The only thing stopping millions of people from spending less on their energy bills for heating, lighting and cooling is their lack of knowledge of how to do it. Running a modern home with all its energy needs is certainly becoming more expensive but economical alternatives for energy usage exist to cut costs for the average family and that's what this site has been created to do.
An often mistaken belief by many people is that the only way to cut household energy costs is to use less and go without some of the comforts and conveniences that they have become accustomed to having. That is not necessarily true when you know of the perfectly legal and available ways to reduce your reliance on the big energy companies for your power.
Cutting Heating Fuel Costs
If you have been a slave to your local electricity company for all these years and are paying their ever rising prices to heat you home, you probably haven't been actively seeking a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative. While it's probably very difficult to change your heating system especially if you live in an apartment block and are tied to a communal system or certain rules, or you simply can't afford it, that doesn't mean you have to stay there and be ripped off.
There is plenty of information around these days on how to break free of the rut your in and figure out ways to earn more money so you can live in a better place, but that's not the subject of this site. I'm here to tell you how to cut your energy usage without cutting your creature comforts.
If you are more energy independent, you can make the call on how you heat your home. If electricity is too expensive and we all know that it is and is getting ever more expensive, you should switch to a more economical means of heating your home.
Depending on where you live, you can get creative and augment the home's main system with renewable energy sources for heat, such as solar heating panels for hot water that (after the costs of the system and its installation have been met) will end up costing you nothing.
The sun gives its power for free to anyone with the means to harness it!
Solar Voltaic Electricity Generation
As long as you get a few hours of sunlight on average per day in your location, you can harness that energy source to produce your own electricity. This is nothing new nor is it something only off-gridders do as it has been done by many homeowners for decades.
Electricity generating panels that convert sunlight into electricity are available and affordable these days. They can be used to generate power for your home during the day and either stored in batteries for overnight use as with off grid homes, or you can switch to grid power overnight and sell your excess electricity back to the power company during the day.
While you can't expect to be able to harness several kilowatts of power through this method unless you can afford to put up a big array of panels (some folks do just that), even a humble installation of maybe a kilowatt can provide enough power to run some of your appliances like a fridge, TV or sound system during the day and save you the cost of that power by not having to pay it to the utility company!
Maintaining a Cool Home in Summer
It's not just during winter that you need to use a lot of energy to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. During hot summers, you also need to keep cool. By far the most popular way to do that is with an air conditioning system.
The only problem is that air conditioning costs a lot of money to run because it uses a huge amount of power. We're talking several kilowatts for a house-wide installation!
If you live in a dry climate with low humidity, you can take advantage of modern evaporative cooling systems or portable units that can do a great job of keeping your home and your family cool in summer for a fraction of the cost of AC. If not and you're stuck with AC for cooling, you can spend some time making sure your home is not haemorrhaging energy through badly fitting windows and doorframes.
Plugging all the gaps and making sure your home is well insulated can go a long way to cutting your AC's energy consumption because it doesn't have to work so hard to keep it cool inside. You can also help things by adding shading to the outside of the building to cut down the amount the house heats up under the sun.
Small is Beautiful
There is a lot to be said for living in a small dwelling as long as it is still big enough to be comfortable without having a load of wasted space. When it comes to maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature throughout the year, a small place is generally much cheaper and easier to heat in winter and cool in summer than a larger property would be.
The obvious reason here is that a smaller place has a lower volume of internal atmosphere to keep at a certain temperature than a larger one. That takes less energy to raise or lower the temperature, costing you less money on fuel or energy bills.
Of course it is not all textbook stuff, cut and dried and absolute in nature. A small dwelling can cost more to cool in summer if, for example:
- It is not shaded
- Is located in a very sunny spot
- Is not insulated or maintained very well
- If it is painted in a dark color
- If it is constructed with dark cinder blocks that heat up quickly in the sun but cool down very slowly when the sun goes down
- It is a travel trailer of mobile home that is not well insulated or "sunshine-proofed"
If any of the above points are true, then even the most compact habitat could be tougher to keep cool in hot weather than a larger, better insulated and located one would be! However, the above scenario is not as common as it used to be because people are wising up to the costs of energy and learning how to make better use of their resources.
There are lots of ways to cut your household energy budget just be taking some common sense steps as well as looking at viable alternatives for energy usage. The articles published in this site will help you to do that as long as you're prepared to act on the information given and not just read it, think it's great and then do nothing about it!
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