Thursday, December 17, 2015

Best Free Energy Efficiency Smartphone Apps

We use smart device applications everyday to simplify our lives, so why not use them to simplify our energy usage? Here are the five best energy efficiency smart device applications to lower your carbon footprint while living a greener lifestyle, and thus saving your hard-earned money.

GasBuddy (iOS or Android)

GasBuddy displays the most cost efficient gasoline in your area, while also allowing you to report the cost of gasoline around you. As a perk for providing them data, GasBuddy gives you the chance to win $100 in gasoline every day.

GE Walmart Bulb Finder (iOS or Android)

The GE / Walmart Bulb Finder app provides you with finding the perfect light bulb for any appliance in your home or business. While being able to search by application, you can also scan bar codes of packages. This app simplifies buying light bulbs at Walmart, or any retail location where light bulbs are sold.

iRecycle (iOS or Android)

Recycling greatly reduces your carbon footprint, but finding ways and places to recycle can be difficult. iRecycle not only provides convenient recycling opportunities, but also provides access to 1,600,000 ways to recycle over 350 materials. iRecycle has been featured as the iTunes, “App of the Week” more than five consecutive times.  

Nest Mobile (iOS or Android)

This app is used in conjunction to the Nest Learning Thermostats. Nest Mobile allows you to change the the temperature settings of your home or business directly from your smart device. The Nest Learning Thermostat will adapt to your moods and needs by continuous use and learn your preferred settings. Nest provides detailed energy usage information on how much you’ve saved, and alerts you before disastrous home events occur.

JouleBug (iOS or Android)

JouleBug enables you to save energy by doing simple actions in real-life. Energy saving tips are organized into pins that you can earn by completing a task like utilizing reusable mugs. Each pin you’re rewarded you’ll learn more on how to conserve energy. JouleBug is social, so you can share your achievements with your friends or join local and national communities to compete on who’s the greenest. JouleBug also has the ability to link to your utility account to display your energy savings.

The Energy Experts

Each month The Energy Experts present a blog that shares helpful information on a wide-rage of topics that involves the intersection of home and health. Are you concerned about energy savings, indoor air quality, home comfort, and family health issues? Then check in with The Energy Experts each month for more valuable information on these crucial topics.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Appliances To Upgrade In 2016

Are the appliances around your home or business running slow and/or spiking your energy bills? To keep your home or business operating at its highest capacity, this year you may want to consider upgrading your appliances. At least that is what the experts at Pro Energy Consultants suggests.

Remember when home phones were a staple in every household? Well, the bulky home computer has finally reached the time where it may be just a waste of space and energy. Technology has bridged the communication gap where there’s tablets or a cross-over that can meet and exceed the needs and wants a home computer provides. Tablets and cross-overs simplify our lives and our wallets so email, social media and web browsing don’t collect dust or weigh our pockets down with outrageous energy bills.
If you regularly live with spoiled food and eye-popping energy bills, then it’s time to upgrade your refrigerator. Finding an energy-efficient refrigerator that requires little power, while keeping all of your delectables fresh is ideal. If you happen to purchase a lot of food items in bulk, purchasing a separate freezer will prevent spoilage and preserve extra food longer.
Your clothes are stain free and clean, but you’re not saving time, money, or energy on that old washing machine. Like your refrigerator, you may take advantage of your appliances performance. Older machines lack time-saving and energy efficient features, where newer machines provide greater energy and time-saving abilities. For example, newer machines allow you to use cold water settings in conjunction with cold water detergents. When used together, you use less energy and your clothes come out just as clean, if not cleaner. Newer machines also have the ability to steam wash to reduce high dry cleaning bills. To save time and money, look into Energy Star qualified appliances.

As 2015 comes to an end, if you haven’t switched your lighting over to CFL’s, now is the time. CFL or Compact Fluorescent Light, is an energy-saving light designed to replace an incandescent lamp. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, CFL’s use about 75% less energy than traditional lighting, thus saving you money on your electric bill. By examining your business or household items that may be going extinct, replacing them will save you energy, time, and money.

The Energy Experts

Each month The Energy Experts presents a blog that shares helpful information on a wide-range of topics that involves the intersection of home and health. Are you concerned about energy savings, indoor air quality, home comfort, and family health issues? Then check in with The Energy Experts each month for more valuable information on these crucial topics.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Is Daylight Savings Time Energy Efficient?

The practice of Daylight Savings Time (DST) requires setting clocks forward one hour from Standard Time during the summer months, and back again in the fall to efficiently utilize natural daylight.

Forward or Backward?    

The saying, “spring ahead, fall back” will help remind you how to adjust your clocks. DST starts in the spring, so you lose one hour. During the fall, you will set your clocks back one hour to regain that time. To see when clocks will change for DST in the future, click here.

Why Does DST Exist?

70 countries use DST because:

. Greater use of natural daylight.
. Conserving energy that goes into artificial lighting.
. Decrease the amount of accidents on the road so they’re lit during high traffic times.

Does DST Save Energy?

Since its conception in Germany during World War I, DST has been linked to saving energy, but there’s still controversy as to whether or not this theory remains valid. In 2008 the U.S. Department of Energy study claimed that daylight saving time reduces annual energy use by 0.03%. DST is also linked to reduced accidents on the road, and robberies according to the, Brookings Institution. 

A joint study between Transport Research Laboratory and University College of London predicted that fewer people would be injured or killed in road accidents if there was one hour of daylight that was transferred from the morning, to the afternoon. During the winter, the demand for electricity and gas skyrockets, therefore countries like the United States, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, and other regions of the world follow DST to conserve energy.

Arguments against DST states that it’s dangerous for people leaving their homes when it’s dark, and other studies found that there’s an increase in heart attacks when setting your clock forward one hour in the spring. Regardless, adjusting your energy usage during DST is important so you don’t see an unexpected spike in your energy bills this winter. 

To learn more on how to conserve energy, the Energy Experts recommend the following blogs:

How To: Deep-Frying Turkey Outdoors

Facing many obstacles during the holiday season is common, and one of the largest is preparing dinner. Serving turkey has been an American tradition for decades, but how American’s are cooking their turkey is becoming more experimental. 

While experimenting with different techniques can be fun and delicious, it can also be extremely hazardous. According to the National Fire Protection and Fox News, “each year fires caused by deep-fryers are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes, and exceeding $15-million in property damage.”

So you don’t burn down the garage and resort to ordering pizza, here is how you can safely deep-fry your turkey.

Total Time: 10 hr
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 9 hr
Cook: 45 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Advanced

. 6 quarts hot water
. 1-pound kosher salt
. 1-pound dark brown sugar
. 5 pounds ice
. 1 (13 to 14-pound) turkey, with giblets removed
. Approximately 4 to 4 ½ gallons peanut oil

*Cooks Note: So you have the most accurate amount of oil, place the turkey into the pot you’re going to fry it in, add water until it almost covers the top of the turkey, and is at least 4 to 5 inches below the top of the pot. This amount will be how much oil you will use for frying the turkey.

  1. Using a 5-gallon upright drink cooler, place the hot water, kosher salt, and brown sugar inside and stir slowly until salt and sugar completely dissolve.
  2. Add the ice and stir until the mixture becomes cool.
  3. Slowly and gently lower the turkey into the container so it’s completely immersed in the brine. If not fully immersed, weigh down the turkey.
  4. Cover and place in a cool dry area for 8 to 16 hours.
  5. Next, remove the bird from the brine, rinse, and dry.
  6. For the next 30 minutes, allow the turkey to sit in room temperature prior to cooking.
  7. In a 28 to 30-quart pot, pour in the oil and set over high heat on an outside propane burner.     
  8. Proceed by bringing the oil temperature to approximately, 250 degrees F.
  9. Once your oil’s temperature has reached 250 degrees F, slowly lower the turkey into the oil and raise the temperature to 350 degrees F.
  10. After the bird has been submerged for 35 minutes, use a probe thermometer to check the temperature.
  11. Let the breast of the turkey reach 151 degrees F, then slowly remove the bird from the oil and allow to rest for 30 minutes’ minimum before carving.
  12. The turkey will reach an internal temperature of 161 degrees F because of carry over cooking, so don’t be alarmed.
  13. Once cooled, you’re now ready to carve and enjoy your deep-fried turkey.

The Energy Experts

Each month The Energy Experts present a blog that shares helpful information on a wide-rage of topics that involves the intersection of home and health. Are you concerned about energy savings, indoor air quality, home comfort, and family health issues? Then check in with The Energy Experts each month for more valuable information on these crucial topics.