Your Options for Home Energy Audits

 Have you ever thought of saving energy use in your home as you have always been confronted with high electrical bills for the past months? Didn’t you know that you can create a change with such scenario? Yes, of course. Try out the home energy auditing!
Your Options for Home Energy Audits
 Home Energy Audits

What can a home energy audit do for you?

When a home energy audit has been conducted in your own home, the problems and angles where your home is losing excessive energy will be pointed out. A home energy audit also allows you to recognize how effective your cooling and heating systems are. Furthermore, a home energy audit will likewise give you ideas on how to conserve the hot water that you often use on a daily basis.

Why do you need to employ a home energy audit?

In its most basic sense, a home energy audit is one fine step of assessing the amount of energy that you consume in your home and it also offers ways on how you will be able to evaluate the appropriate measures which you can apply to conserve your energy use and monthly bills to be paid for.

Whom can you rely to conduct the home energy audit?

It is actually your own choice. You can hire an expert home energy auditor or do it yourself. Of course you will be paying for the services of the home energy auditor. With an expert, you know that he can make a thorough auditing of your home energy consumption concerns. An auditor makes use of a series of equipment and techniques to determine the precise energy structure existing in the home. Among the equipment used in home energy audit are infrared cameras are used to reveal those hard-to-detect angles of missing insulation and air infiltration as well as the blower doors that gauge the leaks in the entire building envelope. But if you do want to cut back your expenses, just try out the do-it-yourself-guides for home energy auditing.

What are you supposed to do for the do-it-yourself home energy audit?

When simply given enough time, you can conduct your very own home energy audit and detect the vital problems that exist in your home. Don’t fail to keep the checklist of all the problems and areas in the house that you’ve found out. This will guide you as to how you will prioritize the necessary repairs and upgrades in the future.

Locate for air leaks. Draft a list concerning the air leaks present in your home. When this gets detected, you can save as much as 5 up to 30 percent of the total expenses within a year and you can likewise enjoy a much comfortable energy circulation in the end. Also check for the indoor air leaks present along the gaps of the baseboard, junctures of the ceiling or walls, and the edge of the flooring as well. Check out and see if there is enough air that flows in the switchplates, electrical outlets, baseboards, window frames, attic hatches, weather-stripping around doors, window-mounted air conditioners, and fireplace dampers. In the outside part of the house, the exterior corners like the chimneys and the exterior brick and siding must be checked as to whether or not they meet. One caution though, when sealing the home, you should be relatively aware of the most possible air combustion and pollution that may occur. This will be very dangerous for the health of the household if taken for granted.

Look into the insulation. There are certainly minimum requirements for the insulation that exists in the home. The attic, ceilings, and walls of the home must meet the desired amount of the insulation levels. Checking the insulation levels of the attic, walls, and ceilings may be difficult, as you have to deal with some electric circuits therein.

Check out the cooling or heating equipment. The heating and cooling equipment must be checked out annually or as directed by the manufacturer. The routine checkup depends upon the age of the equipment of course.

On the other way around, if you prefer getting a home energy auditor, make a list of the existing problems in your home in advance. The auditor will take charge of the blower door tests and the thermographic inspection which are all vital when it comes to home energy audit.

Ways to Cut Down Your Home Energy Consumption

If you have been receiving high electric bill month after month, then be alarmed. You might be using your appliances more what your require them.

cost efficient house plans
 Ways to Cut Down Your Home Energy Consumption 

Normally, a regular American household would consume between $1500 and $2000 on electric bills alone. If you happen to fall between these figures, then you can consider yourself as a regular homeowner that uses electricity that is not really needed. Why? One reason: You don’t need to spend as much as $2000 a year for energy. And you don’t even have to spend more than that either. You see, a regular household that spends at this amount often wastes power and of course money. And with an increased electric rate, the bills will go even higher.

Want to do some changes?

Then, here are the things you should know. The 5 ways to cut down your home energy consumption:

1. The thermostat control

When you want your room to be super cool because you are sweating from the inside, you simple don’t turn the thermostat super low. Remember this: the thermostat will not run as quickly as you want. It will run on the same level all throughout until it reaches the temperature you set. So whether you gradually switch your thermostat low or instantly set it on its lowest, you will receive the same result. The main difference is, you only spend more energy when you think you can get your room to cool quickly if you set your thermostat low.

Think of it this way: You are driving at 5mph when you suddenly shift to 5th gear. What you will get? More pressure on the pedal with lesser speed gained. In other words, you waste so much gas but do not instant speed.

Also, to further cut down your electric bill, you can set the thermostat several degrees lower when you are out or when you sleep.

2. Several small consumptions add up

Your iPod charger, cellphone charger, and other chargers that are plugged 24/7 can cost you additional digits on your electric bill. This also goes to your night-lights that are switched on all day, all night. Also, your digital clocks and pots that are plugged since brought to the house consume high home energy. The computer monitor that is left on the whole day adds up to your electric bill. All these contribute to the cost you pay for your electric bill. Imagine this: these things that you think do not contribute so much adds 5% on your electric bill.

3. The cool way

You don’t need a warm water to wash your clothes. Oh, you think that warm water kills germs on your clothes. Well, you don’t need them. Settle for cold water. You can save as much as 90% on your washing machine’s electric consumption of you don’t use water heater.

4. Sealing the leaks

Leaks can come from doors, sills, windows, cracks on the walls, and joints. And making sure that these leaks are given proper attention would yield to saving in the long run. Make sure that your doors are closed properly. If there are spaces, seal them. This goes with all the doors from garage doors, exterior doors, operable windows, to door of the attic. Use sealants such as weather strippers. Windows should also be free from leaks. Cover them with plastic coating so that the heat will be contained inside your home. Cracks on the walls should also be sealed. Regular sealants will instantly do the jobs. The reason for doing this is that you need to keep the heat contained inside your home so that the heating system would not need to do extra work due to heat loss from these leaks.

5. Keep them small

If you are dinning alone and would want to warm up left over straight from your fridge, do not use large pots or ovens. Instead, settle for small pots and microwave. Small pots require less heat while microware has use lesser power than oven. Small burner instead of large burner is more ideal in preparing meals for two reason: one, it consumes less electricity, and two, it your air conditioning would not work double time cooling down the room. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, you can save from 30 to 40% on energy cost if you follow these ways.

Geothermal as a Green Energy Source

We have the technology to do a lot of things and one of these is to tap the earth’s energy. This is exactly what we do when we decide to use geothermal which happens to be a green energy source.

Geothermal energy is energy obtained by tapping heat from the earth itself. This comes from magma and the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium, and potassium.

The downside to geothermal energy is the fact that it is expensive to build. On the other hand, because the earth's crust continuously decays replenishing the heat, it is still a renewable source of energy.

There are three types of geothermal plants around. These are namely dry steam, flash, and binary.

Dry steam plants take steam out of fractures in the ground and use it to directly drive a turbine that spins a generator.

Flash plants take on water at temperatures over 200 °C, out of the ground, and allows it to boil as it rises to the surface then separates the steam phase in steam/water separators which runs the steam through a turbine to generate electricity.

Last, you have binary plants. Here, hot water flows through heat exchangers and that boiling organic fluid is what spins the turbine.

Once power is generated, the condensed steam and remaining geothermal fluid from all three types of plants are injected back into the hot rock to pick up more heat.

Geothermal plants are used operational in different parts of the globe. These are usually located in geologically unstable parts of the planet. You can see some in Chile, Iceland, New Zealand, United States, the Philippines and Italy. At home, two most prominent areas for this are in the Yellowstone basin and in northern California.

Aside from digging deep into the earth, there are some who believe we can generate power from hot dry rocks. You have to dig 3 kilometers deep are drilled into the earth first to find these hot underground radiogenic granite rocks. Right now, some Australia companies are exploring this technology.

If you were to compare the amount of energy collected from geothermal to solar, you still get more from the sun. Despite that, people should still use it since solar energy cannot be harnessed when the clouds block the sun’s rays from reaching the solar panels.

Geothermal energy is a green energy source just like wind, hydropower and biofuel because it is a renewable. By maximizing its potential, we don’t have to worry about the price of oil in the world market when it hit more than $110 a barrel and is now under $40 in the world market.

But that is not the only thing we should be concerned about. We should also do our best to protect the environment given that coal fired and nuclear power plants produce harmful gases and radioactive waste that may cause to people and the surrounding areas.

Everyone knows that our planet has changed due to global warming. We learned our lessons from Chernobyl and Three Mile Island but this does not mean it may not happen again.

For us to do our share to protect the environment now and for generations to come, we have to promote alternative energy and geothermal as a green energy source is just one of many that is currently available.

Concentrating Solar Power Systems

If you have ever seen a field with several mirrors pointing toward the sun you may be looking at a solar power system. These systems work to concentrate the sunlight to one area and use the heat to heat up the liquid that flows along the pipes.  This system is called Parabolic-trough system.  This type of system heats oil that is flowing through the pipe.  The oil is hot and that is why it is used to boil water to power a steam generator which in turns powers electricity.
Concentrating Solar Power Systems
Concentrating Solar Power Systems

The reason that this system works so well is because the U-shaped mirrors attracts and collects the suns heat which is then transferred onto the receiver.  The receiver absorbs the heat and transfers into fluid which helps to power the engine.  The heat causes the fluid to swell up against the piston and that produces mechanical power.  This type of power can be used to run things like generators or even an alternator that will produce electricity. This system works great when because it uses molten salt that flows through the receiver.  When the salt heats up it can generate electricity through the steam generator.  The salt holds in the heat for several days before it has to be converted into electricity.  Because this system uses so many panels it is mainly used for industrial solar power where acres of land can be donated to the Parabolic Trough.  There can be enough power in the network that can create energy for several days or more.  Because this system is so large that it allows the heat that it saves to be transferred days later.

Through this project and other solar power projects we can understand fully how solar power works. When we see how much solar power is conserved using these U shaped mirrors we can also understand how much energy is lost.  Using concentrating solar power systems are beneficial to the businesses that use them because they won't have so much time down when the power fails.  Machinery is their only major concern and as long as their machines are taken care of there should be no problems. Industrial type of solar power can attract and trap a lot of heat from the sun during the day, especially using mirrors that will reflect the sunlight.  It also helps to have this type of solar power out in an open field free of trees and vegetation that may grow around and at some point crowd the solar light out.

Scientist are continuously studying this theory as businesses use it to power their machinery.  Steam power was what was used from the beginning with solar power and is still what most systems depend on to service their production needs.  In the future, fields may eventually be full of mirrors that somewhat point up to the sky in hopes of generating enough sunlight to heat the world.  Until then we will use the traditional methods of heating water, heating our homes and powering our electricity.


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