Category Archives: Home Energy

5 Tips to Minimize Your Home Cooling Costs in Summer

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Home Cooling

Summer is just a few months away, which will mean hotter weather. When the weather is hot, you have to turn on the air conditioning to stay cool and comfortable. However, cooling your house can use up a lot of energy, making your electricity bills very high. If you use your air conditioning a lot, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars a month on utility costs. Luckily, there are several ways you can minimize your cooling costs this summer.

Avoid Using the Oven

When it is really hot outside, you should avoid using the oven. Using the oven can cause your entire house to heat up, which will make the air conditioning work harder. On hot days, it is best to cook something in the microwave or just grill your food outside.

Use a Ceiling Fan

A ceiling fan can give you a cool breeze and does not use up as much energy as air conditioning. If you raise your airconditioner and use the ceiling fan, you can lower cooling costs by quite a bit. When you leave the room, remember to turn the ceiling fan off because it does not keep the room cool.

Set Your Thermostat at a Reasonable Temperature

Unless you want your cooling costs to go through the roof, you should set your air-conditioner at a reasonable temperature. Setting it to a low temperature will feel comfortable but will not make your electricity bill super expensive. Also, be aware that setting your thermostat at a really low temperature at first will not help your house get cooler faster. Setting your thermostat at a really low temperature will actually use up too much energy.

Keep the Shades Closed

A very easy way to cut cooling costs during the summer is to keep the shades closed. If you keep the shades closed, you will prevent the sun from coming in and making your house hotter. You could also consider planting some trees around your home to block out the sun.

Encourage Ventilation

Another method of reducing your cooling costs next Summer is to encourage natural ventilation of your home by opening a door or window on opposite sides of the house. This will promote airflow and cool your home dramatically. If you’re worried about security, there are many companies out there, such as Down Under Screens who specialize in screens which protect your home whilst still allowing air to flow through.

If you utilize these helpful tips, you should be able to keep your cooling costs down this summer. If you do the right things, your cooling costs will not go through the roof. Also, consider having a professional inspect your air conditioning system. He will make sure that it is working properly and not using more energy than normal.

How To Choose An Air Compressor

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Air CompressorAnyone who is going to use air tools is going to need a compressor. It doesn’t matter if they are using an impact wrench for mechanic’s work, an air nailer for construction, or any other pneumatic tool, without a compressor to power the tool; it’s going to do no more work than be a paperweight. The right air compressor is just as important as the tools that it is going to power.

So, how do you select the right air compressor? For a lot of people, it’s just a matter of looking over the compressors available, and picking out one they like. However, this is kind of a haphazard way of buying an expensive piece of equipment. It’s better to have some idea of what one is looking for, before starting to look.

Gas vs. Electric

Most air compressors on the market are electric powered. They have to be plugged into a normal 120 VAC outlet for power. But, what do you do when there’s no electric power to run the compressor? In those cases many people have to use a generator to power their compressor. That’s just one more piece of equipment to carry around.

If one is working on a lot of job sites where electricity isn’t available, it’s a good idea to buy a gas powered compressor. That reduces the amount of equipment that needs to be dragged to the job site, and the gas powered compressor will be more fuel efficient than powering an electric compressor off of a generator.

When selecting an electric compressor, it is important to keep in mind the maximum current draw of the compressor. When the motor starts, it draws a surge of power. That’s the worst power consumption. If there’s ever a time when the compressor is going to trip a circuit breaker, that’s the time. Remember, most outlets are only on 20 amp breakers. Manufacturers keep this in mind with their designs, but a big compressor running off the same circuit as other equipment can still trip a breaker.

What do the Specs Mean?

While I suppose it’s possible to buy a compressor just based upon how it looks, that’s really not much of a criteria. You’ve got to understand what the specs are and what they mean. Here are the basic specs that you’ll be looking at:

Motor size – measured in horsepower (HP). Everyone likes to brag about the horsepower, but it really doesn’t mean much of anything. The only time it comes into consideration is when comparing two compressors which are otherwise equal. The higher horsepower compressor doesn’t have to work as hard, so it will probably last longer.

Tank capacity – measured in gallons. This is somewhat important. The larger the tank, the longer your air tools can run off of the “bottled” air, before the compressor needs to turn on again. You don’t want the compressor running at any more than a 60% duty cycle, or there’s a good chance the motor will burn out. More than anything, tank capacity is a convenience. If you are running tools that consume a lot of air for several minutes at a time, with rest periods for the compressor to recover between times, a larger tank helps. Likewise if you have several people working off the same compressor.

Weight – measured in pounds. If the compressor is a portable unit, this is important. Some of these babies can be heavy enough to really mess up your back if you try and pick them up. For mobile operations, like construction work, a lighter weight compressor is helpful.

Max pressure – measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). This is not very important, as pretty much every compressor on the market provides more pressure than air tools need. As long as the compressor will produce 120 PSI, you can run almost anything on it. There are a few high-power tools which require more than 120 PSI; in those cases, you need to pay attention to this specification.

Air capacity – measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This is the single most important specification on any air compressor, and for some reason most manufacturers hide it in the small print. This is how much air the compressor is able to compress at a particular pressure. Typically, manufacturers will rate their compressors at two different pressures, 40 PSI and 90 PSI. As there aren’t any air tools which use only 40 PSI of air, that really doesn’t mean much, it’s the 90 PSI figure that counts. This is critical information, as the air capacity of the compressor must be higher than the air consumption of the tools that will be attached to it.

Air Compressor Styles

There are several common styles of air compressors. While they all pretty much do the same thing, the form factor is different, intended to be used in different ways.

Pancake – These compressors are small units, typically with a six gallon round tank. They are compact units, which makes them very popular with contractors, for powering air nailers. The Porter Cable C2002WK is a popular model of this style compressor.

Hotdog Portable – These are very small compressors, designed for high portability. Typically the tank is only one or two gallons. Like the pancake, they don’t have wheels, but are light enough to carry. The Senco PC1010 is a good example of this type of compressor.

Twin Tank – These are another compact compressor style, designed to be carried. The major difference between one of these and the hotdog is that it has more tank capacity; about twice what the hotdog has. Gauges and controls are mounted on a control panel, for those that like that. They usually have two air chucks, as opposed to the single chuck that most compressors have. The Makita MAC2400 is a good example of this style.

Wheelbarrow – Wheelbarrow compressors are twin tank units with a single wheel. Handles at the other end allow the compressor to be moved much like a wheelbarrow. These are higher capacity units, with much larger tanks, somewhere between 5 and 8 gallons total capacity.

Horizontal – This is the “standard” compressor design, with wheels at one end and a handle at the other to move it around. Horizontal compressors vary incredibly in their capacity, with tanks all the way up to 20 gallons. The larger ones can power two to three air tools at a time. The Campbell Hausfeld HL540100AV is a great example of a horizontal compressor.

Vertical – Vertical compressors are not designed to be portable, but are rather shop compressors. By turning the tank vertically, the compressor takes up less floor space in the shop. These are high capacity compressors, with tanks up to 40 gallons in size. They are intended for use with multiple air tools at a time. DeWalt’s D55168 is a small vertical compressor.

Air Consumption

As I’ve already mentioned, the most important specification on an air compressor is the amount of compressed air that is produces. If a compressor can’t produce enough air to power the tools being connected to it, it is essentially worthless. This table should help in determining how much air capacity you need in your compressor. Keep in mind that these are approximations; you need to check the actual specifications of the tools you are going to use, as specifications can vary.

Author Bio: Ryan Hill is a review expert especially when it comes to explaining the difference between certain power tools.  Find more information about power tool reviews by visiting his website.

DIY Wind Power Benefits

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For the past few years researchers have discovered that the use of electrical energy and other similar forms of power like fossil fuel and coal have been costly. Furthermore, the earth’s natural resources are gradually waning and it is apparent that an alternative source of energy is needed. The wind has become a reliable source of power and is being utilized by many people especially those who live in the countryside where the wind is strong. They harvest this energy through wind power generators. As the wind goes through the blades or propellers, the motion it creates is then converted to electrical energy. This is the basic function of a wind power generator and installing one in your area gives you a lot of benefit.

Not only does wind power help reduce increasing electric consumption but it also promotes greener pastures. It also helps keep the environment healthy and full of natural resources. In fact, anyone can construct his own wind power generator. He or she only needs a couple of wood, screws, a propeller, a tachometer and some magnets and he is all set. He or she may just need to attend occasional zone meetings as to make sure he or she is complying with the law. Anybody utilizing wind power generators can potentially save a lot for more important expenses.

DIY Wind Power

A bit of research and the availability of materials is just what you need if you are interested in installing your own wind power.

Getting Started With Wind Power Generation

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People can generate power from the velocity of the wind by simply constructing and utilizing wind power generators. Wind power generators have long been used by those who live in the countryside as a means of reducing their electric bills and as a reliable power alternative. Furthermore, it is nature-friendly since the wind is an ever present resource and does not deplete unlike coals, fossil fuel and gas.

Wind power generators are considered to be a partial solution for the earth’s waning natural resources. These structures have blades which continuously rotate as the wind goes through it and then the motion created by the blades are eventually converted to energy. Constructing your own wind generator is pretty easy. You only need a couple of wood, screws, magnets, wires, bearings and a tachometer to start. You can just simply buy the propellers at any accessible home improvement store. You may also consider checking hardware shops for additional materials that will be suitable to your preference with regard to creating your own wind power generator.

Just balance the blades then arrange the magnets properly before you do the wiring. You can also ask the help of those who have already constructed a similar structure if you are doing it the first time. Wind power generators are reliable and can make a difference when it comes to energy consumption.

Effective Home Energy Conservation

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There are more options which are recommended by experts around the world to those who want to learn and practice how to effectively save home energy and manage their financial status.

One electrical appliance which needs careful managing is the refrigerator since it consumes a huge amount of energy in a single day, especially if it is being repeatedly shut off and on every single day. However, paying close attention to its configuration and adjusting it properly can help in lessen the energy consumption to a minimum rate of 20%. To configure it properly, the refrigerator temperature needs to be around thirty seven degrees Fahrenheit while the freezer needs to be at least 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Practicing this will definitely help anyone in saving home energy.

Another way to go through saving home energy is through utilizing the earth’s natural resources like the wind and solar energy. Using this raw potential is very effective since it is renewable and does not cost as much as compared to using electrical equipment.

Furthermore, they do not promote pollution and in fact, can even help a person increase his profits on a given period of time. The basic idea of using these natural resources is it lessens the usage of electrical consumption without sacrificing home comfort and convenience. Installing solar panels on an open roof may seem to be strenuous but it guarantees a good and consistent source of energy and in fact, excess energy provided by it can actually be sold to prospective buyers, earning the individual revenue in the process. The same goes for wind powered turbines which uses the winds raw strength to generate limitless electricity and even promotes greener pastures, especially in open areas.

Save Home Energy!

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One of the most common mistakes of most people in this world is leaving unused electrical equipment turned on. A single fluorescent lamp may seem insignificant but if five rooms contain one fluorescent lamp and all are left functioning unnecessarily then the amount of energy consumed and wasted is significant. And imagine how much power is wasted by people who fall asleep while watching television, especially if they are also watching a movie through their DVD players. This may sound funny but it often happens and the thing is, at the end of the month, the person cannot dispute it to the electric company and have it refunded. They remain as valid usage of electrical supplies, thus will remain as valid charges which could potentially be the food for the next day.

Moreover, the amount of electricity consumed and charged is significantly higher when the appliance is an old model which should prompt the prospective customer to better purchase newer model appliances. The benefit of using up to date models is that they only consume around 70% less energy than their predecessors resulting into more profit. And when it comes to dishwashers or washing machines, they should never be plugged in right away and switched on unless they are already filled with water up to the rim. Doing so would result to unnecessary energy being consumed then wasted during the time in which it is plugged in since it is not yet being operated to wash clothing compared to a washing machine which was only switched on to start washing the clothes since it is already filled with water. The same goes for dishwashers and people carelessly doing otherwise for both appliances in a single day is a big loss financially. Calculate the days in the month which this happens and one would feel overwhelmed by the amount of electricity wasted, especially when people start calculating monetary results.