Saving energy on your Family Vacation

Looking to go on a road trip with the family this summer? Today we will discuss how to save money and being energy efficient while on the road. The AC in your car is the number one source to reducing your fuel economy during your trip, so you want to make sure you are using it properly.

  • Drive with the windows down for a bit to let the hold air out before turning on the AC.
  • Park in the shade when you can.
  • When you turn on the car, do not immediately turn on the AC system until the car is actually moving. The AC does not need to idle, the AC cools faster while driving.
  • Read the owner’s manual of your car.
  • Set the AC to a comfortable temperature.
  • Do not use the AC more than needed.
  • Using cruise control on the highway saves gas.

saving energy on your family vacationDrive with the windows down, when you can. This saves gas, and when you’re driving through the open countryside, then enjoy the fresh air.

Aggressive driving (driving and accelerating at high speeds, rough braking) is not energy efficient. Driving the speed limit saves gas and money. Using these tips can help you become a more energy efficient driver on your next family vacation.

Use your computer efficiently and lower energy costs

We all have found ourselves forgetting to turn off our computer. A lot of us simply just walk away or close the laptop when we are done using it. By simply turning off our computers, or putting it into sleep mode we can become more energy efficient.

Use your computer efficiently and lower energy costs

Here are some easy tips to help you reduce your computers energy consumption and save money on your electric bill:

1. Choose ENERGY STAR: Most computers and laptops nowadays are ENERGYSTAR labeled, which make them more energy efficient. The next time you are shopping around for a new computer/laptop, try to choose an ENERGYSTAR certified model since they use less wattage in sleep mode.

2. Turn Off the Monitor: If you’re going to be away from your computer for at least 20 minutes, turn off the monitor. It is as simple as a push of a button.

3. Shut down after 2 hours: If you know you are going to be away for more than 2 hours, then shut down the entire computer.

4. Avoid Screen Savers:  Screen savers use more energy than not having one at all.

5. Power Management Feature: Using the power management feature in your computer effectively can help you save money. Make sure that you have the power-down feature set up on your PC through your operating system software.

6. Power Strip: By having your PC connected to a power strip or a surge protector, just switch it off when not in use.

Shopping for the Air Conditioner that is best for you

Summer is practically here and temperatures are heating up quick. Now is a good time to get yourself an air conditioner so you’ll be prepared for another Dallas summer. Depending on the size of the room you’re looking to cool, you may need a larger or smaller capacity AC unit. Take note of the BTUs, EER, and thermostat especially.

Shopping for the Air Conditioner that is best for you

The primary point of consideration with an AC is the BTUs, which is the air conditioner’s capacity for removing heat from a room. The greater this number, the more heat it removes. But don’t just rush out and by the first AC with the highest BTU capacity, because an overpowered unit, just like an underpowered one, is wasteful. An underpowered unit will continually run without cooling a space sufficiently while an overpowered unit will cool it quicker but consumes much more energy. Perfectly balancing the BTUs for the room size will make it more efficient.

Next is the EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio by dividing the BTUs by the number of watts, you’ll find out how efficient the AC unit is. The higher this number is, the more efficient it is. EERs range from 8 to 11.5 with 10 being well suited for hot areas like Texas. Keep in mind that a higher EER is more costly to buy, but will save you the most money in the long run.

All AC units have some form of thermostat, but look for one that is programmable to get the most out of it. It will only run during the time specified when the temperature gets high enough. Once the room is cooled down to below the set temp, it will shut off, saving energy.

Once you have an AC unit, be sure to clean the filter every month to keep it in prime working order. Set the fan so that it helps circulate the air effectively. Some fans can only be set to one direction, but others will sweep. Once you have all of this in place, your room will be nice and cool, but you won’t need to break the bank spending on electricity.

Energy Efficiency for your Apartment

You can read a lot about home energy audits or how to make your home more energy efficient, but what if you don’t own a home and are living on rental, then how can you save energy? So here are some tips on how to be energy efficient while living in an apartment or a rental property. With rental property you usually can’t make any drastic changes and you have very little liberty on where you can save.

Energy Efficiency for your Apartment

Check the backend cost: When you are looking for an apartment of a rental property, check what your utility bill might look like. If you are planning to move to an old quaint house or apartment, beware it might not be as energy efficient as the new ones. From cracks to ruin your insulation to old non-energy star appliances check what your monthly cost will be other than your rest.

Energy Efficient Light: Switch your incandescent bulbs with Compact Florescent Lights (CFLs) as they consume 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. Also be sure to turn off the lights when they are not in use and don’t forget to clean the fixtures to get more illumination.

Thermostat: Check if you have a programmable thermostat for it will help you in adjusting the temperature easily. If you don’t, just keep the heating at 68 degrees and cooling at 78 degrees. Simple and easy, this will help you on your next electricity bill.

Reduce hot water usage: Reduce your hot water consumption by taking shorter showers and washing your clothes with cold water. Heating water consumes a lot of power and this will help you save. Also keep a check that there are no leaks in your apartment.

Use Natural Light: Leave the blinds open and the curtains drawn to avail the sunlight during the day and to help you keep the house warm. This is especially effective if you have south facing windows.

Energy Leakage: Weather-stripping and caulking is very important to seal your doors and windows from air leaks. If you have cold or hot air gushing in your home, your home isn’t very energy efficient. You might need your landlord’s permission to do so but you can also check your local hardware store to see if there are some temporary solutions which will help you save and not affect the walls or windows which might bother your landlord.