How to Become an “Energy Savvy” Homeowner

26 02 2010

Energy Savvy Screen ShotImage courtesy of Energy Savvy

What a cool site! I’m filing this under ‘things I wish I’d thought of’… helps consumers to save energy (and money) at home by analyzing current energy usage and learning how to decrease it. They do the dirty work – sorting through the myriad rebates and incentive programs available – and compile it in an easy-to-use format. While this information is generally available elsewhere, it is often confusing and difficult to track down. Additionally, they can help to organize contractors in your area to implement these changes. Quite a convenient suite of services.

The downside? It’s only in the US.


Energy Efficiency Myths

25 02 2010

Well, just when you think you know everything…

We pride ourselves on being in-the-know when it comes to energy efficiency here at Eco Heat, but this proves that you can never stop searching and learning. Truthfully, I’d never thought about the energy consumption of my screensaver.

A few of the more interesting (in my opinion) myths are below. While most of these are well known, a few may be news to you as well! Find the full list here.

Myth 8

A shower always uses less water and electricity than a bath.

It usually does, but things are a bit more complex than that.

Obviously, a shower’s water and electricity consumption depends on its duration and the type of showerhead you use while you could be filling your bathtub to the brim or only be using a drop.

A bath could use anything from 100 to 200 litres of water while the average four minute shower with an old showerhead uses about 75 litres of water. The same four minute shower using a new, water saving showerhead will use less than 35 litres.

So, while taking a shower should be more efficient it still depends on the showerhead and the duration as well as how hot you like the water.

Myth 9

Computer screensavers save electricity.

According to Climate Savers Computing Initiative, a non-profit organisation started by Google and Intel to help combat climate change, screensavers are not only unnecessary, but they use more electricity than simply allowing the monitor to dim.

When you touch a key or move the mouse the screen pops back in an instant, because the screensaver is a file that is running and doesn’t do a thing to save energy.

Sack the screensaver and rather allow your computer to go into sleep mode after the required period of inactivity.

Myth 10

It takes more electricity to turn a computer back on than to simply leave it on.

Wrong! There’s virtually no power surge when you switch on your computer and turning it off therefore always saves energy. Also ensure you make extensive use of the power saving features of your computer.

Myth 11

It’s all right to leave your computer in sleep mode overnight.

A computer in sleep mode still uses a considerable amount of electricity in order for it to jump right back into action the moment you need it.

Turn yours off every time you’re not going to use it for a longish time. Click here to check out some of the various programs that are available for free and can help your computer use less electricity or even shut down at chosen times.

Myth 19

Leaving a ceiling fan on cools a room.

Ceiling fans do not cool a room at all. It only makes it feel more comfortable, because of the movement of air across the skin. So, when you leave the room turn the fan off.