Energy is a property of matter that has many different forms, and without it, life as we know it, and even the Universe, wouldn’t exist. One of the most basic properties of matter is that it can’t be destroyed or created, it can just be transformed from one form into another.
There are multiple forms of energy: there’s heat, there’s the chemical energy which is the result of the interaction between subatomic particles, then there’s mechanical energy (the energy that it takes to throw a ball, ride a bike or even walk) and finally electrical energy, or electricity.
The last one, electricity, is very special because of its ability to be easily converted into any other type of energy, and in the first half of the twentieth century, this basically revolutionized technology. Since then, however, energy sources have been running pretty slow and electricity is bound to get more and more expensive as the sources (mainly oil and coal) deplete over time.
For this reason, a lot of people are trying to be as efficient with their energy use as possible, both for environmental reasons and to decrease personal costs. Today I’m going to be talking about a few ways in which you can do just that.
New Household Appliances
If you have a kitchen or household appliance that you’ve had for more than say, twenty years, there’s a chance that’s much more energy-hungry than a modern equivalent. This is because energy technology is always evolving, and scientists are constantly finding new ways in order to increase the efficiency of electrical energy. This is especially true for older vs. newer refrigerators, but it counts for virtually any appliance.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should simply throw out your old refrigerator and have it scrapped; appliances are full of components and materials that can be easily recycled and used for some other purpose, so make sure you think about that when replacing anything.
Have you ever been in an old house that just seems to be drafty no matter how much you turn up the heat? This is because insulation technology has also come a long way in the past few decades - in other words, we’re a lot better at keeping the heat inside when we want it to, and not have it escape through the tiny crevices between the walls and our windows.
If you happen to live in an old house and your heat bill is significantly higher than that of your neighbors, your first suspect is subpar thermal insulation. This can be solved in a number of ways, but it’s most often because of the windows. Replacing old wooden windows with modern PVC can do wonders for your thermal efficiency, so it’s definitely something that you should look into.
If you’re searching for a new house, another thing that I’d recommend is looking for something that has black marble floors – as you probably know, black-colored surfaces absorb more infrared light than any other, which can be very nice on cold but sunny winter days, and will cost you absolutely nothing.
Regulate Temperature and Lights Remotely
One of the most common ways in which people waste electrical energy is that they leave their lights and heating on when leaving the house. It’s also one of the easiest ways in which you can start being more efficient with your energy, if you happen to be one of these people, that is. Simply turn off all the lights and the heat (unless you’re leaving a pet at home, of course) any time you vacate the premises. Alternatively, there are apps like Insteon that you can use to remotely control your bulbs, wall switches and much more; so that even if you forget to turn off the lights, you can simply do it from your smartphone. The only thing you need to worry about there is that some of these apps have known to be geo-blocked (they can only be downloaded from certain areas), so you might need a VPN in order to get access to them.
So now you know what to do if you want to keep the heat in, but what about keeping it out during those hot summer days? This is also a form of energy efficiency, as you don’t have to use up as much energy to cool down your house via an A/C unit.
A very nice way to take care of this issue is to simply plant more trees in your front and backyards that will provide some natural shade and keep direct sunlight out. Make no mistake, this can make a major difference.
Blog Author: Adam Ferraresi
Though Adam Ferraresi really loves his job of web developer, he’s also quite passionate about his writing, which is always gladly accepted at wefollowtech.com. As every Texan, he loves spending time outside playing sports with his friends. He may have graduated from college a couple of years ago, but he’s already working on his dream job and couldn’t be happier about it, as well as his new life in Dallas.