11 Useful Tips to Reduce Electric Usage and Save Cost
Utility bills constitute a significant aspect of your household budget or business running cost. While you may consider it minimal initially, however, it eventually adds up. At the end of the month, the electric company will charge you exorbitantly for your energy usage. If care is not taken, the cost will only continue to increase.
If you have been looking for how to reduce your electric usage either at home or in your workplace, this article is for you. Here, we will provide you with useful tips to help you reduce electricity usage and save cost.
Carry Out a Comprehensive Energy Audit
The first step to reducing your electric usage at home or office is to determine the amount of energy you consume. Hire the expertise of a professional energy auditor to conduct a well-detailed energy audit of your home or office building. This should include thermal imaging and a blower door test. With this, you will have a precise idea of the amount of energy you use.
Turn Off the Lights
Make it a duty to turn off lights that are not in use. If the home or workplace has large windows that are adequately illuminated, you are encouraged to use natural daylight when possible. You can instruct your employees or the last person leaving home to turn off the lights when going out.
Use LED Lighting or Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Another excellent way to save energy at home is by using CFL or LED light bulbs. Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) and LED light bulbs use 75% less power compared to other luminous alternatives like halogen bulbs or traditional incandescent. Asides that, these bulbs can serve for an extended period. While the CFL and LED bulbs often cost more, the money related payback is 100% justified.
Use EnergyStar Electrical Appliances
Many EPA-approved EnergyStar appliances consume appropriately 10% to 50% less energy compared to other traditional home electrical appliances. Since they consume less energy, they will help reduce your electricity usage and save cost. Whether at home or workplace, ensure that you are using energy efficient appliances.
Unplug Your Appliances When Not In Use
It is a popular belief that unused electrical appliances do not consume energy when plugged in. However, this is not true. Stand-by also consumes energy. Like the television, washing machine, microwave, and other appliances that are connected to the power outlets, they use up energy. Although, the energy consumed is less, compared to when in use. Nevertheless, after turning off these household or office appliances, ensure that you unplug them.
Adjust the Thermostat
A lot of energy is consumed by the heating and cooling systems. To reduce this, set the temperature to 68°F (20°C) in cool weather and 78°F (26°C) in warm weather. Use a fan to keep everyone comfortable when possible.
Use a Smart or Programmable Thermostat
Also, take advantage of a programmable thermostat to regulate your home or office temperature. These programmable thermostats are highly efficient in regulating temperature. They will control your heating and cooling systems automatically. Hence, the inside temperature of your home will be regulated when required. Above all, they are perfect to save energy and cost.
Plant Trees around Your Surroundings
Planting trees near your property can also help in insulating the home or office. Plant trees at strategic distances to create pockets of air space. This will help protect the building against hot and cold temperatures. Asides that, planting trees can help the eco-system and beautify your home or office.
Properly Insulate Your Home
An ideal approach to ensure your heater and AC units are not working too much is to insulate your home properly. With this, you will only be responsible for regulating the temperature of your home. Thus, saving more energy in the process.
Keep Your Building Airtight – Seal Leakages in Windows and Doorways
Approximately half of your electricity usage goes to heating and cooling. To keep the temperature regulated and even, ensure that doors and windows are airtight. Seal all leakages in windows, doorways, crawl spaces, and other entrances leading to your home or office. With this, your HVAC system will keep the temperature inside the building well-regulated without overworking the system.
Fill Up Your Freezer, Washer, and Dryer Completely
To optimally utilize large electrical appliances such as refrigerator, washing machine, freezer, dryer, and so forth, the right thing is to fill them completely. Do a full heap of laundry. Keep your freezer and refrigerator fully-packed. This helps to keep cold temperatures more efficiently, unlike refrigerator with empty units.
There you have it! Above are a couple of tips to help reduce electricity usage both at home and at your workplace. Don’t wait until your electricity bills continue to increase exponentially before doing the right thing. By making use of the energy saving tips mentioned above, you can efficiently conserve energy, reduce electricity usage, and save monthly utility cost.
Whole house generator for storm season
With storm season right around the corner you have to ask yourself if you’re ready for it. With hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irma causing a lot of damage in the recent past, you have to be prepared for a Florida Hurricane; you will need a generator for hurricane season. Forecasters are predicting that the storm season will be above average this year. You need to make preparations for hurricanes as well as other kinds of summer storms depending upon where you are living. Storm season usually means power outages. And if the power outages where you live have a propensity to be frequent or last for long periods of time, having a whole house generator can be a necessity. To be prepared for storm season, you need a whole house generator on standby; you need your generator to be serviced; and you need to install surge protectors as well.
Don’t be afraid of spending a lot of money on a generator. If you are a business owner, particularly if you sell perishable goods, if you want to protect your business from the losses that can occur due to power outages, then the money you spend on a generator will be well worth your while. If you’re a homeowner, particularly if you have aged people living with you, power outages can be a major source of stress and annoyance. If you have a family member who is ill, power outages can be fatal consequences unless you are prepared for them.
In order to get the right generator for you, you need the Electrical Contractor to determine the size of the generator that you need. This size will be determined based on the budget you have allocated for the purpose, and the number of the circuits that you want backed up. Backup solutions can start pretty low, as low as about $750, should you need a generator that is portable, and should you want only a few circuits backed up, not making use of extraneous cords.
You need the installation of the generator to be appropriate for your needs. This would include the coordination of installing your tank of LP (liquid propane) or connecting your generator to your natural gas source, fueling the standby generator.
Generators additionally need to be serviced from time to time in order for them to keep running reliably. Good generator companies will aid you in keeping your generator functioning at its peak performance.
Generators, being electro-mechanical products, will need repair every now and then. You will need service crews that are factory trained to perform the repairs necessary, getting your generator running smoothly.
Generators are susceptible to failure. That’s why you will want a warranty to protect you from having to fund expensive repairs to your generator.
Your whole house generator
Your house may need a generator with a wattage of 20-30 kilowatts. That’s usually enough to power a 3,000 square-feet home. If you want everything backed up, but not at the same time, 20 kilowatts 20KW would be more than sufficient.
Feel free to schedule a consultation with Empire Electric Inc. to determine your needs.
Dangers of Federal Pacific Breakers
Today a circuit breaker panel under the name Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) with Stab-Lok circuit breakers means a considerable hazard of breaker malfunction and fire.
It was found in a lengthy probe that fire hazards and concealed electric shock are actually linked with Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok® electric panels and circuit breakers. Federal Pacific Electric “Stab-Lok® breakers and service panels were hazardous and can fall short, directing to hideous fires. In fact, the problem was that a number of 240-Volt FPE circuit breakers and perhaps a few 120-Volt units merely might not work too. (Inspectapedia.com, 2014)
An expected 2,800 fires every year specifically come about because of Federal Pacific board breaker fault. Numerous tests done on the breakers since the 1980s have demonstrated that one in four Stab-Lok breakers are flawed and won’t rightfully trip off. Regrettably, when the testing started in the mid 1980s, a New Jersey court later decided that FPE submitted testing misrepresentation and concealment, designating the breakers as meeting the models set by the UL when in all actuality, they were imperfect. Federal Pacific Electric went out of business long time ago, yet the peril and harm brought on by their carelessness proceeds. (Angie’s List | Find a Local Business, Ratings, Reviews, Deals, 2015)
Stab Lok circuit breakers are most generally found in houses constructed before 1990. Data and lab tests revealed by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit show numerous Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok breakers won’t trip, ceaselessly giving power to the short out, which can bring about severe heat and sometimes fire. While working appropriately, circuit breakers are intended to avert fires. They are intended to remove the stream of power when accused of over the top electrical request or short out, otherwise called “arching.” (NBC Bay Area, 2012)
Renovators and home owners who experience these boards ought to supplant the whole board and circuit breaker set with new gear. Replacing the panel could be extremely expensive ranging from $800 to $1200 according to service size and different components. There are other practical and security worries in the board other than the breakers themselves. There have been panel bus harm, meltdown of panel bus, and failure of breakers to continue as safe in or onto the relating bus itself. (Angie’s List | Find a Local Business, Ratings, Reviews, Deals, 2015)
The three major faults resulting in severe danger that Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breaker panels could pose is:
- Federal Pacific Electric boards may not meet today’s redesigned security codes.
- Wires might be swarmed inside the board box.
- Bus bars might be spring-mounted.
- Breakers might be still dynamic when in the down position.
- Split bus breakers might no more meet redesigned security codes.
- Federal Pacific Electric boards might have noteworthy outline defects.
- Breakers might trip unexpectedly if the front cover is uprooted.
- Breakers might have free associations with the bus bars.
- Breakers are regularly stuck inside of their sockets, which can bring about congestion inside of the board.
- Breakers can undoubtedly come apart when set into sockets.
- Federal Pacific Electric boards might have producing imperfections.
- The materials used to develop the breakers might be frail.
- Therefore, the breakers may not trip, and the board could be defenseless and burst into flames.
Angie’s List | Find a Local Business, Ratings, Reviews, Deals, (2015). Are Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels Safe?. [online] Available at: http://www.angieslist.com/articles/are-federal-pacific-circuit-breaker-panels-safe.htm [Accessed 22 Jan. 2016].
Inspectapedia.com, (2014). Federal Pacific Electric Panels: Fires Waiting to Happen, Debate Waiting to Be Ended. [online] Available at: http://inspectapedia.com/fpe/FPE_Fires_Waiting_to_Happen.php [Accessed 22 Jan. 2016].
NBC Bay Area, (2012). FPE Circuit Breakers: Decades of Danger. [online] Available at: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Federal-Pacific-Circuit-Breakers-Investigation-Finds-Decades-of-Danger-171406921.html [Accessed 22 Jan. 2016].