Energy Tips

A meter determining power use and the cost of an Electric Bill

Understanding Your Electric Bill

Understanding Your Electric Bill

Electricity is something that has become a staple in our daily lives. Throughout our day, there are very few things we use that don’t require electricity. This demand for electricity has played a role in determining the cost of power and what we pay on our monthly electric bill. We’re here to help you better understand what exactly goes into the items listed on your monthly electricity bill. 

How is Electricity Measured?

It is essential to understand how companies will measure power on our electric bill to get started. More than likely, your bill will measure electricity in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This measurement is how much power, or watts, is consumed in an hour. The initial number of watts will be divided by 1,000 to give you your kWh. Once your kWh has been determined, you will pay a certain amount per kWh used. The rate that you pay will vary based on your location and power plan.

Delivery and Supply on Your Electric Bill

Now that we know about kWh, we can break down the rest of your electric bill. Typically, your utility company will split a bill into two sections: one for delivery and one for supply.

Delivery Rate

Delivery is the way electricity is transported from the place it is generated to your location. These rates are typically fixed and set by the utility company and help maintain the infrastructure that makes power available. It may not be detailed on your electric bill, but these charges will go towards maintaining power lines, gas pipelines, other electricity infrastructures. Your power company will break down the charges further into individual charges within your delivery rate section. Some of these charges include:

  • Customer Charge – A fixed cost to cover fixed costs of the utility company. These company costs can include administration costs, billing, and serving customers.
  • Distribution Charge – This is the cost to deliver electricity from the source to your location. 
  • Transition Charge – These charges are typically a fixed cost that goes towards costs the company had to pay to meet specific legal requirements. This charge on your electric bill will vary from state to state.
  • Transmission Charge – These charges go towards the cost to deliver power from its generation source to the distribution center. These rates are determined by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissionand not by the company.

Supply Rate

The supply section of your electric bill is based on the charges from your actual energy consumption. Depending on your location and whether or not the state is deregulated, you may or may not have a choice in how your electricity is supplied to you. Each energy supplier can decide their rates for kWh. In deregulated states, you will be able to compare and shop for the best rate for you.

Once your rate is set, it will appear on your bill in kWh. The supply portion of your bill will include this rate and how much energy you used during the period to determine the total for this section of your electric bill.

Pulling Your Electric Bill Together

Your electric bill will pull together both your delivery and supply charges to give you your total for the period. It’s important to remember that your bill could vary month to month depending on your supplier and the demand throughout the year. At Astral Energy, we get rid of the guesswork on your electric bill. We create a custom plan based on your energy needs that won’t change no matter how much energy you use! Contact us today to find out how you can start enjoying power without limits.

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A lightbulb made of daisies to symbolize spring energy

4 Spring Energy Saving Tips

4 Spring Energy Saving Tips

As spring starts to roll in, flowers are blooming, and people will begin to think about spring cleaning. This time of year is also great to start getting your home ready for summer by starting new spring energy habits. We’ve got four tips you can start using this spring before energy use starts going up in the summer.

Use Your Windows

Spring is one of the best times of year to pull up the shades, crack open a window, and enjoy the fresh air. Your windows can make all the difference in your spring energy use. Sunlight can be one of the most effective ways to heat your home, which can lower your energy bill if you live in colder areas. If you live in an area with a warmer spring, investing in window coverings will be important to keeping your home cool. 

If you choose to leave your windows open, consider turning off your HVAC system or adjusting the temperature. Leaving your system on while a window is open will more than likely cause the system to keep running, increasing your energy use and the bill.

Fire Up the Grill

An oven can be one of the biggest culprits when it comes to heating your home. This may not be an issue during the winter, but as the weather starts to warm up, it’s another story. Instead of raising the temperature in your home, take your food outside and cook on the grill. Cooking outside will prevent your home from heating up, so your air conditioning won’t have to run to cool it down. If you don’t have a grill, other optionsare available to keep your home cool and keep your spring energy use down. Smaller cooking appliances like slow cookers or griddles will produce less heat but still effectively cook your meal.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

As your home starts to heat from the season change naturally, fans will be key to keeping your spring energy use down. Through ceiling fans, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort to save on your energy bill. While your ceiling fans are running, you can raise your thermostat's temperature by four degrees without feeling the temperature difference. Just remember to turn the fans off when you leave the room to make the most of saving energy.

Did you know that ceiling fans can also be used to heat your home? Running your ceiling fan counterclockwise on the medium or high setting will cool you off, but when run clockwise on a low setting, it can circulate the heat. As heat naturally rises, running your fan on a low setting will help push the warm air away from the ceiling to the rest of the room. 

Use Your Bathroom Fans

Your bathroom fan is probably at the bottom of the list of fans you would think about to help cool your home. The truth is, though, removing warm air is one of their main purposes. As much as a warm bath or shower is nice in the moment, the heat from the steam can kick your AC on, especially if the thermostat is close to the bathroom. To save on your spring energy use, try turning the fan on while you shower. This will not only remove the heat but has the added benefit of removing the moisture too. Getting rid of the moisture will help protect the integrity of your bathroom fixtures and prevent mold from growing. Just remember to turn the fan off when you’re done.

Astral Energy is the Go-to for Spring Energy

No matter the season, Astral Energy is here to help keep your energy bill in check. Our Ultimate Power Planis customized to you based on your previous energy use. So, whether it’s summer, fall, winter, or spring, your energy costs will stay the same. What’s the best part? It’s your power, without limits. Use as much as you want without worrying about your bill going up. Contact us today to learn more about how Astral can help you get the energy you need!

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A light bulb with a dollar sign filament to show saving on an energy bill

10 Tips to Save Money on Your Energy Bill

10 Tips to Save Money on Your Energy Bill

Paying our bills at the end of the month is often something we dread doing, but it doesn’t have to be. There are all kinds of ways that someone can save money on their home energy bill. Check out our 10 tips to help you save money on your energy bill.

Adjust Your Thermostat

As much as we like to keep our living space as comfortable as possible, constantly running the air conditioning or heater to achieve the perfect temperature uses a lot of energy. Dialing the thermostat back 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day can save as much as 10% a year. Installing a programmable thermostat can take the hassle out of remembering to adjust your temperature while still helping you save on your energy bill.

Seal Your House

Keeping a tight seal around the doors and windows of your home is essential to keeping the warm or cold air from seeping out. Ensuring that your home is well insulated will help keep your air conditioning from constantly running to keep it at the selected temperature. Caulking or weatherproofing openings are simple DIY solutions that anyone can do to seal their home. 

Take Advantage of Sun or Shade

Whether you want your home warmer or cooler, there are some cost-free resources that you can use for any season. If your living space has curtains or shades, you can open or close them to limit how much sun enters your windows. Depending on where you live and the positioning of your home, the sun could heat your house a few degrees every day during peak hours. Blocking the sun with shades or even trees during those peak times can make a difference in keeping your home cool.

Switch to LED

According to the US Department of energy, LED lightbulbs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than their incandescent counterparts. Not only does this mean that you’ll save money on your energy use, but you could save money from buying bulbs less often. There are all kinds of LED bulbs to meet your needs. Just make sure to check the “Lighting Facts” label to match the brightness and color to the location.

Install Dimmer Switches

These specialized switches let you control how bright your lights are in any room. Not only do these switches let you set the mood for each of your rooms, but they can also help you save energy by keeping the lights on a dimmer setting at different times. 

Consider Motion Sensors

It goes without saying that if your lights are off, they won’t be hurting your energy bill. If you’re someone that may forget to turn off your lights here and there, investing in motion detectors could make a huge difference in your energy bill. These sensors will track when there is or isn’t movement in a room in order to power the lights. Gone are the days of accidentally leaving a light on with motion sensors!

Maintain Your Dryer

Energy-efficient appliances are made to help conserve energy use. If you already have this kind of washer or dryer or don’t want to purchase a new appliance, there are still things you can do to save on your energy bill. Dryers use approximately 6% of a home’s total electricity, according to the California Energy Commission. By keeping your dryer clean and emptying the lint trap, you can keep the appliance running efficiently.

Wash with Cold Water

Consumer Reports have explained that heating water accounts for approximately 90% of the energy needed to run a washer. Due to this, washers and even laundry detergents have adapted to actually work better with cooler water. These studies have now shown that not only does using cold water help you save on your energy bills, but it can also get your clothes cleaner.

Keep the Oven Closed

As tempting as it may be to open the oven door a few times to check on your cooking food, it’s actually better to use the light and look through the glass. The US Department of Energy has said that the oven’s internal temperature can drop 25 degrees every time the door opens. Not only does this mean that the heat escapes into your home, but also that the oven then has to heat back up again. Leaving the door closed will help to retain the heat and keep your food cooking for you.

Conduct an Energy Audit

Running an energy audit is the best way to determine just how much energy your home is using. Oftentimes, utility providers will even provide these services for free. The US Department of Energy has stated that an energy audit can help a home save 5-30% on an energy bill.

There are all kinds of options to help save money on energy bills. At Astral Energy, we work with you to determine a flat monthly fee based on your previous energy use. You get the unlimited energy that you want without having to worry about your energy bill going up. Contact us today to learn more about how you can get the most from your energy!

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Smart Home Sense: 6 Helpful Ways to Optimize Your Smart Heating System

One of the best ways to make your home more comfortable is by using a smart heating system. It allows you to automatically control the temperature in your space at any time of the day. Installing it also enables you to monitor and change your temperature settings remotely via an app.

Apart from that, optimizing your heating system can also help improve your home’s energy efficiency and save you more money. It can make your space feel warm and cozy while making it more convenient. Using it can also help automatically adjust the temperature on your house whenever and wherever you are.

Optimizing your heating system can be a cost-effective way to help you get the most out of its benefits. That being said, check out these six helpful ways to optimize your smart home heating.

Start on Fixing the Basics

A drafty house or an air leakage can waste you a significant amount of money and energy. Other than making your space uncomfortable, it can also increase your energy bills. It can also reduce the air quality inside your home while letting water in that may create a potential mold problem.

Regularly checking your external doors and windows can help reduce your energy costs more effectively. You need to replace the seals around them since they may be detached over time. Doing so can be the best way to make them drought proof, watertight, and secure while helping optimize your heating system and make the area more comfortable.

The use of draught excluder can help block the air from traveling around your windows or doors. It can also eliminate drought and help reduce heat loss. Just like a clean energy company like Astral Energy LLC, it can also help save you energy while making your space warmer, especially during the winter.

Upgrade Your Boiler Connection

One of the ways to optimize your smart home heating is by upgrading your boiler connection with the help of OpenTherm. It’s a standard communications protocol used in a central heating system to allow communication between a thermostatic controller and the boiler. This technology can also help you get the full energy savings at home.

Instead of turning your boiler on or off, you can use the OpenTherm to help your smart heating system modulate its temperature more effectively. In that way, you can save more energy while keeping your space at a more comfortable temperature.

Adjust Your Boiler Temperature

A regular boiler service will ensure that it’s operating and running efficiently. An engineer can visit your house and perform a series of efficiency and safety checks on your heating system. Doing so can help keep your utility bills low by keeping all its components in good condition and provide your space with optimum temperature.

Your condenser boilers may perform efficiently when in condensing mode. But before that, you need first to set a separate water temperature for your heating system. Some of these boilers may have an eco-mode on its dial or screen. You can adjust the temperature at this level or below to help keep your boiler running in a condensing mode.

A hot water temperature of around 70 degrees Celcius can see a return of 55 degrees Celsius or lower. With that, you can put your radiator temperature low. But if you see that your house isn’t heating up to the desired level, then you can put it high. You also need to turn the temperature up, especially during the cold months.

Use the Multi-Zone Heating

Installing multi-zone heating like Honeywell Evohome or Tado can help you remotely heat only those rooms you use. It’s an air distribution system that allows you to have greater control over heat distribution to multiple zones in your home. It also enables you to turn it on remotely just when and where you need it, which can help you save on energy bills.

You can apply completely separate temperatures for each of those zones. For instance, you may get your kids’ rooms warm for bedtime before keeping them at a comfortable 18 degrees Celcius all night.

Utilizing zone heating also allows you to make use of other heat sources such as oven, dishwasher, and other appliances at home. You can run them in an hour before turning on your system. In that way, you can heat the space while helping reduce your system’s workload.

Create a Smart Schedule

Utilizing smart heating can help you save a significant amount of money every year. Systems such as Tado and Nest can learn how quickly your space heats. With that, you can set suitable temperatures whenever you want them any time of the day. It would also be helpful to create schedules for the week and during the weekend.

Most people prefer a cold temperature in the morning. But your house may naturally get warm during the day, so you may turn off your system, especially when you’re not home. When you rely on your phone for geofencing, you need to make sure that everyone would install the app so that anyone can use it when needed.

Use the Reports

One of the advantages of smart heating is that it can tell you more about how your space heats and how your system is performing as well. It has an energy saving report built into its app that can provide you some insights about how much energy and money you’re saving for the month.

If something isn’t working as you expect, you can check this report so that you can get the necessary information to help you solve the problem. It can also provide you with a lot of information about your electricity costs, tariff, billing and more. Thus, you may adjust your schedule from time to time to help get the best results.

Your smart heating system can provide you with a new report each month. It includes how many hours of weather adaptation for the month, how much you save through manual control, how many hours of ‘away mode’ occurred, etc.

Takeaway

Optimizing your heating system can make your home more comfortable while reducing your energy use. You can do that by utilizing cost-effective ways such as those listed above to help keep it running at its highest efficiency level. Thus, they won’t only help improve your energy efficiency, but they can also help you save money while lowering your carbon emission.

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A Smart Lifestyle: 6 Best Online Tools to Save Energy in Your Home

As a homeowner, there are a lot of options you can make when it comes to improving your home’s energy efficiency. One of them is to invest in green appliances and hybrid cars to save energy effectively. Doing so can provide various impacts for conserving energy in your home while helping protect the environment.

Apart from that, there are also other green options you can choose that are suitable for your budget. The use of online tools is a convenient and affordable way to help you save energy at home while making your area more comfortable. To know more of them, here are six best online tools to save on energy and money in your home cost-effectively.

Energy Made Easy

Energy made easy is a  government website that allows you to compare electricity and gas retailers from other markets. It can help you understand and analyze your electricity usage by comparing it with other households in your area. It can also help you learn about energy topics like your rights and obligations, bills, contracts, and the energy market.

The use of energy made easy online tool can provide you with a benchmark that helps you know whether you use more or less electricity compared to those around you. Just like a clean and reliable energy company like Astral Energy LLC, using it will also help you save money by providing you with a suitable energy plan.

This online tool is a free government website that can assess you on estimating your annual bill for each plan you choose effectively. This free tool is also accurate in helping you decide on which of these plans can help you save energy the most. You may also switch into another energy plan without any cost.

Home Energy Checklist

Simple changes can make a lot of difference when it comes to saving your energy at home. With that in mind, the use of this home energy checklist is a great way to reduce your home’s energy use. It can also provide you with an online list that includes actions you can take to conserve energy in your home cost-effectively.

Running through this online checklist allows you to save a significant amount of energy in your home. Most points on the home energy checklist won’t require you with much effort. Some of them is turning off the lights in an unoccupied area or when not using them and unplugging your equipment that may drain energy when not using them.

The checklist will provide you with outlined actions that can help you conserve energy daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Applying them at home will help make the area more sustainable and energy efficient while helping reduce your carbon footprint.

Energy Tracker

Energy Tracker is one of the best tools you can use to help manage your energy consumption at home. Using it online or on your mobile device will help set up your home’s energy profile quickly. You may also update it while making energy efficient improvements for your home using energy tracker.

You may also conduct your energy audit using this online tool. The tool can help you determine which areas in your home lose energy. Using it will also help you identify which problem areas you need to prioritize to help make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. Hence, you can quickly determine how much electricity your home uses.

A home energy audit is your first step before making energy efficient improvements for your home with the help of energy tracker. You can use the table it provides to help calculate your home appliances’ energy costs effectively. It can also identify how the energy in your home is being used.

This online tool is also great for pinpointing which appliances consume the most energy in your home which you need to upgrade first. Energy tracker can also help you find the best recommendations and the steps to help save energy and how much you can save for every action.

Sustainability Victoria

A safe and energy efficient transport guide from Sustainability Victoria is a way to help you achieve sustainability and multiple health goals. Utilizing its methods is one of the best ways to commute while helping save on energy. Incorporating the simple changes to your daily commute can also help you save a significant amount of energy and money.

Transportation is one of the largest energy consuming sectors nowadays. Sustainability Victoria can provide you with a transport guide that offers information on how to use sustainable transport. This guide can also help reduce the demand for energy which can benefit your wallet in the long run.

Commuting has been a part of everyone’s life, especially when you travel far distances when going to work. With that, the use of this energy efficient transport guide is a great way to save energy and reduce your carbon dioxide emissions that are harmful to the environment.

Green Vehicle Calculator

A green vehicle or a hybrid is a road motor vehicle that can produce less harmful impacts to the environment. Compared to other cars that utilize gasoline or diesel, using it is an excellent way to conserve energy since it uses alternative fuels. It can also help reduce carbon dioxide emissions that are harmful to the environment.

A green vehicle calculator is an online tool you can use to find out your total monthly fuel cost as well as your carbon dioxide emissions. It can also provide you with data on air and noise pollution and your daily fuel consumption. Thus, the use of a green vehicle is a great way to reduce your fuel consumption while helping protect the environment.

Energy Rating Calculator

When you shop for a new home appliance, consider how much it may cost to run. The use of an energy rating calculator is one of the best ways to save money on your electricity bills by helping you on choosing energy efficient appliances. The tool also allows you to compare models that can help you save on energy and money more effectively.

This calculator can also help you determine which appliances consume the most energy in your home. It can also provide you with the energy rating label so that you can make a smart choice and save money when buying your appliances. Thus, you can now shop a high-quality dishwasher, fridge, and TV with confidence.

Takeaway

Saving energy in your home doesn’t need to be expensive. The use of online tools such as those listed above is a convenient and cost-effective option you can take to help conserve energy at home. They won’t only help reduce your energy bills, but they can also help protect the environment for future generations.

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6 Window Treatment Ideas that Can Help Lower Your Energy Bills at Home

Windows are an essential home feature that can help you connect with the outdoors. They can help control your home's temperature while allowing the fresh air and light to go in. However, they can also allow air to escape which can cause excessive consumption of energy from your home’s cooling and heating systems.

Air leakage in your windows can cause about 25 percent of your annual cooling and heating costs. The percentage may also increase to as much as 40 percent for those who have older homes. Windows that are not adequately insulated is also one of the primary causes of electricity loss.

One way to help avoid this expense is to incorporate energy efficient window treatments. Doing so will help lower your home's monthly energy bills. To give you more idea, explore these few window treatment ideas to help you save energy at home.

Drapes

When it comes to window treatments, drapes are an excellent option for your home. They are a decorating design with fabric that's heavy enough to help insulate your home. They can help prevent heat loss in the winter and solar heat gain in the summer. They are also long enough to reach from the top of your window down to your floor.

Drapes come in various styles and colors. You can opt for medium-colored ones with white plastic on their back. You can leave them closed during hot months which can help reduce solar heat gain by about 33 percent. To get maximum performance, you also need to seal them tightly just like the other window treatments.

Like curtains, you may also need to hang them to your cornice or your ceiling down to your floor. You must position them as close to your windows as possible to help get maximum efficiency. Hence, they can be one of the most flexible window treatments you can use for your home.

Shades

The use of window shades is the most effective and easiest way to save energy in your home. Mounting them closer to your glass windows and your adjacent wall will create a tight seal that can help minimize both heat loss and heat gain. Thus, the proper installment will be the key to help increase your home's energy efficiency.

You can opt for shades that have dual layers of fabric. They have a dark color on one side and a lighter color on the other that can help add more functionality. It's also essential to try reversing the shades based on the season. The dark color can absorb the heat during the winter, while light color can reflect the sun’s heat in the summer.

Shades are flexible so they can be suitable for any window orientation. They also come in a wide range of colors, materials, lengths, and widths that can fit perfectly within your window frame. With that, utilizing them will help reduce both solar heat gain and heat loss which can help lower your energy bills.

Awnings

Most buildings already utilized awnings even before the advent of air conditioning. They are a necessary passive heat-blocking window treatment that can help lower your energy bills at home. They won't only add personality to your home, but they can also be an excellent defense against the sunlight especially during the summer.

Utilizing awnings can help reduce solar heat gain by about 65 percent for your windows that are facing in the south, and 77 percent for those who are facing in the west. They can work by blocking the sunlight from your windows during the summer. They can also allow the winter sun to shine through and provide warmth to your house.

Awnings can work even without making adjustments as the season changes. They can be retractable or stationary and made of materials like wood, vinyl, cloth, or aluminum. They are also an ideal window treatment you can choose to help reduce your home's energy costs by decreasing the need for a cooling system.

Blinds

The use of blinds is necessary to help lower your energy bills at home. Installing them to your exterior and interior windows can help reduce solar heat gain while maintaining a suitable light, privacy, and ventilation. Using them will also help reduce heat gain by 45 percent when you lower or close them during the sunny days.

Blinds are best to put on the south and west-facing windows. Putting them on the outside area can also be more effective compared to the inside. They can effectively block the heat before it's transmitted through your windows and warms your room. However, they can be tricky to add to your existing windows, but they can surely help save your energy at home.

High Reflectivity Window Film

High-reflective window film is one of the famous home decors nowadays. It’s a safety film that can help keep your room cooler by reflecting the heat from the sun's light. It’s also an ideal window treatment can be best used in climates with short winter seasons. Hence, using it can help you save a significant amount of energy and money.

This window film acts like a radiator that can be beneficial for your home, especially during the summer. It’s also capable of blocking the incoming ultraviolet light that may damage your furnishings and fabrics. It can also help keep your carpets and wooden furniture in good condition for an extended period.

High-reflective films may work well with large windows such as on your garage where cold temperatures are necessary. Apart from that, utilizing silver and mirror-like film can also work better compared to transparent films.

Roof Overhangs

The use of roof overhangs is beneficial for your house. They can help shade your windows from the sunlight while reducing the amount of rain that could hit your windows, siding, and doors. Just like connecting into a clean and reliable energy company like Astral Energy, installing roof overhangs can also help you save on energy and electricity costs.

Roof overhangs will help keep your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Depending on its placement and depth, installing them can help shade your house in the summer while still allowing warm light in during the winter. Thus, you'll need to use less cooling and heating system which enables you to save money and energy.

Takeaway

As a homeowner, you often dress up your windows for beauty rather than functionality. However, you must know that utilizing window treatments such as those listed above can also help you save on energy and money. Using them will also help improve your home's energy efficiency in an eco-friendly way.

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6 Ways to Make Your Household Chores More Energy Efficient

Household chores are a necessary part of your everyday life. Doing them will help ensure that your home continues to run efficiently and make your living environments clean and organized. It’s also the best way to help increase your sense of responsibility. In that way, you’ll promote safety and good overall health for your family at home.

However, it’s also essential to keep your energy costs low while you do your daily household chores. You need to make sure that you can conserve energy in the process and save money on your utility bills. To give you further insights, here are a few simple and smart ways to make your household chores more energy efficient.

Reduce Your Ironing

A flat iron is an essential household appliance that you can use to help remove the wrinkles or lines in your clothes. It is a high-quality device that you can use by pressing it against your clothes to straighten them. However, it’s also one of the appliances that consume a significant amount of energy in your home.

Ironing your clothes can use about 800 to 2,000 watts with an average of 1,100 watts when the heat is high. So, just like connecting into a clean and reliable energy company such as Astral Energy, hanging your clothes after the washing cycle can help you save energy and money. It can also help reduce their wrinkles and the use of the appliance as well.

When you use your flat iron, make sure to avoid the use of the low heat setting and the steam function to help save on energy. If you have clothes made from delicate fabrics, you may try ironing them after switching it off. Your appliance will be hot enough to help reduce the wrinkles or lines in your clothes without damaging them.

Consider the Low-Energy Vacuuming

Vacuuming your carpets is an essential way to help increase its lifespan. It’s also one of the best ways to care and maintain your carpet at home and get the most out of your investment. Regularly doing the job can help remove dirt and soil that can damage its fiber and may reduce its useful life.

Vacuuming can also consume a vast amount of energy at home. Thus, it’s necessary to do your job in a more energy efficient way by utilizing a carpet sweeper instead of a vacuum. The use of manual carpet sweeper doesn’t use electricity, so it’s a more energy efficient option to help you conserve energy at home.

Utilizing carpet sweepers can help clean small messes like crumbs and pet hair, and surface dirt in your floors and low-pile carpeting. However, when you need to do vacuum, make sure to empty the dust collector regularly to ensure that it’s running efficiently. If it’s full, your appliance may work harder to pick up the dirt and use more electricity.

You may also upgrade your vacuum into an energy-efficient model. Make sure to choose a product that can help reduce the number of allergens while doing the job. It’s also essential to opt for a durable model that won’t only help you save money and energy, but could last for a few years as well.

Make Your Laundering Energy Efficient

One of the best ways to make your daily chores more energy efficient is to incorporate changes to your laundry routine. One of them is to ensure that each load of your laundry is full to help you save water. You can also wash your clothes in cold water to help save energy while keeping the stains from setting in and prevent the colors from bleeding.

After washing your clothes, you may also try the line drying instead of using the dryer. Doing so can help you save energy while benefiting the antibacterial effects of the sunlight. You can also dry your clothes on the inside, but make sure that it’s warm and dry or cold and dry.

However, if you need to use a dryer, make sure to keep it well maintained. Some small cloth fibers may pass through the lint trap and to the dryer hose. As a result, it may restrict the airflow and forces the appliances to run longer. Hence, keeping your machine well maintained can help improve its energy efficiency while helping reduce the risk of fire.

Utilize the Smart Dishwasher

The smart dishwasher is one of the best appliances you can use at home. It’s a connected smart home tool that can provide enhanced features to your standard machine. Some of its features include the Wi-Fi connectivity and flexibility options like voice controls via enabled smartphone control and virtual home assistant.

Utilizing the smart dishwasher will help you conserve water and energy. The appliance has essential features that can make it more flexible and more efficient in addressing common issues like redepositing food particles on your dishes. It also has smart technology feature that can help incorporate your appliance into your smart home design.

Save on Your Steam Mop

A steam mop is a handy device you can use for cleaning your floors at home. It’s an innovative floor mop that helps you to save time by quickly absorbing the dirt in your area. This high-quality product will also help kill the dust mites and bacteria through the heat from its steam.

However, it isn’t always necessary to use the steam mop when you’re cleaning your floors. Instead, you may use a regular mop and help efficiently save your appliance for your quarterly cleaning job. Doing so is an ideal way to save on your energy bills while helping improve your home’s energy efficiency as well.

Use the Green Cleaning Solutions

The use of green cleaning solutions is an ideal way to help you save money and energy. It’s also an excellent way to help protect the environment by avoiding water contamination. Most of the cleaning solutions you get from the local markets contain pollutants like nitrogen, ammonia, and phosphorus that are harmful to the environment.

Instead, you can consider the use of DIY green cleaning solutions that are more eco-friendly. You can make an effective surface cleaner by using water and vinegar. The vinegar is acidic enough to help kill about 99 percent of mold spores and other bacterias in your home. You may also add scents like citrus, lavender, or rosemary to your spray bottle.

Takeaway

Utilizing the simple ways to help reduce your energy expenditures is beneficial when you do your household chores. You can incorporate a few eco-friendly ways to make them more energy efficient such as those listed above. They won’t only help you save money and power, but they can also make your living environments more clean and organized.

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Nifty and Practical: 5 Smart Gadgets for Monitoring Your Home’s Energy Use

The use of smart gadgets is beneficial for your home. They can provide your house with more convenience and better security. They’re also necessary for monitoring your home’s energy consumption. Hence, utilizing smart home gadgets can help you save money by reducing your energy costs while helping protect the environment.

Utilizing smart monitors can provide you with energy usage reports from time to time. They can also help you become more aware of your energy use using your mobile phone. They can also give you a better illustration of how much you spend on energy. Utilizing them is an eco-friendly way to help reduce your home’s energy use.

The energy monitoring devices can help improve your home’s energy efficiency. It can also help you save money by reducing your home’s energy consumption. To give you more idea, catch a few of these smart home gadgets below for monitoring your energy use at home.

WiOn Smart Surge Protector

The WiOn Smart Surge Protector is an excellent tool you can use at home. It has six outlets on one power strip which enables you to plug in your home devices while allowing you to control them using the WiOn mobile app. You can utilize the smart surge protector to help provide you with more control over your plugged-in home devices.

The use of a smart surge protector is an ideal way to help protect your plugged in devices such as your laptop and mobile device. One of its primary jobs is to detect excess voltage and divert it into the grounding wire with the help of its grounding pin. You also need to properly plug it into a grounded outlet to make it work more efficiently.

The use of surge protector is necessary for your home devices that have intricate microprocessors such as televisions, stereo systems, computers, and media centers. Just like connecting into a clean and reliable energy provider such as  Astral Energy, using the device can also help reduce your energy consumption effectively.

CURB Energy Monitoring System

The CURB energy monitor allows you to measure your home’s energy use by connecting the smart system to your breaker panel. The product can act as your finance tracker that can help pinpoint your home’s wasted energy. It can also help remotely control your electricity use and help set up your energy budgets at home.

The CURB energy monitor can automatically measure each of your devices’ energy use with the help of a mobile app. The system can also monitor your home using the sensors installed in your circuit breaker. Thus, utilizing the product allows you to control the energy consumed by your clothes dryer and all the other outlets and lights in your home.

The system requires a licensed electrician to install a sensor on each of your breakers. It can monitor each of them from time to time. It can also display consumption information as well as how much your energy costs using a smartphone or iOS app. Hence, using the smart system will help improve your energy efficiency and save energy bills as well.

WeMo Insight Smart Plug

The WeMo Insight Smart Plug is a portable outlet that you can plug into a regular outlet. You can use the product by plugging in your home devices such as coffee maker, lamps, space heater, and TV. Utilizing the product can help track and measure how much energy your appliances use.

This smart tool can provide you with real-time energy usage reports with the help of WeMo mobile app. You may also control the product using the mobile app and automatically turn it on or off anywhere you are. Utilizing it can help you get more insights into your home’s energy use while helping you monitor them from time to time.

The smart tool also lets you set automatic schedules for any home device you plugged in like your fans, lamps, and space heaters. You can use the free WeMo app and keep your home comfortable by automatically turn on your fan at noon. You may also schedule your lamp to turn on when the sun sets so you’ll never come home with a dark house.

Sense Energy Monitor

Using the Sense Energy Monitor helps you automatically track which area in your  house has the largest energy consumption. You can connect it to your home’s breaker panel and help detect all the devices that use energy in your home. It can also track watts for each of your appliance which you can view its power usage using the Sense mobile app.

The tool can help detect your home’s devices while helping improve their energy use over time. If you use solar energy, you may also utilize the product to measure your home’s solar energy production efficiently. Hence, monitoring your electrical usage by using the product can help you save money by reducing your energy cost.

The smart product can also analyze the data it collects and sends it to Sense.com. The data is matched to the other information collected from the other devices with the help of machine learning algorithms. Apart from that, the sense app will also alert you regarding the statistics about your devices’ energy use.

Brultech GreenEye Monitor

The Brultech GreenEye Monitor is an ideal home device you can use to measure your home’s energy consumption up to 32 electrical circuits. It connects to your breaker panel and provides you with usage stats using a mobile app. The smart tool can also measure your water and gas consumption, and even your wind and solar power generation.

The use of Brultech GreenEye Monitor can also help monitor multiple dwelling establishments. One of its unique aspects is it can provide inputs for reading pulse outputs that you can tap into your gas, water, and motion detection systems. It can also provide data that can help you understand different kinds of temperature sensors.

Utilizing the product is a great way to enhance your home’s energy efficiency. It has a built-in self-contained website that has a breakdown of your home’s energy use. You may access its real-time data online via ZigBee hub, Ethernet, or WiFi. Hence, utilizing the product is an ideal way to help improve your home’s energy efficiency over time.

Takeaway

The use of smart monitors is a practical way to control your home’s energy use automatically. Utilizing tools such as those listed above can help improve your home’s energy efficiency over time. They can also help you save money by reducing your energy costs. Thus, using them can make your house more convenient and more comfortable.

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Energy-Hungry Devices: 5 Appliances That Consume the Most Energy at Home

Not all of your home’s appliances have the same functions. Utilizing each of them can have a significant impact on your monthly energy bills. It’s also essential to keep your home energy efficient to help prevent high electric bills. Hence, it’s necessary to know which of these devices use the most power in your home.

Home appliances can aid in your everyday household chores. However, when their temperature rises, your energy bills can be at their highest level since producing heat would take a lot of energy. While they can consume a considerable amount of power, some of these appliances may also consume more than the rest of them.

Making your home more energy efficient will help control your power usage more effectively. But aside from that, you also first need to understand which of them consume the most electricity in your house. As such, take a look at these five of the most energy-hungry appliances in your home.

Heating System

The use of a heating system is necessary to help regulate and maintain the level of temperature in your home. However, it’s also one of the appliances that consume the most energy in your home. It uses about 27 percent of your home’s electricity.

The kWh range for running a heating device in your home can be broad. It can consume about 100 kWh up to 3,500 kWh per month. Your heating system would also increase especially during the winter. Moreover, its range would depend on the type of heating system you use and how efficient it operates as well.

On the other hand, you can utilize a programmable thermostat to help reduce your heating bills more effectively. It’s also a great way to upgrade into a more efficient heating unit and save money on your heat-related power use. The high-quality heating appliance can operate up to 97 percent efficiency compared to the other models.

It’s also essential to have the best deal with your energy provider. You may switch to a reliable energy company like Astral Energy that can provide clean and suitable power for your home. In that way, you can lower your kWh and get more savings on your monthly heating bills.

Cooling System

The air conditioning unit in your home uses high-watt machines for an extended time. Apart from controlling the temperature in your area, it can also account for one of the biggest energy users in your home. Hence, utilizing your cooling system can significantly affect your monthly energy bills especially during the summer.

The number of watts consumed in your cooling system depends on the operating time, the capacity, the type of unit and it’s efficiency rating. Your air conditioning unit can use about 200 to 1,800 kWh per month.

You can take simple steps to help improve the efficiency of your cooling system. Since the insulation and coolant charge are vital to keeping your device working efficiently, you can have a pro check for your unit every year. Apart from that, make sure also to close the vents in your area that you hardly ever use.

You can also upgrade to a timed thermostat and turn off your cooling system automatically when the temperature from the outside gets cooler. Make sure that you also have at least 16 inches or 41 centimeters of insulation in your attic. It can help keep more of the sun’s heat out of your area so that your unit doesn’t have to work as hard.

Water Heater

Water heating can account for about 12 percent of your home’s energy use. As a homeowner, you can use a water heater to clean your clothes, wash the dishes, shower, and other home applications. Hence, it can be an essential part of your daily routine.

Water heating is a power-intensive household appliance because it consumes about 400 kWh per month. However, the amount of energy you can spend on it may depend on a lot of factors. These include the type of water heaters such as tankless, solar, or standard water heater and its size as well.

Other factors include the temperature settings, washing your clothes either in cold or hot water and how long you shower in a day. On the other hand, you can also take simple ways to conserve energy to help your water heater perform more efficient and save power on your energy bills.

You can also reduce the electricity used in your water heater by checking its temperature. You don’t need it to be hotter than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead, you can drop its temperature up to twenty degrees and get the same heating efficiency while consuming less energy.

Dehumidifier

Utilizing dehumidifier is necessary to keep your home’s humidity levels in check from time to time. It’s an ideal appliance that can remove moisture from the air. The use of the product can also help prevent the growth of mildew by extracting the water from the air in your space. It can help eliminate odor and help make your area more comfortable.

If you live in a humid, wet area, you can leave dehumidifiers to run all the time. It’s a high-wattage household appliance that can consume a vast amount of power. The product comes at 60 to 1,000 watts depending on its capacity. Hence, it may consume about 160 kWh per month depending on how long it runs.

Moreover, you can also ensure that your dehumidifier is not wasting energy. You need to close off the room where it’s working. You can also set the humidistat at a reasonable number that can remove moisture more effectively. Instead of a dial, you can go for an upgrade and get a digital humidistat for greater precision.

Refrigerator or Freezer

Your fridge or freezer is necessary to keep your food and other perishable goods safe and intact. It’s also one of the top-consuming appliances in your home since it’s running on electricity all the time. It can account for a range of 30-200 kWh per month.

There are a lot of factors to consider a high-efficiency unit. These include the model size, freezer or fridge orientation, device placement, temperature settings, refrigeration habits and the energy-saving mode available.

On the other hand, there are also steps you can take to reduce the energy that your fridge or freezer can use. Some of these are checking for its power saver switch, thermostat, and seals. You also need to defrost your unit and don’t forget to use good refrigeration habits to help conserve energy effectively.

Takeaway

Utilizing home appliances can aid in your household chores. However, household tools such as those mentioned above can be power-intensive and affect your monthly energy bills. Hence, making your home more energy efficient is ideal energy conservation at home to help save money by lowering your monthly energy bills.

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6 Reasons Why Solar Power is an Excellent Alternative Energy Resource

Solar energy is one of the most abundant energy resources on Earth. It is a renewable energy resource that can provide suitable power for your home’s needs. It’s also continuously growing in popularity nowadays since it can provide significant benefits to human and environment.As a homeowner, the use of solar energy is a great way to contribute to a cleaner future. This renewable resource is a clean and safe alternative energy solution that can help reduce the production of harmful pollution. Hence, utilizing solar power can be an excellent way to fight climate change and help reduce your home’s carbon footprint.Apart from financial benefits, there are also other pertinent reasons why you can switch into utilizing renewables such as solar power. To give you more idea, here are a few reasons why solar power is an excellent alternative energy resource for your home.

It’s a Free Source of Energy

The sun is the largest source of free energy you can utilize on this planet. It can provide enough power in just one minute that can supply the world’s electricity needs for a year. The renewable energy resource like the sun is also a sustainable and inexhaustible resource.Just like biomass, wind, hydro, and other renewable resources, solar energy is also an alternative energy resource that occurs naturally. It can provide your home with clean electricity and help power the place efficiently. Your photovoltaic cells can also help save money right from the moment you turn them on.The benefits you can get from utilizing solar power are best visible during the long run. The longer you use your solar power system, the more you can save money by reducing your utility bills. Just like Astral Energy and other alternative energy providers, utilizing solar energy can also help make your place more energy efficient cost-effectively.Apart from electricity, you can also use solar energy for your home’s heating purposes. You can do the process by installing solar thermal systems and provide your house with free heated water. The system is also low maintenance which makes it an excellent investment for your home.

It Can Make Use of the Underutilized Land

With the increasing needs for solar power nowadays, the use of this renewable power resource can become more accessible for every homeowner. Apart from providing suitable power for your home, solar energy can also make use of the underutilized land and generate substantial value for the area.There are vast land areas from various countries across the globe that are far away from big capitals or cities. Most of these areas might not be used for anything at all. However, solar energy can make use of these underutilized land more conveniently by installing photovoltaic solar panels on the area.Also referred to as a photovoltaic power station, solar farms are a vast, decentralized solar array that supplies energy to the power grid. The primary idea of having solar farms is providing suitable electricity for every homeowner even without installing these solar panels on their roof.

It Can Cause Less Electricity Loss

Electricity is transported from big power plants to consumers via extensive networks. It also travels through the power lines where a proportion of energy may be lost due to these lines’ resistance. Hence, long-distance electric transmissions would result in power losses.However, utilizing solar energy as an alternative power resource can help reduce electricity loss. You can install photovoltaic panels on your roof to help generate suitable energy from the sun. Your rooftop solar power can also help increase electricity efficiency, especially on short distances.The energy generated from your panels can become domestic which helps you control your home’s utility bills and power usage effectively. Solar power systems are also durable, and reliable, so you can assure that they can provide enough energy to help power your home’s needs more conveniently.

It Can Make Your Home Go Off-the-Grid

Traditional electricity might rely heavily on fossil fuels such as coal. The power that they generate can be harmful to the environment since burning fossil fuels would emit the harmful greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. They also have limited resources which could result in a volatile market where energy prices become unpredictable.However, utilizing solar energy can help boost your electricity independence. You can invest in solar power systems to help make your home go off the grid. The sun can provide your home with enough electricity that doesn’t increase in rate. It can also help protect yourself against the unpredictability of the utility price increase.You can install solar panels on your roof and technically reach an energy-independent status. You can also invest in solar battery storage systems to help store extra solar energy for later use. These solar batteries can provide your home with enough power especially during nighttime and rainy days.

It’s Good for the Environment

One of the primary benefits of utilizing solar energy for your home is that it can provide a clean, green source of power. The use of solar power is an excellent way to help reduce your carbon footprint that’s harmful to the environment. It also doesn’t release any greenhouse gases and other toxic chemicals.Solar power is a self-sufficient renewable energy resource. Installing solar panels on your roof is a clean and safe way to help make the future more sustainable. Solar energy is also an excellent alternative energy solution that can efficiently power your home and help preserve the environment cost-effectively.

It Helps Improve Your Grid Security

The solar cells installed in your roof functioned as a small power plant that can generate enough energy for your home. As a homeowner, installing these panels can help provide your place with efficient electricity and improve your grid security as well.Moreover, utilizing renewables can help you save money by lowering your utility bills. It can also help avoid natural or human-caused disasters due to climate change. Since much of today’s energy providers can cause air pollution, then the use of solar power can be an ideal way to fight climate change and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Takeaway

Solar power is a powerful energy resource that can provide suitable electricity for your home. It’s the cleanest and most abundant renewable resource that can efficiently power your place cost-effectively. Hence, utilizing solar energy can provide you benefits such as those mentioned above and help preserve the Earth for the next generations to come.
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