Cutting Costs And Doing Something Good For the Environment
There is more to saving money on energy than just finding the best subscription options. Granted, if you’re simply conscientious about electricity use, you can substantially lower your utility bill—but there are other ways. To help you get the best possible deal on your utility bill, you can get a comparison of varying energy plans at www.energybot.com.
Look at your home, and figure out why it gets hot, or why it gets cold. In some climates, you want a home that retains all heat at all times. In others, you want as much ventilation as possible. In terms of retaining the same temperature, one of the best ways to construct a dwelling is to actually dig into a hillside—but that’s beyond the ken of most homeowners.
Window Installation And Strategic Environment Management
A better way of doing things may involve the installation of windows at strategic places in accordance with local breezes, and carefully opening and closing those windows at the right time. Even in California summer, at night temperatures can get down into the fifties.
So what you want to do is wait until the sun goes down and the evening cool comes, then open all the windows on your house until just before dawn. At that point, close them all and draw the shades so the sun doesn’t bleed in through the windows and heat up your home’s interior.
If you’re careful to do this every day, you can keep the temperature of the home down without using any interior AC at all, and even though extremely hot days. However, this will require a bit of effort, and some days things get just too hot to even work like that.
So one DIY project may involve installing windows. Another may involve installing shade outside windows to facilitate an exterior microclimate. A couple of umbrellas, a patio, a deck, a cupola, or a cantilevered roof controllable from a button on the wall represent projects you could follow through on yourself. A DIY deck with a good covering can be perfect.
Alternative Energy Options
Next, look into solar energy. You can install a solar energy system that will cover the majority of your needs for around $5k—if you do it yourself. You’re looking at about $100 per 100-Watt panel. 31 gets you a 3.1 kWh system for $3,100. From there, hook the cables into surge controllers and batteries, then put a power inverter coming from your battery array for the rest of the home. The other equipment will cost you around $2k, depending on your savvy.
You can hook up fans, mini swamp coolers (like the $40 units at Bed Bath & Beyond), or other air conditioning options directly to the battery array your solar energy powers. Solar options increase property value, reduce energy costs, and may net you a tax credit. But going the solar route is best when you’ve got some sort of backup energy paradigm in play as well.
Energy producing fans can be installed in your backyard which will collect energy, and if you’ve got a downhill stream somewhere, you can install a little energy-capturing generator there as well. Each of these options cost around $5k, and will increase property value over that cost while helping you facilitate off-grid flexibility.
Lastly, look into facilitating an all-surrounding microclimate via landscaping. This will take time, but if you get the right trees and bushes, plant them around your home, and properly husband them, eventually they will grow up taller than your house, providing shade throughout the day, and keeping even the surrounding area cool.
There are a lot of different DIY projects you can pursue to help reduce energy costs and maintain comfortable living in your home—and that throughout the year. Alternative energy, windows, decks, and landscaping are all excellent options worth pursuing here.