A Guide to Turning Your Home Green

Non-renewable resources are exactly what the name implies: once they are gone, they can’t be replaced. Non-renewable resources include such minerals as copper, zinc, gold, aluminum and silver and fuel resources such as coal, oil and natural gas.

When supplies of non-renewable resources are depleted or reduced to a dangerous level, often we have to depend on synthetic or alloy versions, if indeed such a version can be made. The materials used to create these “artificial” items may not burn as cleanly nor may not biodegrade when they are no longer needed.  This can cause air, water and soil pollution.

Replacing ‘Old-Style’ Light Bulbs

We can protect our non-renewable resources by making our homes as “green” as possible. And, one way we can do this is by replacing our ‘old-style’ incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.

Incandescent light bulbs work by electricity being run through a wire filament. The electricity heats the filament until it is hot enough to begin to glow. A fluorescent light bulb works by electricity traveling through a tube which contains argon and a small amount of mercury. Ultraviolet light is generated by this process, and it causes the phosphor which is coating the inside of the tube to react and emit light which can be seen.

Over five years, on average, you will buy eight regular 60-watt light bulbs to one 15-watt CFL bulb. It will cost you approximately $36 in electricity to burn the regular light bulbs, but only $9.00 for the CFL bulb.

CFL bulbs:  This website t ells where to buy them, how they work, and how to recycle them.

Fluorescent light bulb: This type of bulb works by electricity traveling through a tube which contains argon and a small amount of mercury.

Saving money with bulbs: This explains that you will buy eight regular 60-watt light bulbs to one 15-watt CFL bulb.

Unplugging Rarely-Used Appliances

You may not be aware of it, but many of the appliances in your home still continue to use electricity even when they are shut off. For this reason, you should unplug those appliances which are rarely used, or only used at a particular time of the day (such as a toaster or the TV after you return home).

It may not be feasible for you to go around unplugging everything; however, you can still accomplish this by buying a certain type of power strip (sometimes referred to as a “smart” power strip) that monitors usage and cuts off electricity to those appliances which have not been used for a period of time.

It is estimated you can save up to $200 a month on your electric bill by either using a “smart” power strip or unplugging rarely-used appliances.

Appliances:  Many of the appliances in your home still continue to use electricity even when they are shut off.

“ Smart” power strip:  These strips monitor usage and cuts off electricity to appliances which are not being used.

$200 a month:  That’s how much you can save by using a “smart” power strip or unplugging rarely-used appliances.

Updating Old Appliances

You may have an older appliance that still works and does not need replacing; however, but you know that it is not as energy-efficient as the newer ones. There is still a way you can reduce the amount of energy it uses.

Purchase a power controlling device. This device works by making continuous adjustments to the appliance motor as it operates.

These devices cost between $30 and $65. How much you save in utility costs will depend on several factors, including the appliance’s age and model as well as local electricity rates. You may see a savings difference as soon as 21 months after purchase or it may take longer.

Updating Old Appliances: This explains that updating isn't needed if appliances work

Power controlling device:  This device works by continuously adjusting appliance motor during operation.

Solar Panels

Solar panels capture the sun’s rays and convert them into energy which can then be used in your home. When properly positioned, usually on a south-facing roof, tilted at an angle of between 40 and 60 degrees, these panels can save you as much as 75% to 90% on your electric bill. In other words, if your electric bill for three months was $300, it is possible to reduce it to approximately $225 by using solar panels and following other energy-conserving practices.

Solar Panels:  These panels capture sun’s rays and convert them into energy.

75% to 90% Savings:  The amount you can save on your electric bill with solar panels.

Doing Laundry: Cold Water vs. Hot Water

You can save money and energy by doing as much of your laundry as possible in cold water. Your washer uses approximately 90% of energy to simply heat the water for a hot water wash. It is estimated you can save from $75 to $200 per year by switching to cold water washes.

90% Energy Level: This is how much energy your washer uses for a hot-water wash.

$75 to $200: This is the amount of savings per year if a household uses cold water washes.

Ideal Home Temperature Settings: Winter and summer

It is recommended that you keep your home temperature between 68° and 72° in the winter and 78° to 80° in the summer. One way to do this is to buy a programmable thermostat and set it to those temperatures that are best for your family.

Ideal Temperature:  This provides information on the i deal home temperature settings in both winter and summer.

Programmable thermostat: This thermostat helps families maintain ideal temperatures.

You can read more articles, hints & tips from Home Services Engine here.


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