Go Green & Conserve Energy with an Electric Fireplace Insert & More
Given the cost of fuel and the problems surrounding resources, everyone's looking for ways to cut back and save a buck. Not only dowe need to seriously consider ways to reduce energy consumption but we need to discover new ways to create a safe and healthy place for ourselves and our kids to live.
To make a difference it's vital to understand the pros and cons of energy use and how this energy is burned. Is it helpful or damaging to the environment?
Electricity is produced by securing heat from the combustion of fossil fuels. Some methods, like heating, use electrical resistance so it's nearly 100% efficient. Natural gas is formed from organic material found in oil deposits.
Energy extracted from oil has an environmental impact no matter what resource you're using. There are the air emissions, water discharges, solid waste generation, land resource use. Information regarding these resources can be found through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
No matter what kind of energy you use, it must be generated from the earth which explains why it's so important to find a renewable source.This is the reason energy rates vary and fluctuate so much.
In this guide, we'll explore energy use and uncover ways to increase efficiency in the home and save money.
To determine how much energy is costing you, you need to know how much your energy provider is charging for usage. In some cases electricity can be more expensive. Fees are based heavily on where you live and what appliances you are using. But with the growing cost of gas and oil, many are considering electric alternatives.
If you grew up with gas appliances then you might be hesitant to switch to electric appliances because you might consider them ineffective when the opposite is actually true. A good example is the growing number of hybrid vehicles. There was a time when no one would even consider owning a vehicle like this. Today, it costs so much money to buy fuel that most skeptics are no longer concerned.
Everyone is conscious of the planet and ways to restore and maintain it. That's why we're all more open-minded. This is now the case with electric appliances. Electric appliances are growing in popularity. Many people are switching from gas to electric. People are using electric stoves, clothes dryers and more.
Comparatively, gas appliances have been known to be more efficient, but mind sets are changing and product developers are making electric appliances that are even more efficient and effective. So how do you know which is best?
Below is a list of energy efficient appliances. These items are growing in popularity and are considered a great money saving investment.
If you're looking for ways to save money and help the planet, then swapping your tanked water heater for a tankless on-demand one is a great idea. Not only does it heat water on an as needed basis and eliminate standby waste, but it doesn't take up so much space in the landfill.
Eliminate the large tank, and benefit from an endless supply of hot water when you need it. There isn't a pilot light constantly burning and water isn't being continuously heated and reheated. This feature conserves energy, and you never have to wait for the hot water tank to refill.
Fireplaces are a staple for most people. Just thinking of winter makes you think of a cozy fire. They're far from eco-friendly though. Burning fossil fuel and wood, fireplaces emit smoke, gas, ash, and soot into the air. If you choose to use an electric fireplace insert, you can enjoy a similar flame effect without the emissions. An insert fits right into the existing structure.
Granted, using an electric fireplace insert isn't the same as using a wood burning one, but they do provide a significant amount of heat, and offer a flame effect that's lovely. The benefit to using an electric fireplace is that you can control the warmth, use it around pets and kids, avoid the mess of ash and soot, and enjoy the flame effect year round.
Whether to use a gas or electric stove is controversial. Most people, myself included, prefer a gas range. A gas range is easier to control. Turning the heat up and down is so much simpler. Response time is immediate. With an electric stove the response time is much longer. You actually have to remove the pan from the burner while it cools down. That being said, an electric stove is more efficient in that it doesn't cost that much money to operate and it doesn't draw energy from the gas pipeline.
In some cases electricity can be more costly than gas, but if you're someone that wants to reduce the carbon footprint and better the environment, consider making the switch.
A Few More Ideas
To further improve in-home efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint is to consider using space heaters instead of a gas furnace. This will allow you to heat one room at a time instead of the whole house.
Another consideration is a water dispenser. Stop buying bottled water. Millions of water bottles are improperly disposed of every year. Using a water dispenser will save money and help the planet.
Other ways to increase in-home efficiency might include portable air conditioning in the summer, electric fans - especially ceiling fans, and a new thermostat. These items are great money savers and can help you do your part in the green movement.