Reducing the amount of energy your home uses from the electricity company might be a lot easier than you think. With a few small changes, and maybe some big ones, you can reduce your carbon footprint and save some money at the same time. Read on for excellent ideas that will get you started in the right direction.
Think about getting solar powered lamps for outdoor lighting. These lamps are inexpensive and do not require any kind of power source other than exposure to the sun. This will end up saving you a lot of energy. It will also save you money by not having to wire the outdoor lights to your home.
Use a solar water heat system to lower water and heating costs. Using electricity or gas to heat water is not terribly efficient, but water heaters that use solar power maintain water temperatures using only the sun's rays by way of solar panels. While a few of the upgrades are costlier up front, they might be eligible for tax deductions or green energy tax credits.
You might be able to get a government grant to finance your green energy installation. To find out which programs are available in your area contact your local government. Some areas provide rebates for green energy product installation, or provide tax relief as an incentive.
You can reduce the amount of electricity that you use, and be a better energy user by removing chargers that power your devices from outlets when they are not in use. Whether you are charging your device or not, chargers for laptops, mp3 players, cellphones and other electronics keep drawing electrical power as long as they stay plugged in.
If you use oil to heat your home, see if biofuel can be used instead. Many systems allow a switch to biodiesel or biofuel with slight modifications. Biodiesel can assist you in cutting your environmental impact when it is cold, because it burns more efficiently and cleaner than petroleum.
If you aren't home, use a window covering. This simple act blocks the sun from entering and heating your house in the summer, while in the winter, it keeps the heat from escaping through drafty windows. Usually, windows that face south receive the most sunlight. Try adding window coverings that block heat, such as shades or darker, lined curtains.
You can consider getting solar water heaters to heat your water. If you live in an area where freezing temperatures are not a problem, you can purchase a system that heats water through a heater that is solar before it pumps it in your home. However, you should still have a traditional water heater as backup for times when the sun won't come out or if you're going to be using a lot of hot water.
As you plan for a solar energy array, use winter time sunshine hours to calculate from. That will help you avoid negative surprises in the winter, and it will give you plenty of leeway during the summer. Be sure to get a net-usage plan with the energy company so that you can get money from them when you put the surplus energy onto their grid.
Learn the difference between passive and active solar power. Using active power means storing energy for later use, while passive energy is about benefiting from the warmth or light of the sun rays right away. Active solar power needs to have cells, mechanical systems, and solar panels installed. Passive energy is using the sun's thermal energy to heat your house.
You can increase the energy efficiency of your home by buying energy saving products. Look into different green products like eco-friendly doors, double glazed windows, or anything of the sort as they can help reduce the required amount of energy it takes to operate your home. With these products, cooling and heating costs are decreased.
Turn these ideas into strategies you can use in your own home to create a greener environment. It is the easiest way to drop your energy costs and more importantly, your energy demands. Before long, you will have one of the greenest homes around!