Materials & Technology

How to beat inflating energy bills

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 10:31

Though more and more people are using low-energy appliances and the amount of electricity used in American homes has dropped, these savings are offset by an increased use of electronics, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The use of energy-saving devices and more efficient technology in products like appliances, heating systems and lighting apparatuses has helped to limit the total energy consumption, but more can be done.

The EIA has projected that worldwide, energy consumption will increase by more than 40 percent by 2035. Energy rates are also increasing, as the agency tracked a 20 percent rise from 2005.

Although these rising rates may be alarming to some, there are certain steps that homeowners can take to limit their total output.

CalFinder reported that using products like solar panels and radiant heating systems can limit the total energy consumption for a household.

Many American families use forced-air heating systems to warm their homes, and with this technology there is a significant amount of parasitic heat loss. According to the news source, these conventional heaters provide uneven heating, exacerbated by the system turning on and off and shedding heat as the air moves around a home.

Radiant heating takes a different approach, as a subfloor system generates an even heat that rises uniformly, comfortably heating the residence from the floor up. According to CalFinder, a radiant heater can be up to 30 percent more efficient than a conventional system.

These heating systems can be linked with a solar panel setup, as this pairing of efficient technology can help to further limit energy costs. The energy from the solar panels can be used to warm the radiant heating system in an efficient manner.