Sunday, November 17, 2013

Energy saving ideas

With the rising costs of electricity, water and gas it makes sense to unlearn some of our energy and money
wasting habits.

Some of the idea's I want to share here were actually thought up by my Wife and the rest are provided by Mother Nature.

If habits can be changed we will all be living in a more sustainable, and therefore better world so here is a list of things we take for granted in the home which are not unlimited resources.

1 Water
2 Electricity
3Air conditioning (cooling and heating)

Of course there are many variations and all of the above things could be linked and dissected to infinity but we are interested in the basic habits we have formed since the Industrial Revolution and some simple but effective ways of changing these habits.

WATER is always in movement and constantly being recycled around our planet but there is a finite amount of it available and the ways we use it have to be examined before we can make a change.

Not leaving the tap running when we brush our teeth is a great way to save water.
Quick showers or shared baths are another simple way to minimise water wastage.
Only doing a load of washing/dishes when there are enough clothes/dishes to fill the machine.

ELECTRICITY is another thing we have come to take for granted and at the moment there is also a finite supply so we need to get smarter when using it.

It is Sunday morning, I am sitting reading the paper and decide to have a cup of Tea, I go to the kettle, fill it up and switch it on and when the water has boiled I pour a small amount of it into a cup for my Tea.

What happens to the water left in the kettle? that's right... it gets cold and then later when I need hot water again I re boil the kettle and if I or other family members have 2 or 3 cups of hot beverage every day this practice seems wasteful and perhaps even a bit silly!

So what would be a better, cheaper, easier more efficient alternative?
I have a two litre thermos flask which I fill to the brim when making that first cup of Tea and the water stays boiling hot for up to 8 hours!

Of course if you don't use all that hot water there is always the dishes to be done.

Having the fridge set at a lower temperature in winter and allowing some room  around the back of the fridge for ventilation are two ways to lower the demand on the electricity in your home.

AIR CONDITIONING units such as heaters and reverse cycle models can be made to work more effectively by learning some simple habits.

Reverse cycle air conditioners have filters which need to be cleaned at least twice a year so that the unit doesn't have to work as hard sucking the air through them.

Ducted air conditioning works on the same principle and you will find the filters in the wall or ceiling.

Simple things like keeping the curtains drawn and all the windows and doors shut on a hot day and then taking in cool air from outside at night through the use of a thing called a convection engine by opening the entry door and a window could be enough to forego the air conditioner at all... so experiment and try to find creative ways of being comfortable that don't involve putting your hand in your pocket!!

When we try to stay warm or cool in our homes we are only heating or cooling the air so insulation is essential if you want to trap the conditioned air and remember that the walls, ceiling and floor may all be packed with insulation but it only takes one gap or a couple of spaces in windows or doors and you may as well be living in a cardboard box!

The bottom line is that we all need to be more responsible and it doesn't take long to learn a good habit.

I am sure there are many other simple ways to improve the way we live in our homes and I would love to hear from you so that I can to add other ideas to this article.

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