The Impacts of Energy Consumption
Coming home from a long day at school, I tell myself, “Damn, I’m tired!” On top of that, it’s blazing hot outside, so I set my thermostat to the lowest possible temperature so that my apartment can cool down quickly. After I adjust the temperature, I go to the bathroom and then leave the lights on from laziness. Finally, I turn on the television to watch something until I fall fast asleep. The end of the month comes along and I walk to my mailbox to check for any bills and next thing you know I have a staggering bill from Georgia Power! It’s nothing that I should be surprised about because I have ridiculous habits when it comes to leaving things on and setting my thermostat. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person with an energy-consuming problem. I know that millions of people do the same things I do. Reducing my energy consumption is a challenge that I want to take on to better myself and the environment, which is a change for the good that i have great interest in. I looked at my energy bill for the past month and I did some calculations money wise. When looked over some energy facts on the Energy Star site, it made me realize something. According to Energy Star, the government agency that helps us all save money on energy and protect the environment at the same time, the air conditioning unit consists of approximately 50% of your monthly electric bill (“Save Energy at Home”). Last month, my bill came up to $70.71, which is high for me because I don’t really run anything in my apartment but T.V, lights, internet, and my laptop. I barely use my stove or microwave because I’m one of those college students who eats out all the time because I can’t cook. Half of $70 is $35. On top of that, the unit can possibly use more than fifty percent if you don’t maintain it properly. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent - and sometimes much more (“Save Energy at Home”). That being said, it would use less energy and cost less. Energy Star also says that leaving things plugged in even when they are not using it, can consume energy. It does indeed show a difference if you practice leaving things that you don’t use unplugged (“Save Energy at Home”). It saved me around 50 kWh which doesn’t seem like much but it’s something. Next, since an HVAC unit can possibly take over your energy costs, we should all know how to reduce our consumption when it comes to the HVAC unit itself. Installing a programmable thermostat can help your HVAC system become more energy efficient (“Energy Saving Tips”). I was reading a article from the ConsumerMan section of MSNBC and came across an article stating that installing a programmable thermostat can cut your energy costs by 20% (Weisbaum). These systems that we cherish so much can also be sources of emission into the environment we inhabit. It is said that HVAC systems can be contaminant emission sources (Batterman). Have you ever left some food laying around and come to realize that it starting growing mold? The EPA conducted a few studies that shown that the HVAC systems are the causes of biological growth, and moisture of which molds use to multiply and grow (Batterman). Therefore, it would probably be a good idea to use programmable thermostats to lower costs and emissions into the indoor environment. These thermostats can minimize the emissions when we are not at home or sleep. Aside from the costs of using the infamous HVAC units that we all cherish so much, the environmental changes is something that goes on unnoticed to people including myself. I think that it’s something that we should consider because of a number of reasons. Energy generation impacts our environment in a way that we don’t see. Most of the energy that we use is produced by power plants that use non-renewable resources such as natural gas, oil, and coil, all of which are considered as fossil fuels. (“Fossil Fuels”) Fossil...
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