April 15, 2015 Newsletter
April 15, 2015 EcoElectric Newsletter
Saving on Energy with Ceiling Fans
Before Boise gets hit with the sweltering Idaho summer heat, homeowners should think about installing a ceiling fan to lower the energy bill. Ceiling fans can help keep the home feeling cool, limiting the amount of time the air conditioner needs to be on and using energy.
The typical central AC unit uses 3,500 watts of energy when it is running. Compare that to a ceiling fan that uses only 60 watts of energy when running on high. Running a ceiling fan, and limiting the amount of time the air conditioner needs to run, can drastically cut energy use and save homeowners money.
With the ceiling fan running to make the room feel cooler, the thermostat can be turned up a few degrees. This way it won’t run as frequently but the house will still feel just as cool. Accompany this tactic with keeping the blinds drawn to keep out the sun and for a good part of the day the AC will be completely irrelevant.
If a ceiling fan sounds like a good idea to try to beat the heat, now’s the time to have Eco Electric install one. Just get it done before that summer heat sets in!
The History of Wind Energy
People are becoming more concerned about depleting fossil fuels and are turning to renewable energy sources. This has wind turbines popping up everywhere. Although wind energy has been the fastest growing energy resource since 1990, it has actually been around for a long time. Over a thousand years ago the first documented windmills were used in Persia and China. They were used for grain-grinding and water-pumping. They changed over time from being built on a vertical axis, to what we see today.
The first windmill that generated electricity, back in 1888, only produced 12 kilowatts. In the 1920’s and 1930’s 1-3 kilowatt wind generators were installed in the Midwest to provide energy for farms. It didn’t last too long with fossil fuels being low cost.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s the design was changed to use light weight blades with high efficiencies. Wind farms began popping up, mostly in California until the 1990’s. These wind turbines produced over 3 million megawatt hours of electricity and could power a city of 300,000.
While fossil fuels are being used up, wind energy is continuing to grow and improve. In the future it could be the most cost effective source of electrical power.
Plugging in the RV
With some electrical adapters, which Eco Electric can install, RV owners can plug their RV into the home electricity. This can be a great way to recharge batteries after dry camping, which is camping without electrical hookups.
Dry camping can use a lot of the batteries up if RV owners aren’t mindful of their energy consumption. Using the air conditioning too much or leaving lights on can drain the battery. Hooking up to the home energy source can recharge batteries between dry camping trips.
Also, if RV owners have a large number of guests coming to visit and not enough bedrooms, the RV can be a great option when plugged into the home electricity. This allows them to use multiple appliances at once, and not drain the battery.
Many RV owners carry generators with them to re-charge their RV while dry camping. However, neighbors at home or in the campground might get annoyed by the sound of a generator running for hours to recharge batteries. This is where having the capability to plug in to an outlet would come in handy. Eco Electric can make it happen.
Powering Down While on Vacation
Summer is heading this way, meaning a lot of people will be taking vacations. After spending money on a vacation, the last thing anyone wants to do is come home to a hefty electricity bill. Reduce energy consumption and cost while on vacation by taking these steps:
- Put the water heater in vacation mode
- Up the temperature on the programmable thermostat
- Unplug appliances that are considered “energy vampires” such as laptops, coffee makers, televisions, etc.
- Close shades or blinds to keep the sun from heating up the house or apartment
- Turn off all lights
Water heating can account for 14 percent to 25 percent of the energy consumed in the home. Americans also waste about a month’s electricity bill on the energy used by “energy vampire” electronics. Getting in a habit of unplugging them when they’re not in use could help out all the time, not just while on vacation.
Some people leave an inside or outside light on to make it seem like they are home to deter burglars. This may or may not work according to some studies. However, it does definitely use up unnecessary energy and increase the power bill.
Before leaving for the next vacation, go through the steps outlined above and see the difference in the electricity bill.