Going Green: Energy Efficient Home Improvement Ideas

Planning a home renovation is no small job. Add the desire to go green with your project… and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are some great energy efficient home improvement ideas that can help keep your project on track.

Plan Ahead

The time to start thinking of ways you can make your home more eco-friendly and energy efficient is before you start the project. Planning ahead can help alleviate headaches and costly mistakes along the way.

Consider working with a professional who specializes in eco-friendly, energy efficient remodeling projects. With the right professional, you can have access to a wealth of information, as well as alternative products and manufacturers that you might not have access to otherwise. 

Don’t Forget The Light!

Often overlooked, light bulbs can make huge a difference. If your home still has standard bulbs, it’s time to consider CFL’s. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are more eco-friendly and last longer than standard bulbs. If your budget is on the smaller side, replace bulbs in one room at a time. These bulbs require less energy while in use and won’t need replacing as often, which is why they are an essential part of overall home improvement.

Reuse And Repurpose

Considering demolition or replacement? It’s important to take a look around and think of ways to reuse the materials available before you start tearing down walls. Getting rid of a non-working brick fireplace?

You can reuse the brick to construct a new walkway in the garden! If you can’t find a new use for your existing materials, contact a local salvage yard or donation site that can repurpose or recycle these items.

Materials Make The Difference

No matter what type of project you are considering, the materials you use can make a difference. From appliances and cabinetry to countertops and windows, there is always a way to go green. Let’s take a look at flooring for example. Vinyl is one of the most harmful materials for the environment. Carpeting can even emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your home! More environmentally friendly options include:

  • bamboo
  • cork
  • linoleum
  • reclaimed wood

Choosing Energy Star rated appliances and HVAC systems will decrease the amount of energy used and often times can help you save even more on initial costs with tax credits and rebates. If you need a water heater replacement, consider alternatives to conventional models like solar hot water heaters and on-demand tankless water heaters.

Insulation Matters

A non-insulated home isn’t very energy efficient or budget friendly. With proper insulation throughout your home, you are better protected from the elements. The better insulated your home is, the larger benefits you will see. Proper insulation will keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the hotter months and as a result, your energy costs are lower year round!

Little Things Can Have A Big Impact

Sometimes the smallest changes can certainly make a huge impact. Instead of continuously purchasing bottled water, make a one-time purchase of a water filter instead. This way, you can still enjoy filtered water, without the impact on the environment with the plastic bottles. Switching to a low-flow toilet, or using flow reducers on your faucets and shower heads can also help you to use less water in your home.

If your home improvement project includes tile installation, your professional can help you to choose products that are made of recycled materials as well. Other easy ways to improve energy efficiency in your home can include placement of your refrigerator. Make sure it is out of direct sunlight and away from stoves and ovens. This will increase the temperature around your fridge, making it work even harder, and thus, use more energy.

Popular solar panel myths busted

The use of solar energy didn’t have a fair stand in the past. Nonetheless, the technological development has opened new avenues towards the use of solar energy for the residential purposes. Yet, again, like any other rising star, this technology has also faced the harsh attitude of the critics. However, the solar energy system has a different story to tell.  There are numerous myths that hover around the solar panels and solar panel quotes online which are, sadly the half-truths told to us.

Busting a few of them here, lets unveil some of the popular myths related to solar panels.

  • Meant only for the rich

Gone are the days when only those with tons of money could afford the installation of solar panels. The Solar Industries Energy Association (SIEA) in a report was spotted saying that the cost of the installation have gone down by 73 percent in the recent years. Upon that, the subsidies of the states and the federals help everyone to get the benefit of these revolutionary solar panels. Thus, the solar panels and their installation is an affordable affair.

  • Maintenance requires huge investment

Yet, again, this myth is based on false assumption. Solar panels come with low maintenance, where the only maintenance comes up in the gap of a few months. The maintenance includes the cross checking on the panels in regards to the accumulated dirt and debris. This is because, unlike the other systems, there is no involvement of moving parts with the fear of wear and tear!

  • They are not ideal for every region

Yes, the solar panels require a good sunny day to generate electricity ideally. Yes, understood! However, this is not something which is a fact. The solar power system are capable of generating electricity even on rainy days and overcast conditions. A region where the love of the weather is rain, solar panels works in an equally efficient way. And thus, despite of the myths the solar panels are the most ideal option for the residential energy consumption needs.

  • They hurt the face of the roof

It is a myth that needs to be dumped! The solar panels rather save the roof of your home. If a solar panel is installed, it protects the roof from the damage which may be caused due to the weather. There are numerous studies which tell us that the solar panels when properly installed won’t hurt the roof in any way possible. The panels are easy to move. The shifting of the panel or installation of it can be done without hurting the shingles or wood of the roof.

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article source: http://www.articlesbase.com/electronics-articles/popular-myths-related-to-solar-panels-busted-7474093.html

Condensing Gas Boiler Quotes From Local Installers

Whether you use them for home heating or for supplying hot water to your company, condensing gas boilers are the most efficient sources of heating water in a hydronic heating arrangement. The following is a brief description of how high efficiency condensing gas boilers work that includes – meaning of high efficiency of boiler operation, and various types of components in a condensing gas boiler replacement. 
Have a look.

What is Combustion?

Combustion is an exothermic reaction that occurs on mixing the air and fuel rapidly in a proper ratio. When air is mixed with hydrocarbons such as natural gas, oil, and propane, it produces products of combustion such as heat, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. These make up the ‘flue gases’ that pass out of the boiler through the flue or chimney.

Why condensing gas boilers are highly efficient?

For hundreds of years, boilers have been used in hydronic heating systems in order to generate and move hot water via pipes and deliver home heating services. These are different than furnaces, which move water instead of air through them. Until 25 years ago, home heating boilers were efficient about 80-85% with flue gas temperatures typically around 350°F. A high efficiency boiler has the flue gases with temperature usually around 135°F and efficiencies of 95% or greater. This is the reason why high efficiency boilers have higher efficiency, due to extracting more heat from combustion out of the flue gases and putting it into the hydronic system. Not only this, these products are so efficient that they are capable of pulling so much heat out of the flue gases that the water vapor in these gases gets cools and condenses, that changes their state from vapor to liquid. Therefore, the name is condensing gas boiler.

Additionally, the combustion air fan can control its speed better as compared to a single stage, complete on or off device that is found on typical mid-efficiency boilers. This capability of modulation means that the blower can adjust its speed to the variable inputs needed during the fall and spring months. This is yet another reason behind the high- efficiency of the condenser gas boilers.

How a gas condensing boiler functions?

A gas condensing boiler heats up the water through the heat of combustion. The resultant flue gases generally exit through the chimney as a result of which the energy contained in the flue gas gets wasted. But, the condensing technology exploits these gases by extracting the flue gas heat and feeding the energy attained into the heating circuit.

To gain energy, it is important for the water vapor to get condensed. The condensation process takes place at a temperature below 56 °C. This happens when a condenser boiler cools the vapor through a specifically designed heat exchanger. The energy gained is further used to heat the cold water. The hot water flows into the primary heat exchanger where it is further heated to reach the desired temperature. Small amounts of waste water occur during this process which must be disposed of. This waste water does not require any further neutralization as the acidity of the waste water very low and can be conducted into a normal drainage system.

article source: http://www.articlesbase.com/home-improvement-articles/how-high-efficiency-condensing-gas-boilers-work-7304206.html

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