Archive for the Environmental Category

Environmentally Friendly Swamp Coolers

One of the most economical and environmentally friendly ways to stay cool in summer is to use a vent free portable swamp cooler instead of air conditioning. This ecologically sound alternative uses so little energy in comparison that it’s a wonder more people in the right circumstances haven’t made the change yet!

Yet there are literally hundreds of thousands of households, public buildings, offices and workplaces that are unnecessarily being cooled by air conditioning when they could benefit from considerable lower power bills by using evaporative cooling technology. So why don’t more people, local authorities and companies take advantage of this low-cost and energy saving interior climate control solution?

Location and Climate

The main reason for not using evaporative or swamp coolers to stay cool when the weather gets hot is being located in a region that has high levels of humidity in the air. When this is the case, swamp coolers simply do not work as effectively or even not at all at 100% humidity. They need dry air to function effectively.

Since the majority of the population lives in proximity to large expanses of water, such as in coastal cities and towns or areas near to large lakes or rivers and these areas having the highest levels of summer humidity, it follows that most people simply cannot use swamp coolers. However, not everyone lives in a humid climate.

Dry Air Dwellers

There are millions of people living in cities and towns located inland away from large areas of water such as in desert or agricultural locations. Think of a state like Arizona, Colorado or Nevada with big cities like Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas and all the large and smaller towns in those states and the population adds up to many millions of people.

All these people can take advantage of being cooled by evaporation and save as much as 1/20th the cost of their existing AC cooling solution. That is no joke, either. Medium size portable swamp coolers can typically run on less than 150-200 watts of power, whereas a comparable size AC can use 2,000-4,000 watts to achieve the same level of cooling!

Amazing Low Cost

When you next take a look at your utility bill for the summer period and see how much your home’s air conditioning has cost you, then do the math to see how much running an evaporative cooler would have cost you, you’re going to be in for a pretty big shock. For example, a bill of $1,000 for AC could have cost you only around $50. Just imagine what you could do with an extra $900+ in your bank account each summer!

Of course, it’s not just the monetary cost that becomes relatively insignificant when you adopt this type of indoor temperature control. It’s also the ecological impact you’re averting since these units use so little energy.

If just 1,000 households in a town were to make the change from air conditioners to evap coolers, the reduced load on the power grid for that town would be significant. Lower consumption of energy means less fuel needs to be burned to produce it, which leads to less air and water pollution. And that’s good for the environment, right?

Now imagine if 1,000,000 homes made that change. The implications in energy saving for the individual as well as the country as a whole is mind boggling. You can read more about that here.

It would mean less fuel imports leading to lower budget deficits for the country while the family budget gets a boost at the other end leaving enough in the bank for things like vacations, a better car, nicer clothes, better food on the table etc. Now there’s something to think over!

Green and Ductless Portable Air Conditioner Solution

It may still be winter right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good time to start thinking about the hot days of summer and how you’re going to keep yourself cool indoors when it gets really unbearable outside. Now is the perfect time to start looking at cooling solutions for your home that are not only economical but also kind on the environment.

Most conventional air conditioners work on a heat exchange system and use a gaseous refrigerant to chill the air. These devices, while being very effective at keeping things nice and comfortable in the home tend to be power hogs and that makes them environmentally undesirable.

Green Solution to Keeping Cool

There is a very green and ecologically sound solution in the form of evaporative coolers, although these are only effective in areas that have low humidity. If humidity gets above 50% their effectiveness is reduced. The higher the amount of moisture in the air, the less effective they get.

But if you live in an area that has relatively dry heat (humidity less than 50%), then you can save a lot of money, be kind to the environment and stay cool in summer with a swamp cooler. That’s because this type of cooler only uses a regular fan to push air through a damp membrane which chills the air naturally using nothing more than evaporation as its cooling method.

How Cheap is a Swamp Cooler to Run?

While I can’t quote actual dollar values as power costs vary from state to state, it can be very graphically seen when you look at the wattage consumption of a typical portable swamp cooler when compared to a similar conventional portable air conditioning unit.

A typical small aircon unit can use around 1-2 kilowatts of electricity to chill the air in a room, whereas a comparable swamp cooler will use less than 100 watts of power to produce the same amount of cold air.

That’s between 5-10% of the power consumption!

If you live in a low humidity area, then you should seriously consider getting a swamp cooler in preference to an aircon unit because the cost saving is enormous! That saving in power is also very kind to the environment because it takes a lot less fossil fuel to generate 100 watts as it does to generate a thousand watts (kilowatt)!

Something of a Revelation

So if you’ve been on the fence over what type of air cooling solution to go with, I hope this short article has put a most compelling argument in your way. After all, the dollars in your pocket are more use to you when you can use them for other things than just paying your electricity bill each quarter with the bulk of that price ticket being made up of keeping cool in summer.

If you are interested in knowing more, you can read more about the amazing ventless portable air conditioner, what it is and how it works by clicking that link. The link will take you to this website here: https://ventless-portable-air-conditioners.blogspot.com.

You’ll discover many things about the alternatives to keeping cool in hot weather that you may not have known before. After all, it’s important to do your own research into the ways and means of controlling your home’s climate during different times of the year.

Environmentally Friendly Heating Solutions

Staying warm indoors when it gets cold outside is one of our more important concerns during the darker, colder winter months and having an environmentally friendly way to do that is becoming more and more important as the world’s natural resources are depleted. Yet despite the growing need to conserve fuel and use what we have wisely, there are millions of people living in urban areas that simply have no viable way to support this kind of sensible power usage.

The problems faced by city dwellers where power is concerned are mainly governed by the infrastructure that is in place and difficult or very expensive to change. Most cities rely heavily on electricity to supple homes with power for their needs including their heating and hot water systems and its generation is ever becoming a more expensive commodity.

Electricity for Heat

Most of the fuel used to create the electricity generated by power stations to serve the bulk of the country’s population comes from fossil fuels, or carbon based fuels that are taken from the earth including coal, oil and natural gas. Several decades ago when these fuels were plentiful and cheap, this wasn’t a problem and whole cities grew up around this form of power generation.

Families were spoiled with all manner of electrically powered appliances to make their lives more convenient and that also included electric heating devices from small space heaters, through to whole house central heating systems that included the facility to produce unlimited hot water for all those lovely showers and baths that people like to take every day.

Unfortunately, this good thing didn’t last and as oil and natural gas supplies started to dwindle the price rose and suddenly, toward the end of the twentieth century, electricity was no longer cheap. Alternatives needed to be found for sure and they are being found but the major problem for those living in the city is they are still largely reliant on electricity for all their homes’ power needs.

Cheaper Alternatives

For those living in rural areas, the abundance of alternative fuels such as wood for wood burning furnaces and stoves means that reliance on the more expensive and resource hungry electrical power supply is much less. Access to cheaper coal is another bonus that city dwellers cannot enjoy so much since it costs more to deliver this fuel in cities due to traffic congestion and lack of parking for the delivery trucks, plus the fact that wages are higher and so drivers demand greater recompense for delivering to city addresses.

Renewable energy sources have been found and are being employed but their growth is painfully slow and still only makes up less than 5% of the entire country’s power needs. Wind farms, solar voltaic electricity farms and hydro power stations are being built and put to use, but we need more of them fast!

One way that people living outside the city can help themselves is by generating their own electricity by putting up solar panels in areas that get lots of sunshine or even installing small wind turbines on their property. When you generate more electricity than you use, you can sell some of it to the power companies and help keep the power flowing through the country that way.

Portable Heating using Propane

One way in which city and town dwellers can cut their reliance on electricity for heat is to use small, portable propane fueled heaters (see: http://portable-propane-heater.blogspot.com for more details). These small units can deliver a lot of heat cheaply and readily without adding to the drain on the electric supply in urban areas.

Propane is a useful and portable fuel that can be used to run modified gen sets in rural areas or wherever they are needed as backup for those time when we get blackouts. Having one or more of these small units can literally be a life saver during times of power shortages and outages during the coldest months especially for the elderly and infirm who suffer most when the temperature drops during winter.

These are some things worth considering next time you switch on that energy hungry appliance. Ask yourself if you really need to use it. And if you don’t, why not save a little energy?

You can do your small but not insignificant bit to help the environment and conserve our resources for generations to come. Read this article on climate change and what you can do to stay warm when it gets cold.

Drying Clothes Ecologically When it Rains

When it comes to getting your newly washed clothes dry when its raining cat and dogs, it’s tough to beat a big, powerful dryer. But there are portable and even vent free options available these days that can also cut down on the amount of energy you use to get those clothes dry without compromising on the result you expect to get from such a device.

Using a clothes dryer is seen by many ecologically minded folks as an extravagance or at least an unnecessary waste of valuable electricity when there is a perfectly good washing line outside. But when it’s raining, clothes just won’t dry out there on a line unless you have a specially constructed covered place for that purpose.

Low-Tech Clothes Drying Innovation

Hang on there just a second partner. What was that crazy, simple idea you just sprung?

The smart money is on putting up a covered space (if you have sufficient space in your yard) where you can put up a line and hang up your freshly washed clothing and know it will get dry eventually and the rain can’t do anything to stop it! Yup, with that kind of setup, you get to stick a finger up at the weather when those dark clouds come rolling in!

For sure, this solution is not for everyone because there are way too many folks living in apartments or condos with no yard space to use. But hey, if you have a balcony, there is still scope for covering it with a waterproof canopy. Just saying.

If you really can’t dry clothes outside, then it makes sense to buy the most economical dryer you can get (such as a portable vent free model… see: http://ventlessportabledryer.blogspot.com for more details).

Why Would You Go To All That Trouble?

OK, in our convenience ruled lives, there will be plenty of folks that’ll say it’s just a waste of time and effort to put up a covered area in your yard just for drying clothes. Especially when you could simply go buy a nice, energy hog dryer and do it indoors!

But that’s not the point, is it?

The whole idea is to try and cut down on your energy consumption which will not only help the planet and the environment but also save you some money in the long run. Ah, I see the flicker of interest now that old uncle dollar has joined the conversation!

You actually get to save rather a lot of money and energy over the course of a year when you opt to not use a dryer in favor of a covered line drying area in your yard. In fact, that area can be put to other uses as well as just hanging up clothes.

When not in use, the line could be retracted and the area used for sitting outside when it’s warm but wet. It could be a really nice quiet space for reading a book in natural daylight, listening to some music on your headphones or just generally chilling out.

There are lots of possibilities you know, when you just think of them. Check out this newspaper article on just this subject from The Guardian