How Eco-friendly Batteries Can Benefit From Biomass Energy?

Organisations and more importantly, battery manufacturers are recognising the need to overcome the problem of global warming. The objective is to develop ways of producing carbon-neutral sources of energy. One of the areas currently being explored is the use of biomass resources to create sustainable, eco-friendly batteries which are suitable for use across a wide range of business sectors. With different forms of biomass energy available, the challenge is finding products that provide high performance along with being commercially viable.

Biomass-Resources

A quick glance at popular biomass resources

What is Biomass Energy?

Biomass is something that we are all familiar with. It is derived from plants and animals and is now becoming an increasingly viable form of renewable energy. Initially, the energy comes from the sun, and in plants, it is converted via photosynthesis.

Regardless of its origin, the biomass will either be converted into biogas, biofuels or burnt directly to create heat. Of course, different sources of biomass produce varying amounts of energy, affecting their efficiency. As a result, high precision battery testing equipment is required to ascertain their viability.

Forms of Biomass Used for Energy

1. Wood and Products

Renewable sources of timber and the by-products of wood such as wood chip are burned in the home to create heat and in industry, burned to generate electricity. Typically, softwood such as pine is used as it is quicker to replenish than hardwood such as oak.

2. Agricultural Crops and Waste

With large amounts of waste produced from the farming sector, it is natural that this is an ideal source of energy. The materials are either converted to liquid biofuels or burned directly to generate heat or electricity.

3. Food and Household Waste

The amount of waste households produced has been increasing annually, and up until recently, the majority was disposed of it landfill sites. Nowadays, this garbage is thermochemically processed in waste-to-energy plants to produce electricity or converted into biogas at existing landfill sites.

4. Animal Manure and Human Waste

We frequently hear about the link between animal waste and global warming. Inevitably, the same is also true of human waste. Both can be converted into biogas and burned as a fuel.

How is Biomass Converted to Energy?

Biomass can be converted to energy using different methods depending on the source. Solid forms of biomass such as garbage and wood are generally burned to created heat while other types will be initially converted into either biogas or biofuels such as ethanol or other biodiesel-related fuels used to power vehicles or generators.

Human sewage and animal manure are placed in vessels known as digesters to create biogas. Liquid fuels such as biodiesel are derived from oils and animal fats. Any form of biomass must be burned at some point to generate energy.

Biomass and Batteries

The most common form of battery used in domestic appliances and mobile devices is lithium-ion batteries. However, the performance and capacity are still below what is demanded by manufacturers and consumers. As a result, manufacturers are investigating alternatives such as biomass. Naturally, high precision testing equipment such as that produced by Arbin is required to assess their potential and commercial viability accurately.

The potential of elemental sulphur has been explored although due to its poor electrical conductivity, has failed to make it onto the mass market. A composite of sulphur and porous carbon appears to be a far more viable option although this is a complicated and time-consuming process.

Carbon is one of the best conductors available, albeit at a relatively high cost. Therefore, the objective is to source carbon from biowaste, such as popular catkin that can be combined with sulphur. Popular catkin is a highly porous carbon and ideal for Li/S batteries.

High Precision Battery Testing

High precision battery testing is required to establish the commercial viability of popular catkin and other biowaste products. Marginal improvement could have a significant impact and give cell manufacturers a competitive advantage over their rivals.

Naturally, extensive research needs to be conducted to assess a variety of bioproducts that are presenting themselves as potentially viable alternative products. Increasing battery capacity and battery life is something that is required in several sectors such as with EVs, mobile devices and home appliances. Major manufacturers will be eagerly awaiting the findings of testing that is currently ongoing.

How Does a Solar Battery Storage Work?

The idea of having an energy-independent home is quite enticing for any homeowner. It comes with a lot of advantages, the main one being the fact that you won’t be affected by utility rate fluctuations. Also, you’ll be promoting the ‘green energy’ campaign, which is currently being recommended as a way of preserving the environment. Fortunately, it’s an attainable dream given the rapid advancement in the world of energy storage. All you need is a set of solar panels or a solar energy provider, and a battery backup to satisfy your needs.

Solar batteries are an integral part of this setup since they ensure a continuous supply of power if the grid goes down. This article will break down the seemingly complex operation of these storage devices into a few easy-to-understand steps. The discussion will revolve around a battery that’s already paired with a solar system rather than a standalone solar battery storage.

solar-battery-storage

Feeding the Solar Energy

When sunlight rays hit the panels, the visible light is converted to electrical energy. The electrical current flows into the battery and is stored as DC electricity. It’s worth noting that there are two types of solar batteries: AC-coupled and DC-coupled. The latter has a built-in inverter that can convert the electricity current to DC or AC. As such, the DC solar electricity will flow from the panels to an external power inverter, which will convert it to AC energy that can either be used by your home appliances or stored in the AC battery. What the built-in inverter will do in this case is convert the AC electricity back to DC for storage.

As for a DC-coupled system, the battery doesn’t have a built-in inverter. As such, the DC electricity from the solar panels flows to the battery via a charge controller. Unlike in an AC setup, the power inverter in this system is only connected to your home’s wiring. As such, electricity from the solar panels or your storage battery is converted from DC to AC before flowing to your home appliances. What determines how much energy is stored in the battery?  Read on to find out more.

The Charging Process

As power flows from the solar panels, your home’s electricity setup will take precedence. Therefore, electricity directly feeds your appliances, like refrigerators, TVs, and lights. Often, this energy from solar panels can be more than what you need. For instance, on a hot afternoon, a lot of power is produced, yet your home isn’t using much of it. In such a scenario, net metering occurs, wherein the extra energy flows back to the grid. However, you can use this overflow to charge up your batteries.

solar-battery

The amount of electricity stored in the battery depends on how fast it charges up. If, for example, your home doesn’t use up too much power, then the charging process will be quick. Also, if you’re connected to huge panels, then a lot of electric energy will flow to your home, which means the batteries will charge up a lot faster. Once your battery is full, the charge controller will prevent it from overcharging.

If you are actively looking towards the idea of having clean, free energy, but don’t have enough money to invest in solar panels, you should definitely consider buying a solar generator. Solar generators utilize solar panels, capturing the sun’s energy. The solar energy is stored in a batter. A solar generator has four components, including the solar panels, controller, inverter, and solar battery.

Solar generators don’t require fuel to work—all you need to do is set up the solar panel, and you’ll benefit from clean, renewable energy. Because solar generators don’t release pollutants, you can safeguard your family’s health and protect the environment. Solar generators are highly preferred over traditional generators because they’re quiet, low-maintenance, and cost-effective.

Why Do You Need A Solar Battery?

Homeowners can use Plico Energy’s solar calculator or any similar online tool to determine how much solar energy they need. But even if you have a rough idea of the amount of solar power you need to sustain your daily tasks, it’s still important to buy a solar battery. Here are some of the reasons why you should invest in a solar battery:

1. To shield you from power outages

If you’re connected to a grid, there’ll always be a few moments when the transmission system malfunctions or is shut down for maintenance. As soon as this happens, the system will isolate your home from the grid and activate the backup source. In this case, the battery will operate like a backup generator.

Having backup power through solar batteries can prevent the inconveniences associated with outages. Hence, you can continue using your appliances for household chores, entertainment, studying, or working at home. Most of all, if you have a sick family member needing a piece of medical equipment, such as an oxygen tank or a respirator, you won’t face problems with sourcing a generator or a power backup.

2. Time-of-use rate plans

On these plans, you’ll be charged according to the amount of electricity you use, as well as the time during which you use it. TOU states that the power drawn from the grid at night is more valuable than the extra energy produced during the day. As such, by storing the extra energy and using it at night, you’ll reduce the overall cost of electricity in your home.

Governments around the world are recognising the benefits of solar batteries. So much so, that they are offering rebates for homeowners to help with the upfront cost of buying a solar battery. These rebates for solar batteries are becoming more and more popular and are a sign of the huge benefits batteries provide to homeowners and the world. Solar battery rebates are helping to promote the adoption of solar energy systems in many countries.

Closing Remarks

With the world embracing ‘green energy,’ solar panels are gradually replacing the traditional sources of electricity. Solar batteries play a crucial role in ensuring that you have a reliable power supply in your home. AC-couple storage batteries have a built-in inverter, which converts the electric current to DC or AC, depending on the direction.

On the other hand, a DC-couple battery doesn’t have this feature. Both batteries, however, store electric energy in DC regardless of the setup. The speed at which electricity is stored in the batteries depends on the size of the panels and the amount used by your home appliances.

4 Practical Tips To Find the Right Energy Provider

There is little doubt that energy bills are a big drain on your finances, what with the Big Six energy providers hiking their prices recently, with two of them doing it twice within a year! What is one to do? Toe their line or search for the best and cheapest energy tariffs? Of course, you will save a pretty packet if you search for the cheapest energy rates. Find below certain practical tips that will enable you to find the right energy provider and save on money.

1. Avoid standard variable rate tariff

You need to be careful when your fixed tariff deal ends, for it is then that your energy provider will nudge you towards standard variable rate tariff. Their reason for doing so is simple, that is, to make money. These variable rate tariffs are expensive. According to the figures of previous year obtained from First Utility, will escalate your energy bill by an average of £262 annually. Not only are these variable rate tariffs expensive, but they also provide leeway for your energy supplier to hike costs.

The way out of this is to search for smaller suppliers that offer the best-buy tables and better services. You can do this by manually researching lists of energy suppliers or using online comparison sites. Spending time doing manual research can pay dividends as you can often find deals not apparent on switching sites, however the latter are much faster to use.

Power tip: When using switching sites, always check the box that says something like ‘include plans that require switching directly though the supplier’ as this will reveal even cheaper deals.

Today, the minnows are giving a run for money to the Big Six energy providers. These suppliers offer you a choice of long-term fix and even variable rate that are well under £1,000. Opting for a fixed rate tariff will give you a secure price on each unit of electricity for a set period, whereas variable rate tariff, where the price can fluctuate up and down.

So, to get the full price advantage don’t stick to your original supplier, but switch to a smaller one. It will certainly help in saving cash.

2. To fix or not to fix

In the past, variable rate tariffs tended to be cheaper, but this trend has changed. Today, the cheapest rates are offered on one-year fixes. Opting for it will save you money. This is because this type fixes the rate you pay for each unit of electricity, usually for a 12- to 18-month period.

The latest trend is to opt for two-year fixed deals. Whether it is one-year or two-year fixed deals, the idea is to avoid expensive variable standard tariffs. It needs to be noted that fixed deals are slightly more than the cheapest deals, if you are going in for long-term security. However, it certainly does not mean that you pay a fixed amount and be done away with it. It will still depend upon the amount of energy consumed, only the tariff per unit is somewhat reduced.

energy-company

You need to be careful about some fixed deals that charge exit fees if you decide to leave early. Also, there is no guarantee that a fixed deal is the best long-term option, but if you want to give certainty over bills, this is the best choice.

3. Benefits of energy switching

Your local energy suppliers are the real beneficiary since they tend to charge more for electricity from people living in their vicinity. This is because they build a monopoly in the region and dictate the energy rates.

To break the stranglehold of your local energy supplier, you will do well to explore the possibility of moving away. This switching will certainly save you money. Of course, finding the cheapest supplier will primarily depend upon where you live. A little search will not only help you find cheap suppliers but also help you in comparing prices to find the best price.

If you are scared that switching from your current energy supplier will attract a penalty, if you decide to leave before the term expires, it will still be worth it. So, accept the penalty and you will still end up saving big. Check out Simply Switch for some current deals.

4. Cutting your energy bills

If you are still in two minds regarding switching to a smaller energy supplier, you can still limit your energy bill in the following ways:

  • Ask for return of credited money: If you are paying a set amount by direct debit pay each month for gas and electricity, it will be a good idea to ask for a return of money during summer and spring. You may get it back with interest.
  • Save energy: Change the way you use your gas and electricity. This will reduce usage and save money.
  • Pay online: This could cut more than £10 off your annual bills.

Conclusion

Switching energy supplier is a big decision. However, if your current supplier is offering cheaper tariff than what you are currently using, it is wise to switch to it, rather than opt for a new energy supplier. You still end up saving money.

3 Most Common Water Heater Problems

You rarely think about your hot water heater unless there’s a problem, but when there’s a problem with your hot water heater, it’s all you can think about. No one enjoys taking a cold shower, but your hot water heater does a lot more than just make sure you’re comfortable when showering. It provides hot water for your dishwasher and clothes washer, and provides a sanitary environment for washing your hands. The point is, when you need hot water repairs, you need them now. Here are the three most common water heater problems to help you diagnose the issue.

Most Common Water Heater Problems

1. Water Temperature is Too Hot or Too Cold

Almost all homeowners have issues with their water temperature at one time or another. If your water is cold when it should be hot, it could be due to a lack of power, a faulty thermostat, or a faulty heating element. Eliminate possible causes by checking your circuit breakers and ensuring there are no blown fuses. If everything looks good, move on to checking the power switches to make sure they’re on and ensuring the thermostat is receiving power.

If your water is warm, but not getting hot, you could have an undersized water heater, a failing thermostat or heating element, or your hot and cold connections are crossed. You can determine if your connections are crossed by turning off the water supply and turning on a hot water faucet. If the water still flows when the water supply is off, your connections are crossed.

When your water is too hot, this is usually because you have turned your water heater thermostat too high. It is recommended you set it at no hotter than 120°F to avoid burns. Beyond the simple checks recommended here, you should have a professional inspect your water heater if you suspect a faulty thermostat or heating element.

2. Water Heater Leaks

There are various reasons why your water heater might be leaking. It could be a faulty temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve, improper water pressure, a stuck valve, overheating, loose heating element bolts, a leak from a plumbing connection, a bad gasket, or a leaking water tank.

While you can check for obvious loose parts and tighten them (but not too tight), it’s best to leave most leak repairs to professionals because they know how to identify the problem quickly and recommend repairs or replacements to permanently fix the leak.

maintenance of water heater

3. Discolored Water

If you’re getting brownish or yellowish water from any faucet, it could be the result of a rusting water tank. It might be just a failing anode rod, but this is best determined by a professional. If the problem is more than just an anode rod, you’ll probably have to replace the entire water heater.

Conclusion

Hot water problems are absolutely no fun. We’ve come to rely on getting hot water instantly when we need it and when it’s not available, it’s a real hassle. Most hot water issues, though, must be diagnosed by a professional, especially since water heaters can be dangerous to work with. While you can perform some basic checks to attempt to determine the problem, it’s always best to leave this work to those who are trained to do it.

6 Reasons Every Business Should Consume Energy More Responsibly

There’s a growing energy crisis, and world leaders are expecting more sustainable energy use from individuals and companies. This expectation is especially placed on business owners because their dependence on fossil fuels contributes to global environmental issues.

Energy derived from fossil fuels is causing a devastating impact on the environment. The risks outweigh the benefits. There is, therefore, the need for businesses to do their part in protecting the environment. Everyone has to participate in the fight against climate change, biodiversity loss, food shortage, and global poverty.

So, here are reasons businesses should consume energy more responsibly:

reasons businesses should consume energy more responsibly

 

1. To Save Money

As a business owner, you don’t have to spend money on everything. You need to save, and one way to do that is to conserve energy. A sustainable business saves more money by using energy-efficient products, tracking energy use, and adopting a complete electrical power management solution (EPMS solution).

Also, being energy-efficient protects your business from fluctuations. This is because no fundamental factors are affecting the use of the wind and the sun. Companies can get pieces of equipment and be rest assured that they have fewer monetary decisions to make for powering them. Hence, conserving energy is needed to carry out cost-effective operations and to improve business stability.

2. To Help The Environment

Today, it’s impossible for businesses to eliminate their carbon footprints. Several business operations still rely heavily on fossil fuels to power their machines. Many business machines were made without considerations for renewable energy. However, carbon footprints can be reduced through responsible energy consumption to help the environment.

Aside from considering clean energy options, companies can help improve air quality by taking proactive measures. Actions, such as turning off the lights in their office when not in use, lowering the heating and air-conditioning systems, and unplugging devices when not needed, are great ways to begin. Every little act of responsible energy consumption counts towards solving crucial environmental concerns.

3. To Promote Health

Carbon emissions from firms have been alarming in recent times. The pollution generated from factories and business machines causes health problems, such as asthma, decreased lung function, and cardiovascular illness. So, without people who are in good health, there’d be no buyers to demand goods, and, therefore, no supply. And if there’s no supply, there’d be no sales to make. In other words, production will be severely affected as a result of poor demand.

Thus, organizations have every reason to consume energy responsibly to profit and scale business operations.

4. To Reduce Poverty

Poverty is detrimental to business. It eats deep into the economy, and it’s one of the negative metrics for measuring the performance of different economies in the world. No thanks to careless energy use, the poverty rate in the world is concerning. While poverty eradication is the duty of everyone, businesses can begin by conserving energy.

Energy conservation improves the environment and addresses food shortages. Farmers would not have to worry about the severity of climate change on their farms when clean or renewable energy is put to great use. Good weather conditions mean improved food production, which helps to end global poverty.

5. To Make A Positive Impact

There’s a growing debate about whether companies should be profit-focused or people-oriented. While some experts believe the nature of companies is to make a profit, others find it too capitalist. This debate led to the development of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Reasons Every Business Should Consume Energy More Responsibly

CSR, albeit optional, allows companies to make a positive impact and build effective brand management. A good business CSR will consider investing in clean energy sources and regulating energy consumption for the benefit of society. Through sustainable business practices, companies can achieve the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.

6. To Promote Employment

Every intentional act behind energy use contributes to overall sustainability. If a company consumes energy responsibly, it adds to the energy sector’s growth. And if it’s negative, it drags down the whole sustainability project. Yet, sustainable advances in the energy sector create more jobs for society and enable economic development and business growth. For instance, specialists in project development, manufacturing, and turbine installation are needed for wind power.

Moreover, when your business saves energy, it gets to enjoy lower energy bills, which will allow you to have more funds to hire more people. This even paves the way for more opportunities for workers, such as the construction sector and other industries that support your investment in energy efficiency.

Therefore, it’d be wise if organizations were to consume energy more reasonably and participate in the drive towards providing more jobs. An increase in employment opportunities leads to a rise in the purchasing power of society. And since society is the consumer, this works in favor of companies.

Conclusion

Creating an environment where everyone embraces renewable energy is the duty of all. But while individuals have obligations to meet, businesses have even more significant roles to play. Every act of responsible energy use is beneficial to society as a whole.

Looking for Cheap Business Electricity? Tips to Get the Best Tariffs

Every business person knows that making a profit from an enterprise is not easy. Reducing expenses is among the best ways to ensure profitability. However, it requires identification of all your costs and expenses. One area of concern for most businesses is the ever-rising cost of electricity. Indeed, cheap business electricity is a factor that can make or break your business. We guide you through some of the best techniques that’ll help you to get the best electricity tariffs for your business.

Compare the prices

The electricity sector has many suppliers. Each one of them is in it to make money. The competition is stiff, and so every supplier continually looks for the best ways to beat the competition.

Also, the tariffs differ among different industry players. Hence, you should endeavor to compare the prices among various suppliers. In case you get another provider with the best deal, it’s time to switch.

Know when your contract ends

When the electricity contract expires, and you are not aware, it can automatically renew because such a contract requires formal termination. The worst case scenario is where the contract rolls-over to higher prices. Knowing when your contract ends provides you with the perfect opportunity to switch suppliers.

Consider using a broker

The process of finding the electricity supplier with the most competitive tariffs is tedious and time-consuming. As a business owner you have many other essential engagements hence it would be better to use an electricity broker.

Brokers deeply understand electricity matters. They know all the suppliers and the tariffs they offer. They may also know the secrets of the trade that you might not be aware of. To crown it all,brokers in most cases will not charge you for their service as they get a fee from the electricity partner you choose.

Discuss with your supplier

When your contract ends, it provides you with a stellar opportunity for negotiating with your current supplier for tariff reduction. Most suppliers won’t want to lose you as their customer, and so they may be willing to listen to you.

Even where you have a quote from other electricity suppliers or also using a broker, it does cost you anything to try and negotiate with your current supplier. When you call them, let them know that you are considering switching if they do not lower the tariffs. Also, at the time of contract renewal, you get the opportunity to request for discounts.

Change Tariffs

Many people don’t even know their existing electricity plan. It is an excellent idea to look at your electricity bill or contract to discover your plan. Your tariff could be based on a flat-rate, or it could vary depending on the amount of usage.

It is also possible that your tariff depends on the time of usage. Selecting the best tariff can enable you to save a lot in electricity bills. Negotiating with your supplier for a customized tariff is another excellent strategy for reducing your business electricity.

4 Ways to Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly

As society moves towards widespread sustainability efforts, more businesses are jumping on opportunities to make their operations eco-friendly. Some initiatives are massive, while others are tiny changes that make a big impact.

Here are a few of the most popular and effective ways to make your business more eco-friendly, so you can benefit from lower utilities, improved brand image, and happier clientele.

Check out these four options to see which you like best.

Ways to Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly

1. Provide Eco-Friendly Transport Options

When every employee drives their vehicle to work, it does more than just crowd the parking lot. Encouraging and creating the opportunity for eco-friendly transport options is one way that a workplace can change its environmental impact.

There are a few ways to get to work that may be better for mother earth than a typical gas-engine car. One of these is public transport. If your city uses a bus or train system, be sure to locate your office space near a stop. This will make it possible for employees to choose that as an alternative to driving.

If your business operates vehicles as part of your services, we recommend choosing a car that runs on fuel-efficient sources, like SimpleFuel. Install the hydrogen fueling stations manufacturer PDC Machines has created to reduce pollution when you use your fuel.

2. Audit Your HVAC

One of the most affordable ways you can invest in an energy-saving initiative is by setting up an audit for your HVAC system. Every business owner wants to effectively keep their facilities cool in the hot summers and warm during bitter winters. If your HVAC system is operating efficiently, this should be easy. The problem is that breakdowns, leaks, and other issues are very common. These issues can worsen your environmental impact. Audit of HVAC system is essential to:

  • Find potential heat or cooling leaks in windows, doors, and more
  • Ensure that insulation is preventing the fast loss of heat or cool air
  • Watch for any spikes in your electricity bill that could indicate unit problems

When there are leaks present or insulation isn’t installed properly, it means your home isn’t cooled or heated properly. As the heat escapes in the winter through leaks, the HVAC unit has to work harder to heat your house as it cools. This causes more frequent breakdowns as your system experiences more wear and tear.

clogged filter of AC

So, we recommend calling in a professional to take a look at your unit and guarantee that it’s not wasting energy.

3. Give Your In-Office Lighting An Audit

Just like your HVAC system, you can upgrade the lighting grid you set up for your office space to save money on utilities and lower energy usage. Performing an audit is a great way to find the small issues that send your bills skyrocketing.

Some of the common ways that you can reduce your environmental impact with small changes in your office lighting are:

4. Switch to Sustainable Products

The supplies you utilize in your workday can quickly add up when you multiply it by the number of employees in the building. That’s why sustainable products are so impactful.

plastic-free bathroom

Buy recycled products, and recycle them after use. This simple step reduces waste, which avoids contributing to toxic landfills. Another way to reduce waste is to use compostable products or biodegradable products.

If an excessive amount of paper is wasted on memos every day, perhaps switch to digital for that specific item.

The Bottom Line

Owning and operating an eco-friendly business doesn’t have to be a hassle. Once you have some of these initiatives in place, you can focus on operations while benefiting from lower overhead costs and a positive impact on the environment.

Once you try these initiatives, spread the word! Share these impressive new eco-friendly office features in recruitment ads, sales packages to clients, or even just watch how it helps your energy bill each month.

Top Reasons to Convert to LED Lighting

LED Lighting has been in the news quite frequently recently, mostly because it offers a more cost-effective alternative to traditional lighting. If you’ve heard the talk, but are wondering why LED lighting is trending or you’re considering a plan to convert to LED lighting, you may wonder if it’s worth all the hype. Here are the top reasons why converting to LED lighting just makes sense.

Reasons to Convert to LED Lighting

1. Save Money

The most obvious reason why people are converting to LED lighting is that doing so saves them money. Not only do they use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, but they also last up to 25 times longer as well. This means that you’re paying less for the energy required to light your home or office and you’re buying fewer bulbs over time. If you don’t like any other reason on this list for converting to LED lighting, saving money is reason enough to do it.

2. Better Technology

LED lights have better technology than incandescent bulbs, which means they’re significantly more efficient. LED lights emit light in one direction, so you can light up a specific area much more easily than with an incandescent bulb that emits light in many directions. You also will limit your need for reflectors and diffusers, particularly if you’re using light to illuminate a specific space. LED lights are perfect for hobbyists who need to direct light immediately in front of them.

3. Safety

Safety is another major reason why people convert to LED lighting, especially parents. LED lights do not emit nearly as much heat as incandescent bulbs, so the risk of burns is almost nonexistent. Additionally, they aren’t going to light anything around them on fire because of their heat, so you can have LED lights near curtains or other fabrics and not worry about them being a fire hazard.

4. Eco-Friendly

Since LED lights use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, they’re better for the environment. Much of the electricity produced in the world today originates from fossil fuels, which are limited in supply. We need to protect our fossil fuel reserves as much as possible, so using less energy is a critical step toward healing the planet.

5. Better Lighting

When compared with fluorescent lighting, LED lights are much less harsh on the eyes, but they provide the same amount of light or even more. You can actually use fewer LED lights than fluorescent lights to produce the same or better lighting effects. Plus, you’ll get no annoying hum either.

energy efficient home

6. Possible Rebates

In addition to saving money in energy and bulb replacement costs, you may also get a rebate from your utility company or local government for converting to LED lighting. These entities have a stake in reducing the amount of energy you use, so they sometimes offer money back for taking steps to reduce your energy consumption.

Conclusion

There are few downsides to converting to LED lighting. In fact, you will see the benefits of converting almost immediately with better lighting and increased safety. The money savings will come a little later, but once it does, you’ll wonder why you didn’t convert earlier.

Save Money with Sustainable Gardening

If you’re looking for ways to create a sustainable and energy-efficient home, make sure to consider your gardening practices. Gardening is a great way to produce your own fruits and vegetables. If you’re gardening, you’re already helping to reduce plastic waste because your food is coming right from your backyard rather than from the store.

You can become even more green by practicing sustainable gardening! Sustainable gardening uses principles and practices that help to protect the environment without doing further harm. It embraces organic gardening methods, conserves resources, and substitutes harmful practices (such as using pesticides) with more eco-friendly practices. And not only is it good for the environment, but it can also help save you money!

Here are 5 ways you can begin using sustainable practices in your own garden.

Reduce energy use

When planting and maintaining your garden, look for ways that you can be more energy efficient and create less pollution. For example, instead of using gas or electric-powered tools, look for tools that you can use by hand. Using a cheap cordless battery powered drill instead of an electric powered drill. Dig with shovels, clip with pruners, weed by hand.

Another way to reduce energy is to consider how you’re protecting your garden. Some people like to put an electric fence around their garden to keep out deer and other animals. Electric fences use painful electric shocks to deter animals from entering; depending on the setting of the fence, these shocks can be harmful to wildlife, pets, and humans. Instead of an electric fence, use a metal fence. A metal critter fence saves energy, is more cost-efficient, and does not harm animals.

Conserve water

Water is a precious, limited resource. Instead of watering your garden from a hose, create a collection system out of rain barrels. A rain barrel system collects runoff from your gutters when it rains. You can then empty the water from the container as needed to water your garden and other areas of your lawn. Sometimes we water the plants too much than needed. It also helps a lot in saving water that we know how much or when to water our plants. There are freely given learning materials about this all over the internet. One place in particular, the Occupy The Farm website, gives simple yet detailed guides regarding this.

You should also keep in mind that runoff from your garden makes its way back into the water supply. Herbicides or pesticides contain harmful chemicals that can contaminate our water. Using natural herbicides or pesticides, such as vinegar, can still help kill weeds and prevent pests without harming the environment.

Make your garden a habitat

Sustainable gardening can help you create a backyard wildlife habitat. Even if you’re hoping to keep larger animals out of your veggies, there is a way to open up your garden to smaller critters. There are certain plants you can grow that will help provide food and shelter to animals such as bees, butterflies, and birds. Habitats will vary by area.

Grow native plants

Growing plants that are native to your area means that the plants will naturally thrive in their environment. They’ll do well in the existing light, moisture, and soil conditions so you won’t have to put as much effort into taking care of them. Another reason to grow native plants is that they won’t disrupt the ecosystem. Non-native plants can seed and spread to surrounding areas and prevent native species from growing.

You can save seeds from your plants from season to season. For example, if tomatoes are native to your area and did well in your garden, save the seeds from one of your tomatoes to plant again next year. Some people also like to scout out woods and fields near their home for native plants that they can seed in their own garden.

Start composting

Composting is good for you and for the environment! When you compost waste, there is less material going into the landfill. That waste then creates an organic material that you can use in your garden. Compost helps maintain soil quality and fertility, serves as a natural fertilizer,  increases water retention, and improves plant growth.

benefits-composting

It is easy to start composting. There are a few different types of composters you can buy or create. Enclosed bins are the most practical method for most home gardeners. The type of materials you can compost will vary slightly depending on your composting strategy. In addition to various types of food waste, you can also add yard waste such as leaves or grass clippings.

Conclusion

Sustainable gardening practices don’t just help you save money, they help you protect the environment. Look over your current gardening practices to see if there are ways that you can reduce the amount of energy you’re using, if there are ways for you to produce less waste, and if there are ways you can help your local ecosystem.

3 Energy-Saving Practices When Air Conditioning Is A Must

The summer season offers a plethora of fun and exciting activities. It’s the perfect time to soak up the warm weather, have backyard cookouts with family, head to the beach, or host a pool party at home.

While these are things to look forward to, some people choose to stay at home to avoid the scorching heat outside. This can be true, especially for people living in tropical regions. In turn, this would compel them to stay at home and turn on their air conditioners (AC) to cool their interiors and boost comfort.

Energy-Saving Practices When Air Conditioning

Practical Ways To Save On Energy Costs

Regardless of any setting, air conditioning units continue to be one of the biggest energy consumers. Running your cooling system nearly every day can result in increased electricity bills. Gladly, there’s an array of ways that you can do to reduce your worry about your inflating expenses.

If you own a few residential spaces, commercial air filtration systems can unclog dirty air filters that take nearly half of your average monthly bills. With this, you can save money in the long haul and ensure your AC systems’ efficiency while keeping your premises smelling fresh and pleasant.

Apart from cleaning your air filters, below are other simple energy-saving practices to stay within your budget during the summer months. Whether you’re a homemaker or a business owner, these strategies will certainly help you cut down costs without compromising comfort.

1. Minimize Or Reschedule Heat-Producing Activities

The humidity level outside can affect and increase the temperature inside your home, resulting in extra heat. While it can be easy to force your air conditioning systems to work harder, consider minimizing heat-producing activities inside.

Instead of cooking on the stovetop or oven in the kitchen, opt to microwave your food outside. Upon creating your weekly meal plans, try no-cook dishes. From fresh salads to hummus bowls, there are plenty of easy recipes online, which can add variety to your meals. Also, since the summer months are the perfect time for outdoor cookouts, use this time to grill your food.

stainless-steel-kitchen

Alternatively, you can reschedule doing your typical household chores. For instance, opt to iron your clothes during the evening, in the wee hours of the morning, or when the temperatures have dropped. Likewise, do your laundry, run your dryer, and use your dishwasher during the same off-peak, cooler hours. These small changes can significantly help you control the heat buildup inside and avoid overworking your air conditioners during the day.

2. Use Your Fans

Electric fans consume less energy compared to air conditioning systems. Considering this, use your fans to get the most out of the cool air from your AC appliance. Start by switching them on to push the hot air out, then turn your air conditioning unit on to enjoy a wind-chill effect.

When placed strategically, your desk or ceiling fan can efficiently regulate the temperatures in your living areas and allow the breeze to move through. In this way, you can keep your home and workspaces cool without having to push your AC to overwork.

However, make sure to switch off your fans when you’re not using them to cut down your energy bill. Alternatively, invest in energy-efficient fans that are equipped with sensors. These smart appliances can detect if there’s a need to boost the cool air in your space. When the area is adequately cold, it automatically turns off. Apart from saving money, these high-tech appliances can contribute to sustainability.

Moreover, these innovations can also be useful in businesses. Well-ventilated workspaces could improve employee well-being, boost productivity, and even increase client morale.

3. Seal Your Doors And Windows

Another easy energy-saving practice you can start today is to seal the gaps in your windows, add caulk around the cracks in your doors, and shut them tightly so the cold air won’t leave your living areas.

The sun’s heat can compel your AC system to work harder to regulate the temperatures inside. Hence, as you turn on your AC, make sure to pull down your drapes and close your blinds to block outside heat from entering your spaces. Savvy management of your window treatments can decrease the load on your air conditioning units, which in turn, helps you save electricity.

clogged filter of AC

These practices might seem simple, but doing these activities can keep your areas adequately cool, especially during the hottest part of the day.

Summing It Up

By cleaning your air filters, rescheduling your household chores, placing your fan strategically, and closing the gaps in your windows, you can keep your areas well-ventilated and comfortable. When you need to crank up your AC, these minor lifestyle adjustments can certainly help you cut down your energy bills.