperatures. This energy-saving technique is ideal for houses in warm climates where air conditioning costs are high all year round. If you live in one of these climates and are in need of a new roof, consider installing a reflective roof.

19. Choose appropriate flooring

The type of flooring you have in your home can have an effect on energy efficiency, so ensure that your flooring is appropriate. Carpet should be used if you want to trap heat and keep your home warmer, while tile should be used to keep your home cooler.

20. Paint the house

The color of your home can greatly contribute to the heat inside it. A light exterior color will help the home stay cooler, while a dark exterior color will better maintain heat. If your home is located in a warm climate, consider painting it a lighter color. If your home is located in a colder climate, painting it a darker exterior color is ideal.

21. Cook smarter

An enormous amount of energy is used while cooking. To ensure that you don’t waste energy while you cook, switch your conventional oven out for a convection oven, use a microwave instead of an oven when possible, and put lids on pots and pans to heat food more quickly.

22. Change your laundry routine

Laundry is another huge energy suck. To conserve energy while washing your clothes, wait to wash until you have a full load, avoid using high-temperature settings, clean the lint trap every time before you use the dryer, and air-dry clothing when possible.

23. Be mindful of activities

Take care to turn off lights when you leave a room, shut the door behind you, and take shorter showers. Small and simple changes like these can make a big difference over time and help to bring your total energy costs down.

24. Take advantage of tax incentives

Recent increases in incentives now allow for homeowners to receive credit for up to 30 percent of the cost of energy-efficient home improvements to an existing home (up to $1,500). That, on top of the savings you’ll see on your bills and the increased value of your home, equates to even more money in your pocket.

25. Keep an eye on energy consumption

Invest in an energy monitor and put it someplace where the whole family can look at it. Having the ability to see how much energy you are actually using, as well as how much that energy is costing, can help keep you aware, accountable, and on the right track towards optimal home efficiency.

Author: Sarah Hancock

Image credit: pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly [Infographic]


Every homeowner should seek to improve the eco-friendliness of their residence and the reasons for this are numerous. The obvious benefit is to the environment, with reduced energy usage and waste output, plus a greater focus on renewable resources. An eco-conscious approach also helps to save money, as lower energy usage means lower utility bills, with the savings accumulating nicely over time. Plus, making a commitment to eco-friendly living often brings a sense of self-satisfaction at doing your bit to help the environment.

If you would like to make your home more eco-friendly, there are numerous ways in which to do it, many of which are very simple and inexpensive to implement. When purchasing light bulbs, choose LED bulbs with a low wattage that will last for much longer than incandescent lights. Also, get into the habit of switching off lights when leaving a room. A lot of energy is wasted from blindly leaving a room lit up when it is unoccupied for several hours.

Another change that’s very easy to enact is to use appliances more efficiently. When doing your laundry, wait until the pile of clothes takes up almost a full load in your washing machine before putting on a wash. Likewise, only use your dishwasher when it is nearly full to the brim with cups, plates, pots and pans. By taking this approach, you’re helping to save both water and energy.

For those who are very dedicated to having an environmentally friendly home, it is well worth considering the installation of solar panels on your roof. This is a great way to allow plenty of natural light to enter your home, cutting back on the need for artificial lighting while also helping to provide heat to your home. Speaking of heat, a lot of it can escape through infrastructural gaps and hollow walls. If you find it difficult to heat your home, it could be worth investing in insulation so that your walls don’t let heat escape so readily. Simple measures such as keeping your curtains drawn at night also help to combat heat loss.

In the infographic below from EZ Living Interiors (http://www.ezlivinginteriors.com/), you can find out many more ways in which you can improve your home’s eco-friendliness, saving yourself money and helping the environment in the process.

Make-Your-Home-More-Eco-Friendly-IE

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)