4 Terrific Ways to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient
By Kara Masterson
Energy efficiency is the latest residential trend sweeping neighborhoods across America, but this is more than just a passing fad. Energy efficient homes are not only eco-friendly but also economically since they allow property owners to realize savings on their monthly utility bills. If you would like to reduce the carbon footprint of your home while at the same time lowering your monthly expenses, here are four interesting ways to foster energy efficiency:
Cooking With The Sun
More than three million people in developing countries enjoy meals that are prepared with the power of sunshine. Similar to the way you make sun-brewed tea, solar cooking devices work on the principles of reflection, refraction and heat transfer. These devices need to be placed outside as if they were charcoal grills, and their various mechanisms include: heat boxes, panels, and parabolic solar heaters.
Exercise Bikes That Recharge Your Smartphones
Imagine being able to charge up your iPhone as you burn off calories at home. The energy you create while you exercise on a stationary bike can be transformed into 50 watts or more of electricity, enough to charge up your smartphone or tablet. A company in Oregon makes bicycle dynamos with USB connectors that can be used as electric chargers for mobile devices. Pedal power is not a new concept; it has been used for years at small indigenous villages in Central America that are not connected to the power grid.
Remodeling With Skylights
A reasonable investment in skylights can substantially reduce your cooling, heating and electricity costs by improving ventilation, illumination and indoor climate control in the daytime. Modern skylight kits make installation easier and are rated with Energy Star labels vetted by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Residential Solar Panel Kits
Widespread use of solar panels for residential properties is not yet a reality for a number of reasons. First of all, utility companies operate at certain financial margins tied to jurisdictional governments by means of taxes, fees and repayment of subsidies; what this means for homeowners is that they cannot fully disconnect from the grid and switch to solar just yet. What they can do at this time is to make a small investment on a residential solar panel kit, such as those at Renogy, that connects to the power grid. These kits start with electricity generation capacities of one kilowatt; they are compliant with utility regulations and can provide significant monthly savings to homeowners.
In the end, going green will not only make you feel better about nature conservation but also help you keep more cash in your wallet. It is definitely well worth the time and energy to help bring about a better environment.