Archive for November, 2012

Landscaping Tips for energy saving

Did you know that trees positioned strategically can save up to 25% of a household’s energy consumption? If not, you would do well to remember that landscaping may be your best long-term investment for bringing down your cooling and heating costs. So, if you are struggling with rising power bills, it’s time to consider landscaping tips for energy-efficient homes.

 

Consider the climate

Due to its large size, different regions in the state of Texas have different climates, which could vary from humid in the east to arid in the west. Since landscaping strategies for conserving energy depend on the region you live in, you need to consider the climate and plan accordingly. For example, people living in hot-arid regions should provide shade to cool walls, roofs, and windows; use evapotranspiration by plants around the home to cool the surrounding air; and channel summer winds towards homes etc. However, people living in hot-humid zones should plan differently and maximize summer shade with trees that permit penetration of winter sun even with a low-angle; allow summer breeze to get easy access to homes; and avoid having planting beds near homes if they need frequent watering.

 

Check your microclimate

Microclimate is the climate immediately adjacent to your home. The microclimate of your home may be more shady, sunny, windy, rainy, moist, or dry than average local conditions. For example, if your home is positioned on a sunny southern slope, it may boast of a warm microclimate, even when you stay in a cool region. So, assessing your microclimate is crucial to determine the type of plants that may or may not grow in that particular location.

 

Design and orientation of your home

If you are building a new home, ensure that it’s well-designed and well-oriented so that it rejects overhead summer sun, allows low-angle winter sun, and minimizes the winter winds’ cooling effect. You should also consider your location’s exposure to sun, water, wind etc, and note the proximity and location of nearby buildings, trees, water bodies, fences, and pavements, while assessing their probable climatic effects.

In case your home is already built, consider shading and wind protection to bring down your electric bills.

 

Shading and wind protection

Before planting trees and shrubs for shade, assess your exact needs. If you need warm sunlight during the winter while enjoying shade in the summer, opting for deciduous trees that shed their leaves in the winter would be a good idea. However, for enjoying a year-round shade, lush evergreens would be the ideal choice. You should avoid planting dense foliage in close proximity to your home as such a step may cause moisture-control problems.

You can use shrubs and trees with low crowns to offer you windbreaks that would block winds close to the ground. Proper landscaping will not only let you enjoy excellent wind protection, but also reduce your heating costs considerably. Though the most common category of windbreak employs shrubs and evergreen trees planted to the northwest and north of a home, you may even use bushes and shrubs along with a fence, wall, or earth berm (man-made or natural walls or raised regions of soil) that can redirect or lift the wind over your home.

 

So, use these tips to make your home energy-efficient, thus decreasing your power costs.

 

About Shop Texas Electricity- Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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Save energy with CFL & Lighting Tips

Though making your home shine bright by installing and using outdoor lights, indoor lamps, and holiday strings is a good idea, the entire thing can often become quite expensive as a lot of electricity is consumed by these artificial lighting equipments. But if you thought that saving energy means sacrificing the use of such lighting choices, think again. With some day lighting plans and the right choice of lighting equipments, you can make your home bright and beautiful without sacrificing on the comfort and visibility quotient

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Here are some simple tips to save electricity and decrease your lighting bills:

 

  • Use the power of the sun: Sunlight is the most energy- and cost-efficient lighting as it’s free. So, make sure that your windows facing north and south allow day lighting, which in turn could save you a lot of energy and money.

 

  • Install ENERGY STAR windows: Installation of such windows will help you to maintain a desired temperature indoors, by blocking as much as 70% of the solar heat in summer. During the winter season, such windows will reflect heat indoors, thus keeping your indoors warm and comfortable.

 

  • Use LED and CFL light bulbs: Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are considered to be efficient bulbs as they emit light only in one direction and save energy. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are also a good choice as they consume 25% to 30% lesser energy as compared to what incandescent light bulbs use.

 

  • Employ lighting controls: Setting up automatic devices like timers, dimmers, and motion-sensors can estimate your needs and adjust the lights accordingly, which makes them an excellent way to control your energy use when you are not at your home or present in a room.

 

  • Decrease background lighting: Rather than lighting large areas that don’t need to be illuminated, you can use floor lamps, table lamps, track lights etc to concentrate your lighting on specific areas, thus controlling your electricity consumption.

 

  • Use energy-efficient lights: You should replace energy-wasting lights with energy-efficient models. While the former usuallytrap light inside the fixtures, the latter push more light out into the room, thus improving both efficiency and illumination.

 

  • Ensure proper maintenance of your lighting fixtures: With age and the accumulation of dirt, dust and grime on the surface, your lamps and lighting fixtures may start performing at 50% or lower than their full capacity, while they continue to consume 100% of the energy. So, ensure proper maintenance of yourlamps and lighting fixtures to avoid paying steep electric bills.

 

 

With these tips, you can reduce your lighting bills considerably.

 

 

About Shop Texas Electricity- Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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