Understanding and Evaluating Energy Saving Technology

With the recent climate change talks in Copenhagen, it is safe to say that even though all countries aren’t actually making an effort to change their actions, most at least understand it is extremely important for the environment for us to change our ways and focus on reducing pollution.

Rather than waiting for our politicians to step up and mandate the changes needed to help save our environment, I feel that it is our duty to help make this world a better place, after all it is the only one we have.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is to help cut down on our energy costs, both in our vehicles and at home. However, when considering some of the technologies available today, it is very important to weigh not just the energy savings, but also the cost of manufacturing these devices.

Heating and Cooling

HVAC

In the home, there are usually few appliances that are as inefficient as our heating and air systems. However, if you live in an area that gets very hot or cold, simply doing without isn’t safe, nor is it comfortable. Fortunately, there are a number of more energy efficient heating and air systems available, which can cut back on our energy use, without having to sacrifice our comfort.

One of the most exciting technologies available to help reduce energy costs is the Geothermal Heating and cooling unit. Geothermal heating and cooling uses very long tubes that extend into the Earth and actually pull heat from the ground. In the summer, the same process can be reversed, sending the heat from the house, into the ground.

Using a geothermal system, it is possible to heat a 1500 square foot house for less than a dollar a day. Of course, they are quite expensive to install and depending on the location, can require that a very deep hole is drilled. To help off set this cost, many power companies will offer incentives for installing a geothermal heating and cooling system, with some options also available from the government. While the initial cost is very high, the savings over a 10 year period could easily offset this initial investment.

Another option for those wishing to cut heating and cooling costs is the Cold-Weather Air Source Heat Pump, which uses an additional compressor that is used when the temperature drops below 30 degrees. The second compressor is necessary because a traditional heat pump does not work well when the temperature drops below freezing, so auxiliary heat must be used. Auxiliary heat, or emergency heat, is very expensive to operate, as it uses a great deal of energy.

Using a Cold-Weather Air Source Heat Pump ends up using less power than a standard heat pump would when it gets very cold. Further, when the temperature is above freezing, only one compressor is used, so the energy usage is similar to that of a traditional heating system.

Generating Your Own Power

For years, people have been putting solar panels on their home to help reduce their dependency on fossil fuels and the power company. While this can save you a great deal of money and it is even sometimes possible to sell your excess power back to the power company, the initial investment has always been quite steep.

Recently, however, the cost of solar panels has begun to drop, as new manufacturing technologies have been introduced. This, coupled with rising energy costs across the country, has made installing solar panels a much more attractive idea.

Several companies have recently developed very thin solar panels that are relatively inexpensive to manufacture, but because they rely on some semi-rare minerals, so it remains to see whether this can be used on a very large scale.

Going Green in Your Automobile

Another popular move has been to use a more energy efficient vehicle, with a number of hybrids, which are cars that use a mixture of gasoline and stored electricity, and battery powered vehicles available.

Currently, GM, Nissan, Honda, Ford, and Toyota all offer some sort of battery powered vehicle, but when considering these cars, it is important to take into account the environmental impact that manufacturing them has.

For example, the Toyota Prius uses a very expensive battery, which uses nickel that is mined in Canada, using a mining technique that is bad for the environment. Then, the nickel must be shipped across the world, converted into batteries, and subsequently shipped back over to the US. So, with all of the environmental costs associated with the manufacture of the Prius, it tends to off set the benefits of driving it.

It All Starts with You

What a lot of people don’t always realize, myself included, is that the things we do everyday can have a major impact on the environment and the future. Even if you don’t have the money to invest in something like a geothermal heating system, you can still help the environment by changing your actions.

For example, making an effort to shut off the water when you wash your teeth and shave can save a tremendous amount of water. Also, consider setting the heat to around fifty-five and putting on an extra sweater or perhaps wearing some thermal clothing, rather than cranking up the heat.

If everyone made what are essentially very small changes to their lifestyle, it would no longer be a small change and could have a tremendous impact on the World.

About the Author

Tiger is a writer who understands the importance of protecting the environment. In addition to writing about the environment, he also writes about a number of other topics, including lift chairs. Lift Chairs are devices that in design are similar to a recliner, but contain a powerful lifting system, which helps to make it easier to stand. They are especially popular among the elderly and lift chairs Medicare are available, for those who live in the United States and are currently enrolled in Medicare.

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Comments

  1. It’s so important nowadays to make technologies not so harmful for the environment. I think all these tips deserve public attention

    • I agree with you there, we as a world seem to be sliding deeper and deeper into permanently harming ourselves.

    • It would be worthwhile to aid in passing around this information. I believe an elective course or workshop would be beneficial to most people!

  2. thank you for your post about the cold climate heat pump .
    I am the distributor for this product ,here in Atlantic Canada .my name is Kier Mizuik
    my company is Atlantic Heat Pump Products inc.
    the Cold Climate Heat Pump /and CCHP-BOILER . Release date is expected in 2010 , a long awaited updated machines .
    We also distribute the Geyser (domestic hot water heat pump) .
    these both products come from NORTH ROAD TECHKNOWLEDGIES LLC.
    MADE IN THE U.S.A. IN MAINE .
    we would like to explain the true benifits of these new products in a dollars and common sence , pay back periods and investment in the future .

  3. No doubt that technology is widely growing and it is very relevant if we can have it without destroying our environment. Thanks for sharing the tips on how we can preserve healthy environment.

  4. It can also be as simple as not wasting our energy like leaving the lights on when no one is home or just running water wastefully.

  5. Yes, it’s our duty save environment and reducing pollution and use energy efficiency products. Good post about the evaluating energy saving technology.

  6. About one year ago I studied residential ground source heat pumps (GSHP) and wrote a five page paper on GSHP. Residential GSHPs have many advantages over air-source heat pumps. Longer life, lower maintenance, and no noise. The disadvantage is the high cost of ground loop (either verticle or horizontal). However, if yor consider the rising cost of energy and federal and state tax credits,the savings from the GSHP will repay the investment in about 9 years.

    My paper “Heating and Cooling Homes: There is a Better Way” is posted on my website:
    http://sites.google.com/site/cdlovettdocuments/home/document-list-2/geothermal-summary

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