Many things these days are taken for granted and used with exceptional liberty, but none more prevalent than the consumption of petroleum based fossil fuels worldwide. Many do not understand that energy conservation is a growing issue in America today. With non-renewable resources being depleted more rapidly then they can be replaced the search for ways to conserve energy and to find new renewable resources are fast becoming popular among homeowners. Many Americans do not realize that not a huge amount of effort needs to go into their homes to make them more energy efficient and with a few simple little tricks and a few upgrades to their homes they can not only improve the environment and conserve energy and save hundreds of dollars each year.
Household energy usage for Americans is the highest in the entire world and directly contributes to natural gas consumption and issues such as global warming. In 2005, world total primary energy consumption was 462.798 Quadrillion Btu while the United States primary energy consumption was 100.691 Quadrillion Btu, about 21.8 percent of the world total. (Azete 2008). Considering this and knowing that our petroleum based fossil fuels are limited, it is imperative for Americans to learn new improved ways to use and conserve their energy.
One major use of energy within ones home is the heating and cooling of the air. This accounts for approximately 5.3 Btu’s a year per home. (Azete 2008). There are several options to conserve energy usage in heating and cooling. Air filtration through cracks in walls, basements, windows, doors and attics can account for approximately one third of cooling and heating cost. To reduce the amount of air that slips through cracks in the walls and various other points in the house one can spend very little money by doing simple little upkeeps to all doorways and windows. Adding new weather stripping to doors and caulking all windows can help reduce the air escaping by almost 10 percent. Additionally, replacing old windows with newer ones that have thicker window panes and are considered energy efficient can help reduce the air leakage by another three to four percent.
Furthermore, if a house is not insulated well heating and cooling units must work almost 10 times harder to keep a constant temperature. Although it could be slightly costly at first, replacing all old insulation with newer and thicker insulation can help a house maintain a constant temperature and use less energy. Additionally, consumers can buy programmable thermostats and create different temperature settings for different times of the day. In doing this homeowners can help eliminate their central air conditioning units running unnecessarily, especially when there is no need for them to be on. By setting the thermostat two degrees warmer then the average temperature that most homeowners do, 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, in the summer and two degrees cooler in the winter, from 70 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, homeowners can reduce their energy cost by almost 10 percent.
An alternative method to heat ones house is Geothermal Power. Geothermal Power is energy created from the ground beneath our feet in the form of heat. (Clean Energy Ideas 2008). The best advantage of using geothermal power I ones house is that it creates no pollution at all due to the fact that it s naturally using the steam and heat from the Earth’s crust. Although sufficient enough to power an entire house, Geothermal Power is only available in certain areas of America due to most of the land not being viable enough for use. As well, Geothermal Ground Source Heat Pumps are another option that can be considered in warming a house. These Geothermal pumps can help to heat water for the home or to merely heat one’s house. Even though geothermal units can be costly at first, with the surveying, designing and installation of the units,...