19 Dec
2019

Optimizing Setting a Programmable Thermostat for Winter

Posted by Norman F, December 19th, 2019

Easy Eco Blog Electric Programmable Thermostat

The average household will spend over $1100 staying warm during the winter.  This cost just keeps going straight up.  You can lower your heating costs by 2-5% for every 1 degree lower you set your thermostat. Easily save $200 a year.

Housing accounts for 20% of total US energy use with heating and cooling consuming a whopping 44% of residential energy use.

We realized that we were not setting our programmable thermostat optimally, when we saw some tips that result in lower energy use. We would set the thermostat to heat to my desired temperature of 65 degrees from 6pm to 7am. Many people will prefer 68 degrees, but we like wearing sweaters at home. (Or are so cheap we have to)

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small Christmas tree, metal

Having an Eco Friendly Green Christmas is more and more desirable these days. Beside losing all the gained weight, we can do the following to have a more green and healthy holiday.

How can you Green your Christmas?

  • Reduce the number of trips you need to make or take public transportation
  • Buy your fruits and vegetables from a local farmers market or from local sources.
  • Buy organic when possible, except for product on the Clean 15 list
  • Utilize reusable bags to hold groceries
  • Don’t over cook or serve too much food
  • Eat on real dishes and use cloth napkins
  • Rent or buy your decorations from used clothing stores like Goodwill. Reusing items that you already have is even better.
  • Donate extra food, money, clothing to those in need
  • Compost the leftovers, fruits, vegetables, etc.
  • Give out green oriented treats like organic fruit, re-purposed trinkets

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23 Jan
2019

10 Green Spring Cleaning Tips and Season Home Preparation Tips

Posted by Norman F, January 23rd, 2019

plum blossoms, spring, flowers on tree

Spring is rapidly approaching, it is time to clean up your place. EWG Has a nice list of tips to help you clean your house the green more eco-friendly way.

  • Check the exterior of your home and repair any cracked or flaking paint
  • Check and clean gutters again
  • It is time to work on your garden and rejuvenate your lawn
  • Inspect and test your sprinkler system. It will be needed soon
  • Clean out your garage and closets. The holiday season is over and it is time to donate useless items and recycle other things
  • Bad weather is over. Your car needs some TLC. Change its oil if necessary, get an inspection, clean and wax its exterior
  • Check and clean chimney if necessary
  • The heater will get a rest, so it’s time to check your air conditioner and its filters
  • Check your roof and patch or replace any damaged areas

Some other useful tips

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1 Jan
2019

Are Solar Panels Right for me?

Posted by Norman F, January 1st, 2019

Last Update: January 2, 2020

solar panels, solar energy

Spring is a time to start thinking about solar power. The sun is finally shining, and the rainy season has passed. Solar Panels produce green clean energy from an abundant energy source that shines on us everyday. Solar Electric Systems also called photovoltaics or PV convert the sun’s radiant energy into electricity.  Unlimited renewable energy that is guilt free and at no cost once our panels are paid for. Enjoy energy independence.

Google Project Sunroof helps you determine if Solar is cost effective by examining your location, usable sunlight per year, and roof. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Jan
2019

Picking Solar Panels – Finding the Best Solar Panels

Posted by Norman F, January 1st, 2019

Last Update: August 23, 2018

solar panels

The Earth receives more energy from the Sun in one hour than the whole World uses in a whole year.  Time to tap into that. Solar power is used to power everything from calculators to Coast Guard buoys to highway signs to the International Space Station.

You have read Are Solar Panels for me? and Solar Panel Installation – Planning and are ready for more details. Photovoltaic Solar panels were invented at Bell Labs in 1953. They have evolved over the years and several different types of solar panels exist, and choosing between then is confusing.  No one vendor will have access to all products, so you will have to do some shopping around to find the best solar panels.

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1 Jan
2019

ComEd Energy Efficiency Rebates

Posted by Norman F, January 1st, 2019

New rebates have been added for 2019

Utility Company ComEd (An Exelon Company) has a bunch of rebates, programs and incentives to help save energy, go green, and most importantly save money.

  • $50 ComEd rebate on select top-loading ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers
  • $50 Rebate for Electric Clothes Dryer ≥ 4.4 Cubic Feet
  • $50 rebate on Energy Star Refrigerators ≥ 7.75 Cubic Feet
  • $50 rebate on Freezers ≥ 7.75 Cubic Feet
  • $25 rebate on Room Air Conditioner
  • Smart Thermostat $100 on certain models
  • $50 rebate on Air purifier
  • $10 on Advanced Power Strip
  • $500 rebate on Heat Pump Water Heater (when purchased through your retailer)
  • Up to $600 rebate on Central Air Conditioning Cycling to save money. Also covers Air Source Heat Pump and Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps
  • Instant discounts on CFL Light bulbs
  • Attic Insulation Rebate
  • Air Sealing Rebate
  • Wall Insulation Rebate
  • Duct Sealing Rebate
  • $50 back on old working Refrigerator and Freezer recycling

Questions about ComEd Energy Efficiency Rebates, call 1-877-928-8776.

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1 Jan
2019

Repairing Broken Electronics is Green

Posted by Norman F, January 1st, 2019

notebook computer, netbook, dell mini 9

Electronics eventually break down.  The dilemma is then repair or replace the item. If you item is under warranty, the decision is easy – get it fixed. Recycling electronics does not address the issue.

  • China stopped taking our waste
  • Irresponsible recyclers add to toxic waste problem
  • Fix, do not replace

Remember that many credit cards will double your manufacturer’s warranty.  Check your credit card’s fine print.

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1 Jan
2019

FPL Energy Efficiency Rebates to Save Money

Posted by Norman F, January 1st, 2019

FPL energy efficiency rebate form
New rebates have been added.

Utility Company Florida Power and Light has a bunch of cash rebates and ways to go green.

Questions, call 1-800-226-3545.

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12 Nov
2018

Costco Inkjet Cartridge Refill Service – Discount Ink Cartridges

Posted by Norman F, November 12th, 2018

Many of us have Inkjet Printers that require expensive ink cartridges. They seem to run out fast or dry out after periods of inactivity. Here are some tips to fight back.

Inkjet Cartridges Get more Expensive

In September 2016, HP issued a software update to various printers that PREVENTS them from using non HP Ink! Do not install this.  They reversed course in October 2016 to update the software again and remove this restriction.

The printers affected by the firmware upgrade are HP Officejet Pro 8610, HP Officejet Pro 8615, HP Officejet Pro 8620, HP Officejet Pro 8625, HP Officejet Pro 8630, and HP Officejet Pro 6230 ePrinter, HP Officejet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One Printer, HP Officejet Pro 6835 e-All-in-One Printer, HP Officejet 6812 e-All-in-One Printer, HP Officejet 6815 e-All-in-One Printer

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30 Oct
2018

Expanding a Solar Panel System

Posted by Norman F, October 30th, 2018

How to expand your Solar Panel system

We installed our original solar panels way back in 2004.  They have generated a ton of power for us, but after 14 years, it was time to think about adding on to our system.

Be sure to read our articles: Are Solar Panels for me?

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