We are surrounded by the electronics, not just from one side but from all eight. Right from the fan above…
Invest in Your Energy Future by Making Energy Conscious Decisions
Step 1: Start by Knowing What Appliances Draw the Most Electricity
Your first step is to identify the gas guzzlers in your home. The usual suspects include:
- Your HVAC system: Newer models are more energy-efficient, but the golden oldies are heavy on power usage. Make sure that your HVAC system is serviced at least once a year to keep it in peak running order.
- The water heater: Again, newer models tend to be more efficient. The older water tank models keep the water heated all day. This constant heating leads to a lot of wasted energy. It usually pays to switch to a gas water heater. These heat the water as and when needed.
- Your pool pump: We don’t give it much thought, but having the pool pump on all the time drains a lot of power. Most pumps can be set to switch off and on at predetermined intervals. Not running the pump full-time can save you a significant amount.
You can find out the basic power usage of different devices online. This will give you a rough idea of how much each appliance uses. If you want a more accurate view, an electricity monitoring device is going to come in handy for you.
Step 2: Implement Energy Saving Tips
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Appliances that are on standby do draw a small amount of power. It’s better to unplug appliances that you’re not using.
- We’ve already said that the HVAC system must be serviced once a year. In between services, check the air filters and evaporator coil every three months or so. If these are clogged or dirty, your HVAC won’t run as efficiently.
- Use the HVAC system wisely. Where possible, switch to ceiling fans, open windows, and use natural sunlight to keep temperatures inside more even. When this is not possible, put your thermostat on a timer system so that it only operates when someone will be home.
- Check the insulation in the house. Ineffective insulation makes it more challenging to maintain an even temperature inside. Check the insulation in the roof as more energy is lost through it. If you replace the roof, consider more energy-efficient tiles.
- A lot of heat escapes through the windows too. Get them double-glazed to make them more energy-efficient. Also, ensure that the caulking around the frame is in good condition and that any gaps are plugged.
- The right window treatments can further slash energy bills by providing extra insulation on the windows.
- Inspect your air ducts regularly. Getting these insulated can prevent a lot of energy being wasted. Again, plug any leaks that you find, where necessary.
- Consider taking advantage of all the Texas sunshine by installing solar panels. Or, at the least, install a solar water heater. These will pay for themselves in just a few years thanks to the energy you save.
- Use energy-efficient lightbulbs in your home. Also switch off lights in rooms you’re not using, just like your mother always told you to do. It’s only going to save a little bit of energy, but every little bit counts here.
Step 3: Start Using Smart Appliances
Now that you have a better understanding of appliances that use a lot of energy, consider replacing them with more energy-efficient models and smart appliances. Smart appliance not only offer the convenience of being able to control settings from your phone they can also save a bundle on energy costs.
Shop and Compare Electric Companies in Texas
Deregulation and the Power to Choose Your Electricity Provider
Deregulation in the energy market basically means that consumers have the ability to chose their provider, whereas people who live in areas that are regulated all use the same provider.
The process of electricity deregulation began in Texas in 1999. It wasn’t until 2002 that Texas Senate Bill 7 was passed officially. This bill meant that consumers had the power to choose which electricity companies in Dallas and the rest of Texas they wanted to use. 85% of Texans are now able to choose which company they would like to buy energy from.
The upside of deregulation was that consumers have more control over what they spend on electricity. When searching for a Dallas electricity provider it pays to shop around, there are many electric companies with competitive rates, companies that offer no deposit, promotions, and rewards. Shopping and comparing rates can help you save a bundle on your electricity bill
We are surrounded by the electronics, not just from one side but from all eight. Right from the fan above our heads to the charged we plug into our phone, from laptop our works survive these days to the light we work under, to the electronic stove we cook our food on to the chimney which decreases the amount of smoke in the house, from the car we drive into to the air conditioner cooling down the heat. In the twenty-first century, it is hard to imagine a life without electronics and it would become almost impossible to live such life once we have enjoyed the comforts, they are providing us. Electronics are capable enough to form other electronic devices, the only difference would be the appliances and connections.
When we are so influenced by electronics, we are bound to handle the expenses tagged along. We are well aware about the environmental conditions and how delicate they are, we are also aware that somewhat these electronics play a major role in worsening the environmental situation with exhausted energy resources and pollution caused. The great way to put a stop on the pocket expenses as well as the energy, there are few steps you can easily take and save money on electronics:
Try not to replace electronics, which are in good conditions. If the appliance is in good condition and is perfectly doing its job, there is no point of exchanging it with the new one even if there are new updates in the features of the new model. You must have a valid justification of getting a new appliance in the exchange of the old one.
Buy Older models: The most reasonable example is the iPhone, there is a vast difference in the new and the old model when the features do not differ much. The newest model being in the hype is much more expensive and you get a benefit of reviews when purchase an older model.
Buy at the right time: As we know, there is right time and right place for everything, you must have an eye to look through it. Though you might get exciting deals during the week after Christmas but you would get shockingly low prices during less busier days like July is the perfect time to purchase a new TV or April and March to find great digital camera deals etc.
Buy Mid-Range Accessories: The accessories that tag along the appliances like memory card or headphones and batteries, try to purchase the mid-range product instead of the branded one.
Don’t waste money while using electronic devices and must plug off the chargers when not it use to save energy.
Buy refurbished electronics
Buy Floor or Display Models
Compare the models and product and make a wise decision as per your requirement.
Do not run for extended warranty, most of the time it is not even used.
Smartphone applications might cost you and hence install them wisely.
Saving is one such habit – the earlier you inculcate it, the better it is for you. And when it comes to kids, the moment they begin to understand numbers, you’re free to start teaching them about money and savings. This will make sure your kids learn about this oh-so-important habit of saving money. Here are a few ideas how you can get your kids to understand the whole concept of saving. Read on:
- A see-through piggy bank:
Why get an opaque piggy bank through which you cannot see anything when you have the option of getting your kids a huge clear jar? This transparent jar will motivate your kids to keep saving until it slowly fills up. Also, they won’t have the urge to keep opening the jar-piggy bank to count the money they’ve saved because the money will be right in front of their eyes!
- Teach them the value of money:
Sometimes, actions speak louder than words – so instead of lecturing your little ones about the importance of saving money and using it sparingly, show them how it works. So when they demand for something unreasonable, tell them to draw money from their jar and buy it with the money they’ve saved. The next time when you’re out shopping, watch how they will insist on checking the price before actually demanding something. This may not happen quickly, but over a period of time when they realise that the money they spent on unnecessary stuff could’ve been saved to buy something better – that’s when the value will kick in.
- Pay them for chores:
Assign your kids chores – according to their age, the type of chores will of course vary. And every chore done well will fetch them a small allowance. This will not only get your kids to chip in the household work but also teach them that to get money; you got to work. Watch how happily they’ll clean up the garden, or chop pitch in to help in the kitchen when they know they’re getting their allowances for all the effort!
- Teach them the opportunity cost concept:
Well, not in the complicated manner of course – instead you can explain to them that if they buy the expensive remote control car, they won’t have enough money to purchase the sports shoes they’ve wanted for football practice! This way, your kids will learn to weigh between options and choose what they actually need over what they buy randomly.
- A bank account works wonders:
As your child grows up, setting up a bank account for them is just the right thing to do. Sign them up for a minimal savings plan which will ensure they put in a regular amount of money every month, or quarterly in the bank. If they’re falling short of some mount, let them know you’re always there – but also, allow them to make an effort to save it up all by themselves.
- Bye loans, hi savings:
Instead of signing up your kid for a student loan, make sure you have this talk well in advance with your child as he is growing up. This will make him feel responsible – tell him that a loan is a big no and it’s best he starts saving up for college as soon as he can. Internships, summer jobs are pretty cool and make sure a part of these earnings goes into the college fund.