Eco Hacking

Tankless water heating

Ways to Slash Your Energy Bill

Cut Your Cooling and Heating Costs with Energy Efficiency

I haven’t seen anything awesome for a few weeks so I decided to share a few age old energy saving tips. In the past few years the price of electricity and natural gas has risen to unprecedented highs. That’s not the bad news, believe it or not. The bad news is that it is just going to get worse. But here’s the good news: you can be proactive and do something about it. Not one big thing, but many different things. It’s more important than ever to ensure that the overall home heating/insulation system is operating at peak efficiency.

There will be an outlay of cash to implement these improvements but they will pay for themselves over time and after that, you will be paid back and more comfortable.

Use Radiant Barrier Paint

Radiant barrier paint is made up of two components: radiant barrier “powder” and latex paint. The powder is mixed into the paint. This radiant barrier powder is typically composed of microscopic aluminium flakes and porcelain pellets and can be found at name-brand paint stores. The flakes and pellets act to reflect the sun’s heat back out before it can get into your home and affect your cooling bill.

Radiant barrier paint can be used on both composition shingle roofs or metal roofs.
The first place to paint is on the underside of your roof, in the attic. You will need to spray it on the underside of the sheathing. Rent a paint rig if you don’t have one. The nails that secure your roof’s shingles stick through the sheathing and will prevent you from using a roller.

After the roof is taken care of, you can use it to paint any interior or exterior walls that take abuse from the sun. Take a look at the image provided, it doesn’t look any different to standard aluminum primers and undercoated paint but it’s doing a really helpful job:

Radiant paint

Radiant paint

If you use it externally, you just paint straight over and no one is the wiser you’ve made a  big difference to your home.

Convert to Compact Florescent Lighting

You will slash your electricity usage dramatically by changing all your incandescent bulbs to compact florescent bulbs. Yes, they are expensive so if the thought of changing them all at once makes you grimace, just change out the worst power offenders immediately and change the others as they burn out.
As an example, these new bulbs will give you 60 watts of light using only 14 watts of electricity; that comes out to about 75% savings. Not only that but they will last approximately five times longer than conventional incandescent bulbs. All of a sudden the price per bulb makes sense!
For special situations such as track lighting with spot lights or wall sconces, low voltage bulbs will also conserve energy. Take a look at my energy, solar powered, saving bulbs post here for more information as these use absolutely no energy at all!

Are Your Windows Robbing You?

We all love our windows; they brighten the home and afford a picturesque view. But if your home has contractor grade windows, chances are that they are very inefficient. They are giving free passage to the heat of summer and the frigid conditions of winter. This is really bad for the carbon footprint and environment as a whole. You should be installing double glazing as the link will suggest to you.

There are some very efficient windows on the market now. Not only is the glass important, but the frame as well. For instance, insulated vinyl: the major difference between insulated vinyl and standard vinyl frames is improved thermal performance. These frames have hollow cavities that are filled with insulation which makes them thermally better than standard vinyl or wood frames. Coupled with high performance glazings, you will start to see major savings.

There’s another option, if you have beautiful old windows these can be upgraded to stop the loss of heat. They will form a barrier that can protect the window from oncoming draughts and cold.

Are You Wasting Money on Your Hot Water?

Consider a tankless water heater. This appliance is making a dramatic and logical entrance into the green movement. Conventional water heaters keep your water hot at all times, but do you really need that? On demand hot water makes more sense. If you can’t take advantage of one of the solar heating methods, and you are low on space, you shouldnt have a tank anyway. Take a look how small this little heater is. Warning though, it’s not all that efficient and very juicy while running, but certainly better than heating a whole tank you might not use.

Tankless water heating

Tankless water heating

In Summary…
These are just a few things you can do to make permanent changes that will lower your energy bills every month for a one time price. To be sure, you will be spending money up front but check the latest legislation; in many cases making energy efficiency changes to your home will buy you a income tax credit.

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