Now more than ever before the world is becoming more and more cautious about the effect we have on the earth. Consumers are staring to take advantages of the benefits of being green. Simple changes to your home not only benefit the planet, they also benefit our health and wallets too. On a month to month basis people who live in green homes use less water and energy compared to a standard home. They also spend less money on maintenance. Green homes tend to be more durable due to the construction process and higher quality materials.
In Canada, 17% of all energy goes to running our homes and, here in Calgary, 30% of our use is from household electrical consumption. Additionally, the average household in Calgary is using 8% more energy today than it did in 2005.
Green homes can use up to 40% less energy. Next to a mortgage, energy costs are the most significant household expense. Something you many not know is your plasma TV uses five times more energy then the old tube TV.
To estimate appliance consumption you can use this formula
Wattage x hours per day divided by 100 = Daily Kilowatt-hour consumption
You can usually find the wattage on the appliance, stamp on the bottom or side. Many appliances still draw electricity even when turned off; this is known as phantom load. Appliances that are known for this are stereos, computers, and televisions just to name a few. If you have older appliances you can use a device to control and reduce energy consumption. These devices control and regulate the energy delivered to the appliance. Appliance newer then 1990 may not see any benefits from this device because of their existing energy save features.
The Kitchen is an area in the home that has a lot of energy consumptions here are a few way to cut back on usage. You can save energy daily by manually chopping instead of using mixers and grinders. Small changes can make a big difference, cook meals in smaller appliances like microwave or toaster ovens. If you’re shopping for a new fridge a great choose is one with the freezer on top. These models tend to be more efficient than models with the freezer on the bottom or side by sides.
Buying an eco-friendly home is not as difficult as you might think, and in the long run it can save you a lot of money, as well as having less of an impact on the environment. An eco-friendly home is one that is energy efficient and saves you money, but it also can mean it is a home made from recycled materials and one that makes much better use of space. When buying an eco-friendly home you will still need to consider the same things that you do when buying a normal home, such as going through the right channels to borrow money and paying additional fees like stamp duty and conveyancing fees.
You can start thinking eco-friendly even before you start building the home. Choose an architect that is familiar with eco-friendly homes and have them design a home that is suitable for your block. Think about creating a home that takes up less land space, leaving as much room for trees and plants as possible. Leave room around the home for water tanks and a vegetable garden. Think about where on your block you build the home too. Make sure it is in a position so you can make use of natural light, and it is facing a direction so you get the warmth of the sun to increase the energy efficiency.
You can even be eco-friendly with your choice of building materials. Any timber in your home should be recycled from other sources. You will find that you can buy bricks from homes that are being torn down. You could also choose to build with eco-friendly materials like mud or stones, or even build a straw bale home.
One of the main purposes of your home is for it to be energy efficient. Make sure that it is well insulated so it stays warm in winter and cooler in summer. You can also put in double glazed windows and have solar panels installed so you rely on the sun to power your home. Solar power can also heat your water so you can save on gas as well as electricity. Solar panels are not as expensive as they used to be and many new homes that aren’t eco-friendly are being built with solar panels to heat their water.
Within your home you can be more eco-friendly by choosing the right appliances. When you buy a dishwasher, washing machine, fridge or even a clothes dryer you will see the energy rating listed on the item through a star rating system. The more stars an item has the more energy efficient it is. You can also buy dishwashers and washing machines that use less water. You can also be more energy efficient when lighting your home by choosing to use power saving light bulbs. Another way to be eco-friendly is to watch your energy consumption, so turn off lights in rooms that are not in use, switch appliances off at the wall and don’t heat or cool rooms you are not using. Having blinds or curtains on your windows will help keep your house warm in winter and block out the heat in summer.
Are you interested in using a solar heating system? If so, then you will have several options. One of the main ones is whether to choose an active or passive system.
What are Active Solar Heating Systems?
This type of system involves harnessing and storing (in the form of heat) solar energy. It uses fans and other objects to dispense heat that has been harnessed. Solar cells constructed of silicon are the most common type of solar heat collectors. Typically, the cells are contained on solar panels, which are located on the roof of a home.
What are its main types?
There are two primary types. Their difference lies in the material that captures and moves the heat that is located in the solar collector. Usually the material is a gas or a liquid. For instance, an air-based system usually involves transpired air collectors or air room heaters. On the other hand, liquid-based systems usually involve water (or antifreeze) to capture and move heat.
How much power does it provide?
Usually the goal of such systems is to heat up to three-fourths of a home’s interior. When more solar energy than a house needs is produced, the homeowner could then sell excess power back to his or her local utility company. Also, it is advisable to heat both the air and water in your home, so your system can function throughout the entire year.
What Are Passive Solar Heating Systems?
This type of system is a low-technology method of capturing solar energy. It functions by directly capturing the sun’s warmth, and then retaining it within the house for the function of heating. This is mainly achieved through methods such as quality insulation and windows. This type of system can lower your current heating costs, or even replace your home’s current system.
What are its components?
Windows are the primary components of such systems. The goal is to maximize the amount of sunlight and heat that one can collect during the daytime. Typically, the windows consist of a special variety of glass that absorbs as much heat as possible-and then keeps it indoors for a maximum amount of time.
Besides windows, another common component of Passive Solar Heating Systems are trombes, which are a special type of wall. There is a pane of glass in front of the wall. The mission is for the space between the glass and wall to collect heat. Another method is to paint the concrete walls black, so they will absorb sunlight more.
What are its benefits?
This is generally an ideal option when you are looking for a solar heating system for a new home. The reason is that Passive Solar Heating systems are based on factors such as the location of the windows in the home, the location of the building itself, the amount of insulation in the building, and so on. These issues can be quite challenging to change within existing homes-and especially the location of the home!