Yes, fall is here. The leaves are falling, the pumpkins are appearing at people’s homes, the weather is changing. Those are some of the many signs that precede the changing of the season. With winter and cold weather just around the corner, the focus now turns to the heating of our homes. Has your furnace gotten a tune up lately? If not, that should be a top priority this fall for you. Making sure your furnace is working properly can save you money, and keep you safe. Carbon Monoxide is a real threat during the winter months, and having a properly tuned furnace can help you keep the threat to a minimum.
Saving on heating bills is a necessity for many people, and getting the best price for gas and energy is very important for many of us. If you don’t know what you’re paying for gas or electricity, check your bill and then go to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and check the gas, and electric companies and their prices. You’ll be glad you did.
From LED bulbs to window coverings, 5 easy ways to cut energy use in your home
With all the political wrangling this year around solar policy and natural gas expansion, it’s easy for Mainers to overlook the most obvious and cost-effective ways to save money and use less energy in their own homes.
Today’s high-performance houses can be warmed with the heat output of a few hair dryers, but that’s not where most of us live. Maine has the fifth oldest housing stock in the country, according to the U.S. Census, with more than a quarter of all homes built before 1940. So for most of us, the challenge is to integrate modern efficiency measures into our vintage structures.
Each step can be done by a handy do-it-yourselfer. Each will help reduce energy use in your home, which saves money and lowers carbon emissions. In most cases, your investment will pay for itself within a year or so.
Dr. Neil Donahue had some enlightening facts about how much energy Americans burn as they go about their daily business of living.
Wielding a 100-watt light bulb before a mostly filled lecture hall of students, faculty and local residents gathered for the initial installment Tuesday of Washington & Jefferson College’s 2016-17 Energy Lecture Series in Yost Auditorium, Donahue shed a lot of light on the staggering amount of energy used in America.
As a country with roughly 300 million people, he said, it takes the equivalent of 300 trillion 100-watt bulbs to run the country each day. That breaks down to about 10,000 of the bulbs (100 100-watt bulbs) running nonstop for life for the average American, Donahue said.
The evening’s co-lecturer, Dr. Michael Blackhurst, a research development manager at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Social & Urban Research, delivered the second part of Tuesday’s one-two punch on the topic of energy use, noting that about 60 percent of the energy the United States produces is wasted – in power generation itself, as well as in factories, cars and homes.
Brilliant Ways to Save Energy at Home
Energy is a shared resource. Saving energy is not only about keeping the bills low, but also about using as much as is needed, so that there is more than enough for everyone else. How can that be done more efficiently? Following are some tips:
1. Go easy on the electronics
In today’s world, it’s easy to forget the old fashioned way of heating water on the stove. We use the microwave oven instead. Or for a hot bath, we use the geyser daily. Sometimes it might be a good idea to use the kettle instead of putting stress on the electricity.
Not turning off the appliances from their plug can mean they are running on standby mode. In a stretch of a year, the consequences could be significant. Ensuring the electrical appliances are off at the plug, of course without upsetting the programming, is also a good idea.
2. Cut air conditioning
IFrameIt’s very tempting to notch up the AC to the full in the summer. While it can cool you in no time, it consumes a lot of energy. This is not the only trick in keeping cool. Why don’t you keep the blinds closed during the daylight hours to block the heat coming in and turning your home into a miniature green house? Utilize your shades and save up to 7% on bills.
If that doesn’t help, there’s a simple trick. Try placing a packet of ice in a bowl in front of a fan. When the air whips off the ice and whizzes past, it’s a genuine alternative to the power-consuming air conditioner.