Showing posts with label live free. Show all posts
In this day and age, we all live a very fast paced life. Therefor, we have become accustomed to paying more for convenience. Everything comes in plastic manufactured and designed to store and preserve the freshness of the things we buy. Foods are sprayed with preservatives, chemicals, pesticides, and many other dangerous things, in an effort to offer a shelf life longevity that keeps things readily available for the mindless consumer that today's society not only created, but encourages.
If you are like me, time is a commodity. Juggling work and family, and a ton of other things, it's easy to get roped into the frenzy of microwavable meals, and everything being wrapped in plastics, for your convenience. But, I assure you, if your goal is to truly live free, then this is the exact opposite of the way you want to live.
Now, when I first decided that it was my personal responsibility to be cautious of the things that I do and the impact my actions had, whether positive or negative, it all seemed a little overwhelming. There are literally millions of ways to go green. It's easy to get overwhelmed and want to back out to the comfort of the familiar.
The best thing you could possibly do to go green, is START SMALL. Make little easy changes, that aren't complicated, and are easily adaptable into your daily routine.
The ideas in this go green video are great for getting started on your path to live free. I highly recommend that you try at least a few of them. It really is a good jump point on your quest to live free.
Here are 10 energy saving tips for you to use during the winter months on your quest to live free. A lot of these you have probably seen else where. I'm sure these aren't closely guarded secrets or anything, but for those who might not have seen them already, here you go.
1.) Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees. In the winter, set the thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees during the day and to 58 degrees at night or when away from home for several hours. If you have a heat pump, make sure to slowly increase the temperature to avoid running the emergency heat. You can learn more about your thermostat online by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy website.
2.) Seal air leaks. Seal all holes from pipes and wires that enter/exit the living space. This includes entrances, pull-downs and attic stair openings, light fixtures, pipes and wires. Attic entryways should be weather stripped and insulated.
3.) Seal off fireplaces. Never use a fireplace as a heat source for your home. Even as a supplemental heat source, the cold air introduced to a warm home through an open flue isn't as efficient as sealing off a fireplace and using the primary source of heat. For natural gas fireplaces, turn off the pilot light when not in use. Seal off the fireplace area or the flue area to prevent cold air from leaking in. (Note: Building codes in some areas require that the damper in your chimney to be permanently blocked open if you install gas logs. Please check the building code for your area for the appropriate procedure.)
4.) Seal duct work. This is the number one way to conserve energy. Make sure that all ductwork is sealed at joints and intersections with duct sealer or silicone caulk. Otherwise, supply ductwork can leak heated air into the attic or crawl space, and outside air can be drawn into the return ductwork, increasing costs and reducing comfort dramatically. Ducts can be sealed using foil-backed tape or silicon caulking.
5.) Lower water heater to 120-125 degrees. Many water heaters are automatically set at 140 degrees. Lowering the temperature on your water heater to between 120 and 125 degrees will reduce the amount of fuel needed to heat the water.
6.) Change furnace filters every month. This is the number one reason for furnace breakdowns. Inspect heating and cooling equipment annually, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Have a professional check and clean furnaces once a year.
7.) Weatherstrip doors and windows. Inspect windows and doors for air leaks. If you can see daylight around a door or window frame, then the door or window needs sealing. Air leaks can be sealed with caulking or weather-stripping.
8.) Insulate water pipes coming from the water heater. Insulate the first 3- to 6-feet of cold and hot water pipes near the water heater. Insulating all hot water pipes is not necessary where pipes are located in a crawlspace or attic.
9.) Add an insulation blanket to water heater. Wrapping the water heater with an insulation blanket can save heating money by slowing the drop in temperature from the hot water tank as it sits unused. Inexpensive insulation kits are available at most home improvement stores.
10.) Add insulation to attic. When adding insulation, start at the top and work down only after eliminating air infiltration.
Here are 10 basic energy saving tips to use for the summer months on your quest to live free. I'm sure as basic as these are, you can probably find this place several places on the web, but I thought I would share them for anyone who hasn't seen them already. Here we go...
1.) Raise your thermostat to 78º. If you are away from home for more than eight hours, raise the thermostat setting and you can expect to see up to a 3% savings on cooling costs for each degree of setback. This is the number one way to conserve energy. This will reduce the amount of energy used to cool your home while you're away. You can learn more about your thermostat online by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy website.
2.) Keep shades closed when the air conditioner is on. Sunny windows account for 40 percent of unwanted heat and can make your air conditioner work two to three times harder.
3.)Check and clean filters. Cleaning and replacing air conditioning filters monthly allows the system to run more efficiently.
Clear attic vents. If the home has an attic fan, make sure it is functioning properly.
4.) Install ceiling fans and make sure they are blowing down. Don't underestimate the importance of ceiling fans. Moving air over the body provides a cooling effect. The use of ceiling fans can mean savings of around 25% on cooling costs and can make the temperature seem 10 degrees cooler. Most fans have a switch to change the fan direction. Make sure ceiling fans are blowing downward (in a counter-clockwise direction) to send air past your body.
5.) Postpone activities that require hot water and large energy use – such as washing dishes or clothes – to early morning or late evening. This will keep from adding more heat and humidity to the home.
6.) Use the dishwasher and clothes washer late in the evening. When used during the day, these appliances produce additional heat, causing your air conditioner to work harder.
Use cold water to wash dishes and clothes. This will save on water heating costs.
7.) Avoid using the stove if possible. Consider grilling outside instead.
8.) Unplug equipment not in use. Electric chargers, televisions and audio/video equipment use electricity and produce heat even when they are not in use.
Running an older refrigerator can use up to three times the energy of a modern one. Unplug any appliance when it's not in use.
9.) Turn off lights. Turn lights off when exiting a room. They add to the heat in the home.
10.) Consider replacing incandescent bulbs with energy efficient compact florescent lights (CFLs). And remember to recycle CFLs whenever possible.