Part of the Department of Energy is the Building Technologies Program. The purpose of this program is to improve on how various buildings across the United States use energy efficiently. The Department of Energy has provided energy saving tips in regards to 10 different types of buildings. Today we will look at 3 of these, and continue through the next several dayson the remaining building types. I have left the links that the department provides within the tips so you can find more detailed information about each one.
According to the Department of Energy’s website, the average amount families spend each year to supply energy to their home is $1300. Everyone is looking to save money, especially with the increased costs that come with providing a home with adequate energy, and the following are tips to help your family reduce that yearly amount:
* Use a programmable thermostat to control the heating and cooling in your home
* Compare your energy use against the national average
* Conduct a home energy audit to determine the largest savings potential
* Install energy efficient lighting such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)
* Hire a professional to help you insulate and repair your ducts
Multifamily buildings are apartment buildings, high rises, town houses, and other various buildings in which multiple families live. The Department of Energy asserts that energy and water costs have more of a tendency to be high in multifamily dwellings, despite the fact that they have more opportunity than single family dwellings to be energy efficient. These tips are generally meant to assist those operating and constructing such buildings in their quest to become more efficient with the building’s energy use.
* Lower heating bills by converting electric or oil heating systems to natural gas, and replacing inefficient boilers
* Reduce water usage by repairing water leaks and installing low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets
* Replace old refrigerators with new energy-efficient models
* Use compact fluorescent bulbs in common areas
* Specify ENERGY STAR appliances and other products
The tendency to consume massive amounts of energy in office buildings is outrageous. According to the Department of Energy, “office building energy bills are the highest of any commercial building type.” The use of office equipment adds to this energy consumption. It may be more difficult to use energy efficiently at the office because of the fact that not everyone is “on board” when they are not the one paying the energy bills. However, the following tips can help, provided office workers pitch in on the initiative.
* Control energy costs and enhance employee comfort by installing energy management systems, occupancy sensors, and programmable thermostats
* Save energy costs and improve productivity through increased use of daylighting
* Replace inefficient lighting fixtures with T-8, compact fluorescent, and metal halide fixtures
* Choose ENERGY STAR computers, printers, copiers and other office equipment
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!