Energy costs have been steadily rising over the past few years, and most people are now considering the possible cost savings of renewable energy sources. There are some situations in which the cost of switching to green energy is higher than the possible savings over an extended period of time. However, there are other methods that can lower energy costs immediately and without a lot of investment expense. This article outlines some of those methods, along with the pros and cons.
Wood has been a source of heat since man first discovered how to create fire. The typical fireplace found in homes is not very energy efficient since a high percentage of the heat produced escapes up the chimney. The solution to this problem is installing a fireplace insert. This type of heating system is inserted into the existing fireplace, but captures the heat and blows it back into the living space rather than allowing it to escape. If the homeowner does not have an available source of firewood, burning wood may not be much less expensive than heating with gas or oil. One other option which has gained popularity is a stove or fireplace insert which burns wood pellets or corn. These heating systems produce a lot of heat from a relatively small amount of fuel, and the fuel is much cleaner and easier to handle.
Before clothes dryers were invented, everyone hung their washed clothing outside to dry. While this method does not use any energy other than that required to physically hang the clothes on the line, it is dependent on good weather. If the weather is sunny and breezy the clothes dry in a hurry, but rainy days can make it difficult to dry anything. Using your clothesline as often as possible can reduce the energy normally used to dry freshly washed laundry.
Using solar water heaters takes advantage of the free energy provided by the sun, but the availability of energy is dependent on sunshine. This method obviously does not work during cloudy weather.
Using the constant underground temperature supplied by the earth is a great method of switching to a green source of energy. Even though the cost of installing a thermal energy system is quite expensive, the payoff is substantial. These systems work by circulating a liquid through underground pipes to heat the liquid in winter and cool it in summer. This method saves about 70 percent of heating and cooling costs, and the system is relatively maintenance free once installed.
Windmills have been used to produce energy for many years, and are recently regaining popularity. While the wind power is totally free, the windmill is not and the initial cost of the system may take many years to be offset by the savings. Another consideration is the fact that a windmill is dependent on air currents, and if the wind is not blowing no energy is produced.
If you use a lot of water for your lawn and garden, some energy can be saved by collecting rain water. In addition to the obvious energy savings, rain water is friendly to plants because it contains no chemicals or contaminants.
There are a number of benefits to using the green energy provided by nature in addition to saving the environment and money. Use the information in this article to reduce your energy costs and feel positive about your environment.