I came across an article in a local periodical called "South Jersey House & Home" that gets stuffed in our mailboxes each month and found these 5 easy energy-saving tips that I thought I'd share with everyone. Tip #5 is my personal favorite because we are currently in the process of doing just that which will make our home one step closer to being more GREEN. The article was written by Joe Willix and here are his tips:
Tip #1. TURN IT OFF
Somewhere along the line, we decided it would be great if appliances or devices would be on at all times ready for us to use at our every whim. That uses a lot of electricity. Save a little money each month by turning off computers, cell phone chargers, TVs and battery chargers.
Tip #2. INVEST IN A KILL A WATT
Save hundreds by investing a few bucks in a Kill A Watt monitor. Plug anything into the Kill A Watt and it will measure how much electrical energy anything in your house is using. It's a great way to find out if your old refrigerator needs to be replaced.
Tip #3. DO NOTHING
The "Do Nothing Strategy" calculates how much homeowners will spend on electricity and gas if they keep doing the same thing for the next 25 years. Remember the number $160,804.92. That is how much you will spend if your home uses an average of $200 per month on electricity including the average 7 percent annual electric rate increases over the next 25 years. It's time to think about generating your own electricity with solar or wind power.
Tip #4. PRODUCE YOUR OWN ELECTRICITY AT HOME
Invest in your own solar energy or wind energy system. A 2-kilowatt solar energy system or a 2-kilowatt turbine will produce about 3,200 kilowatt-hours a year. You can install either of these sytems for less than $20,000, and they will produce energy for the next 25 to 40 years. Start small: You can easily expand the solar energy or wind energy system size later. both solar and wind energy are clean energies with zero emissions.
Tip #5. NEVER REPLACE YOUR AIR CONDITIONER
When your air conditioner dies, don't replace it. Invest in a geothermal cooling and heating system, which will reduce your electric usage and your cooling/heating electric bill by more than 50 percent. Air conditioning and heating typically represent 60 percent of your total monthly electric bill. Geothermal uses the moderate temperature of the earth, which is 55 degrees to 72 degrees 6 feet below the surface, to cool and heat your home. These machines are up to four times more efficient than an air conditioner. They are also so quiet that they are installed indoors away from the heat and cold. A geothermal cooling system will pay for itself in a few years.
I mentioned earlier that we are in the process of having a geothermal cooling and heating system installed in our home. Not only am I looking forward to being more GREEN, but saving a substantial amount of money each month on cooling and heating bills are welcomed. Just last week, we had 2 wells (source and return) dug in our backyard which will supply the underground air and water for the system. An added bonus is now that we have our own wells, we will be able to tap into this well water to supply our underground irrigation system taking a strain from our township water supply. Later this week, the actual geothermal cooling and heating unit is to be delivered to our home. PVC pipes still need to be installed in the ground that will connect to the actual system. We are able to use the existing duct work in our home, however some minor tweaking will be needed as well as insulation of the basement ceiling to make it as efficient as possible. We were told that it should take about a week to install the unit, make changes to the duct work and run pipes to our home so the installation date will happen probably in late April. This was our decision because we didn't want to go without heat during the winter months.
As you can see I'm very happy to be able to do my part for Mother Earth by adopting GREEN technology. In the future, solar panels are also on our "To Do" list but first we must get the geothermal project done. I'll let you know how things go once it's done but enjoy the photos of the well being dug which is our ground breaking into a GREENER way of thinking.