Some people are concerned about the strain and cost they will encounter on their electric utility if they were to purchase a hot tub. Ingenious creators, eco-friendly, friends of the planet have come up with an option that will give you all of the amenities that a hot tub will afford you and they’ve made it so the tub is heated by solar power, not from a plug!

The first thing to consider when you’re looking into purchasing a solar-heated hot tub is understand that this is a unit that will need to be outdoors. If your idea of the perfect hot tub setting is in a room of your home, there is likely to be an absence of sunlight that you will need to heat your tub. That said; the other consideration is the area where you live. If you live in a region that sees little sunlight then the solar-heated hot tub is not something that would work.

Let’s say you live in an area that will sufficiently accommodate the solar-heated hot tub and you are comfortable with the idea of having it outside of the house, what next? Do you fill the hot tub and wait for the sunlight to heat it up? What about when the sun goes down, what happens to the heat that has accumulated during the daylight hours?

It is recommended that instead of having to wait for the sun to come out in order to enjoy a hot temperature of water, there are types of solar heat equipment that will allow you to store the heat that is solar generated in order to be used later when it is time to enjoy the benefits of the hot tub itself. It may appear to be an expense that is not worth it and it is an up-front expense, but the pay off is that by having the solar heated unit; you will never have to plug it in and further drain those resources. In the end, the cost saving measures that a solar heated hot tub will allow, far out weigh the need for electrical energy or propane gas.

Solar heated hot tubs, like their electric and propane powered counterparts will always benefit from the use of a safety cover that is designed to contain the heat generated, rather than having to waste time and money waiting for the water to heat up itself.

If you are considering an eco-friendly option for a hot tub, the solar heated hot tub is where you want to look. Keeping in mind that it will need to be outside, that indoors is not an option; you live in a region that is sunny enough to properly heat up the hot tub and you know ahead of time that there is the possibility of the cost for the solar heater, by all means, go solar. Know that you’ll be able to reap the benefits of the use of a hot tub and you will be doing your part in the effort to protect the environment.

Our environment is suffering and our resources are depleting because we use too much of everything. Did you know that taking small steps to save our environment can also help you save money? If you follow one or all of the tips below, you can actually see real savings on your energy bill. You don’t need to do everything but you can do something.

In a typical home, appliances and electronics make up about 20% of energy use. The first step is to look for Energy Star labels when buying appliances and products. Energy Star labels are strict guidelines created by the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency for energy efficiency. Follow some of these tips to help make the environment better for our future generations and save money at the same time.

Light bulbs: Use energy saving CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs) instead of the conventional incandescent light bulbs. Although CFLs cost 3-5 times as much as the incandescent light bulb, CFLs only use one-quarter of the electricity and lasts years longer. Each CFL bulb contains 5mg of mercury so you will have an extra item to sort in the recycling bin.

Dishes: Never load your dishes in a dishwasher unless they are a full load. Air-dry dishes instead of using a dryer.

Laundry: Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot water when you can. Instead of using a dryer, air-dry or hang your clothes on a clothes line. Don’t use the dryer unless it houses a full load.

Refrigerators: Think of what you want to take out before you open the refrigerator. Leaving the door open will waste extra energy.

Take Showers, less Baths: Taking showers instead of baths will reduce water usage and also lower your heating bill.

Turn Off all Appliances Not in Use: Turn off all lights, computers, and electronics when they are not in use. Plug all your electronics such as computers, TVs, and DVDs into power strips. Using a power strip can reduce electricity used to power home appliances. Even when your appliances are turned off, energy is still being consumed from the outlet. To avoid extra energy costs, unplug the appliance or use a power strip. The power strip has an off button to cut all the power from the appliance.

Weather-Strip Windows and Doors: Check windows and doors for air leaks. Air leaks can be sealed by caulking or weather-stripping. By securing the leaks in your home, hot and cool air will be kept in your home longer. Less heating and cooling will help you save on energy costs.

Look for Energy Star label: Energy Star labels are only given when appliances and products meet strict guidelines of energy efficiency from Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

Thousands of people are beginning to invest in solar powered devices and panels because of its several known benefits. You can start helping the environment and maximize the potential of your energy source by using solar power instead. You have to know more about the available types and the features of each. You should know your source better so that you can get the best deals. Here are some more tips and tricks on how to begin.

It’s a Renewable Resource

Solar energy is considered a renewable resource. This means that reliability can be acquired day by day. You can expect to continue getting power and energy from the sun for several decades without having to recharge batteries or keep purchasing new parts. Even though the energy may not always be readily available during cloudy days or at night, the availability is still there everyday. The solar energy supply will be available as long as the sun is existing.

On the other side, oil is not considered as a renewable source of energy. Oil can take millions of years to form. At present, oil reserves are being depleted at a very fast rate compared to its time of development. People will have to prepare for the consequences of running out of this resource.

Helping the Environment

Solar energy is non-polluting. This means that you can save the ecosystem and keep greenhouse gases from forming. You can expect a cooler and cleaner surrounding by investing in solar powered devices. Compared to oil, oil burning will release carbon dioxide plus other greenhouse gases into the air. The process of getting oil can also lead to damaged or compromised ecosystems because of spills and dredging.

Cheap and Easy

People do not have to keep maintaining solar cells, because a panel can last about 30 years or more if well kept. Solar cells can also be made from very cheap materials. You can even construct the panels yourself. You can purchase ready-to-build solar cell panels over the internet. The materials will be delivered right to your doorstep in just a matter of days.

Even though solar panels and the relative accessories like solar lights are expensive to purchase at the beginning, the total sum you save in the years to come will be bigger, thereby boosting your savings instead of investing in a non-renewable energy source. The energy provided by the sun is readily available and free. Oil prices continue to increase every week. The materials and tools needed to acquire oil are also becoming expensive.

Easy Installation

You can expect to have your own solar panels in just a matter of hours or days. Allocate one day to construct and install your solar cell panels. There are so many books and online resources where you can learn more about solar energy and how to harness the power yielded to the maximum. Talk to other experts and find out about other benefits by adjusting your setup. The good thing about solar energy today is that more and more people are becoming experts in the field, thereby widening your options in getting information.

As the cost of living continues to rise, energy reports and broadcasts are crammed with energy saving tips and suggestions. Some energy saving tips require initial investments, some just solicit a change of lifestyle. The best energy saving tips are those that require almost nothing but changing a habit. This one is about the wise energy saving choices.

1.Limit, as much as possible, the use of water. Of course water is not that expensive (at least for now); but saving water saves energy. When cleaning the driveway, the deck or patio, using the broom instead of the hose would save several hundreds of gallons of water a year.

2.A push mower is a good idea to mow a small lawn. Aside from not using electricity or fuel to ride the mowing machine, it is also good exercise.

3.Rakes are good leaf movers. Like the push mower, you do not need energy to fuel up a machine to get the job done. There is also a sense of nostalgia in using this traditional tool.

4.Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to light up your driveway or as a security light. CFLs are one of the most handy and energy efficient products that you can have. If you are worried about bugs sticking to the light, there are yellow CFLs that are available.

5.When shopping, avoid going for the disposable ones. Disposable products need more landfills and landfills emit dangerous gasses. Go instead for items that could be used several times over. Again when shopping, go for products that are made of better quality. They might be a little more expensive but generally, quality products last longer.

6.Bring your own bags when shopping. Paper bags are made from trees; the environment can use more of them. Plastic bags on the contrary are oil based and are not biodegradable. If you bring your bag with you, you do not only help in saving energy, you could also get a discount from your store.

7.Batteries contain toxic materials. They produce heavy metal like zinc, zinc, arsenic, cadmium, mercury etc. Thus, disposal needs proper care. Once the heavy metal in batteries seeped into the ground it has a good chance of contaminating the ground. When buying products that would need batteries, pick those that are rechargeable. That way battery disposal is limited and you save on the cost of buying new batteries.

8.Good thing that SUV sales everywhere are going down (well, at least for the environment and not for car manufacturers). SUVs use much more energy than compact sedans for the same distance. While using SUV’s could be fun, there is also that tinge of indifference to the current energy issues and environmental problems we are facing. Reducing the use of SUVs on the street may not mean much in terms greenhouse gas emissions but is a signal to manufacturers to build more energy efficient vehicles.

9.The use of solar power is an excellent idea if you want to tackle the issues of energy conservation and environment protection. If there is one thing that the world needs most at this time, it is the widespread use of solar power.

10.Energy saving devices may cost a little extra but the pays offs are much more than the extra cost in terms longer life spans and energy saved.

Saving energy and saving money should not be your sole responsibility as parents. Your kids must also learn to contribute in keeping the electric bills down. This way, your effort will not get wasted and at the same time, your kids will learn good values while growing up.

Because teaching your kids to be energy efficient requires some effort, here are easy to follow suggestions you can do:

Education

Teaching your kids the importance of saving energy should be your first goal. Take note that making them understand the value of being energy efficient is more effective than enumerating the ways to save energy and leaving it at that. Teach them how conserving energy helps the environment. Tell them stories or read educational books about the importance of energy.

Lead by example

You know very well that kids tend to follow what elders do. Practice what you preach. You may have listed and posted a litany of things-to-do to conserve energy but if you don’t follow them yourself, you cannot expect your kids to follow it too. Do not just tell them to turn the lights off before leaving their room; show them by always turning the lights off every time you leave a room in your house. Education and leading by example are a good combination if you want to make good habits stick.

Make it fun

Find educational materials where your kids will learn the value of conserving energy as well as the ways on how to save it. Computer software, educational websites, books and television shows that educate and entertain kids would really make a difference on how well they will respond. This is especially applicable to kids from 5 to 10 years old.

Get your kids involved

Family activities should not limit to eating, playing and entertainment. Chores can also be a good way to bond with your kids. Manually wash the car, water the plants, clean the table, wash the dishes, clean the house etc. These are some of the things you can do with your kids while conserving energy.

Teach your kids according to their age.

Kids of different ages have different attitude on things around them. If your 5-year son doesn’t know how to turn off the lights before leaving the room, all you need to do is to talk to him well about its importance and showing him that you practice what you teach.

Your 10-year old daughter may require different approach like showing her your electric bill and explaining to her that it will greatly help if she will change her bad habits. You are teaching your 5-year old good habits while you are teaching and emphasising your 10-year old good habits and responsibility.

Same thing applies to kids of different ages. The point is, make sure that you teach your kids proper ways to conserve energy using an approach suited to their ages.

*Energy saving tips for kids.

1-Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.

2-Always turn the lights off before leaving the room.

3-Turn the computer off after use.

4-Do not hold the refrigerator open.

5-Unplug unnecessary appliance.

6-Use natural light if possible.

Saving energy is not so hard if your kids are involved. And just like any family activities you do, energy conservation should be fun, educational and driven by good motivation.

Solar energy is described as power coming from sunlight. It is a very economical way of getting energy needed for different household tools and devices such as lighting, power tools, appliances and other gadgets. You can save more in the next few decades by investing in solar power. You have to know the different types of setups and the things you need to consider before you choose to purchase and install. Here are some proven tips.

Getting Electricity

Solar panels are primarily installed on a flat surface such as the roof of the house. This ensures that the panels get and absorb enough sunlight to power the different items inside the home. As soon as the solar panels are activated, these will absorb the rays of the sun. The panels are made of semi-conductors like silicone.

Electrons are then released from the atoms to produce electricity. The photovoltaic effect is achieved when light is converted into electricity. You can then have direct current electricity. When the power enters an inverter, you can get 120 volt AC conversion, the same electricity required to power the house. The connection will be to the utility panel so that appliances and lights will work the same way when the switch is turned on.

On Storage

If the house is not using a lot of electricity from the solar energy created, the excess energy can be stored in a battery. When the sun is out, during night time or in the case of a power shortage or outage, the battery can be used to power different items in the home. If the battery becomes full, the extra electricity will be exported to the utility grid if the system is linked to it. Once the solar energy runs out, electricity coming from the utility will take over. The flow of solar energy electricity is measured via a utility meter that spins forward and backward.

The meter will move backward if more energy is produced than needed and the meter will move forward when extra power is required from the utility company. The two are only even when additional energy is paid for from the utility company. The surplus will go straight back to net metering. The smaller version can power a water heater in the house. Homeowners can also get the same effect by simply converting sunlight into heat.

Environmental Friendliness

The good thing about solar energy installed for homes is that the system is very efficient and environmentally friendly. You can let your kids go to different areas of the house without having to worry about pollution and poisoning. Getting a system also means that you are saving the surroundings from stress and other pollutants in the years to come. You can get a cooler and cleaner environment by investing in a solar power system. You may choose to get a DIY kit or just have a professional install the system. Make sure that you properly position the panels to get the most sunlight and get maximum conversion.

Working from home brings a lot benefits. It saves you from commute and dressing up everyday, it gives you tine for that extra minutes of sleep and it lets you work from your most convenient hours. But working from home it may also increase your energy bills – unless you carefully choose your office equipment and do some energy saving measures.

Buy energy efficient office equipment ñ computers, fax machines, scanners, printers, monitors and multifunction devices (scanner, copier, fax). Some ENERGY STAR office equipment can save as much as 90% of the standard energy consumption.

Most ENERGY STAR office equipments consume 50% less energy than standard ones. Aside from energy saving advantage, some office equipments reduce electromagnetic field emissions (for monitors), air-conditioning loads, and noise from transformers and fans.

An ENERGY STAR computer is 70% more energy efficient than computers without this designation. When left inactive, this computer shifts into a low-power mode, which only uses 15 watts of power or less.

Some office equipments that do not have to be turned on all the time should be shut down and unplugged because they still draw power when turned off.

Unplugging unused electronic devices is not limited to office equipments; unplug your television, VCRs, stereos, microwave oven, electric stove and other appliances when not in use.

Do not leave other appliances turned on while working. Avoid leaving unused appliances on “standby” mode.

Turn off the computer monitor if you are going for a break. Manually turn off your computer if you are leaving for an hour or more. Avoid using screensavers because they consume the same amount of energy as with normal computer use. Activating the computer’s sleep mode is also a better way to save energy.

Do not believe that office equipment should always be turned on because it will last longer. Practicing this belief may only result to higher electric bill.

On your next upgrade, consider buying a laptop as a computer replacement as they consume less energy than desktop computers.

When the battery chargers are not in use or if the batteries are fully charged, unplug the charger immediately.

Set up your home office where you can utilize the natural light to minimize the use of lamps and room lights.

If you are working at night, prefer task lights that consume less energy instead of using room lights. Close the drapes and shades of the windows to keep cold air out and save energy on heating the room.

If you are alone in the house, make sure that you lock all the doors and windows before working.

Set the thermostat of your cooling or heating system to a comfortable level. A digital thermostat can provide better electricity savings. Work where you can reduce the use of heating or cooling system and lights. Prefer a small room as an office rather than the entire living area. Always maintain your air conditioning system clean.

Make energy saving improvements to your home. Home energy saving improvements like insulation, repairing of crack and holes (on the windows, walls, ceiling, floors, attic and basement) and switching to compact fluorescent bulbs can bring down your electric bills.

Not only that, if you are planning to sell your home, making your home energy efficient is a good strategy.

Solar energy actually has a lot of different uses and applications to your home and your work place, and it also offers a lot of different advantages. Since solar energy is now becoming more and more affordable, as compared before, it is now more sustainable to have it in your home and at your work place. Here are just some of the possible advantages of using solar energy.

Solar Hot Water Heater

One of the more common uses of solar energy is for solar hot water heaters. Most homes in America actually have a hot water heater, which is probably why it accounts for about a quarter of the total energy consumption of a typical American home. Unfortunately, the U.S. government actually spends a lot of money on paying off the energy consumed by these hot water heaters, about $13 billion every year, possibly making it the single biggest energy consumer in your home or work place.

Solar energy systems used on hot water heaters can actually help you save a considerable percentage on your utility bills, over 85% of the total electric water heating cost of your home. This is probably why a majority of the people who decided to invest in the solar hot water heating systems think that this is a wise decision indeed.

Solar Energy Power

Solar energy or electricity is actually derived from certain solar energy technology and photovoltaic solar technology that allows you to convert solar heat into reusable energy, allowing you to get power and electricity in your home and work place. At this day and age, there are actually over 200,000 homes that use solar energy technology, 10,000 of which are powered solely by solar energy. And with the introduction of different photovoltaic integrated products, and incorporating them into the construction of your home, or your work place, you can actually save a lot just from the initial cost of construction as compared to building a conventional custom house.

Solar Pool Heater

If your home, or work place, has a pool, then a solar pool heater is needed to keep that pool heated at a certain temperature. Solar energy is actually being used by over 300,000 pools in the U.S., and could dramatically lower your utility bill by a considerable amount.

Solar Energy Net Metering

Net metering is actually a means for people who use solar energy to power up their homes or work place to be able to sell back to the utility company whatever excess electricity that their home or work place is able to produce using solar energy technology, but is not able to use up. This means that you will be able to lower down the cost of your power and energy consumption, especially since you have another alternative source for getting your electricity.

Also, people will soon be able to choose where they want to get their electricity from. They could either get it from their conventional utility, or get their clean power from a source that is non-polluting, but is just a bit more expensive than your conventional utility.

Solar energy is fast becoming one of the more promising alternative forms of energy sources that is out in the energy industry today. The main reason for this is probably due to the fact that its main source of energy, which is the sun, is able to provide over 10,000 times more than the energy that our planet is able to produce. This helps show people that solar energy is one of the best alternative energy sources for the future. However, don’t simply take my word for it. Instead, check these different solar energy figures and statistics and see for yourself if whether solar energy is indeed everything that people are claiming it to be.

Is Solar Energy Systems Financially Viable?

One of the main things that people look at when it comes to alternative sources of energy is whether it is financially viable or not. Getting a solar energy system for your home or work place these days would actually help you save some money on the total cost of your utility bills annually. However, this particular benefit is not necessarily immediate, as there are some other costs that you need to consider. Nonetheless, using solar thermal systems would allow you to get back the total cost within 5 years of installation, and 15 years for photovoltaic panels, after which, you can then enjoy the benefits of cutting down the total cost for your energy consumption.

Does Solar Energy Reduce Cost Of Energy Consumption?

Studies have shown that using certain solar energy systems do reduce the total cost of energy consumption that your home or work place might incur. If done right, you can actually lower your annual utility bill by as much as 80%, which is very significant, especially if you are trying to find ways to save some money.

Also, there are certain programs that allow solar energy systems user to sell back energy or electricity that they were not able to consume to the utility provider, giving you more ways to save money.

Do Sunny Areas Have More Solar Energy Systems?

Although the ideal location to place these solar energy power plants to harness sunlight would be in locations that have an ideally hot climate, some places which does not have that hot of a climate are known to have more solar panels than those which have hot climates. Denmark and Holland, and most of the northern European country, claims that they have more solar panels than the United Kingdom, indicating that you don’t necessarily have to have a hot climate in order to enjoy the benefits of solar energy.

How Much Area Does Solar Power Plants Need?

Most, if not all, solar power plants require a certain stretch of land area in order to house all the solar panels that these power plants need to have in order to properly harness and collect sunlight and solar energy. Depending on the size of the power plant and the solar energy output needed, each solar power plant land area would vary, from 250,000 square meters of solar panels in the United Kingdom, to the 93 million square meters of solar panel in China.

With the increase in energy prices, it’s important to know that there are ways to lower your energy bill, maintain the overall comfort of your home and be energy efficient.

There is another big plus to being energy efficient: You help the environment. Using less energy means less air pollution from power plants that burn oil, coal or natural gas. Pollution from these sources can cause respiratory disease, smog and acid rain and contribute to global climate change.

Consumer Federation of America offers these tips on how to be environmentally friendly and save energy in your home.

* Clean or replace the air filters in your home’s heating and cooling system regularly. A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and lead to equipment failure. It’s also good to have your systems checked once a year by a licensed professional. Regular maintenance can detect problems early.

* Use light bulbs and fixtures that have earned the Energy Star label – the government’s symbol for energy efficiency. Such lighting uses two-thirds less energy and can last up to 10 times longer.

* Install a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature to meet your comfort needs efficiently during different times of the day or week. A programmable thermostat can save you up to $100 a year when properly programmed and used.

* Seal air leaks in your home. Add new weather-stripping and caulking around windows and doors. Caulk and weatherproof all exterior openings for plumbing and electrical service, and look for other openings that need to be sealed, such as attic vents and ducts.

Effective air sealing, combined with the right amount of insulation, can save up to 10 percent on energy bills. And if you’re in the market for new windows, look for energy-efficient ones to help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

* When replacing older, inefficient appliances in your home, look for new ones that have earned the Energy Star label. They meet strict energy-efficiency criteria; use less energy; help prevent air pollution; and reduce energy costs in your home.