Empathy for Enthalpy

We are all looking for ways to save money. Challenging our energy consumption thinking can really pay off.

Enthalpy, or the energy measured in thermodynamics, may seem a strange visitor to a discussion of your home’s energy consumption. But a brief breakdown of heating and cooling gains and losses will leave you well equipped to be a more energy-savvy consumer, and have a cleaner home, too.

Energy Consumption

It’s challenging to think of reducing energy consumption in the middle of summer’s heatwave. But there are small, individual choices we can make with great impact on our personal energy demand and the environment.

Problem: Rising population, rising cost of living, rising energy costs and consumption…Affects the environment.

“In the next 20 years…global energy consumption is expected to rise 40%”, according to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine.

According to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (, how we use energy affects our environment. Toxic fumes and harmful byproducts are the unseen evils of energy production and consumption. As is stated in their article, “Reduce Your Household Energy Use”: “When we consume less power, we reduce the amount of toxic fumes released by power plants, conserve the earth’s natural resources, and help protect ecosystems from destruction… Cutting back on energy consumption reduces the amount of electricity that power plants have to make.”

Solution: Changes in how we think and use energy.

As individuals, we can be more aware of how we use the energy we consume by making optimal use of appliances:

Keep refrigerator at 36-38 degrees Fahrenheit, limiting frequency and duration of door opening.

When using oven and stovetop, make larger meals to afford leftovers for another day, requiring less energy to reheat.

Unplug technology including TV’s, chargers, small appliances when not in use.

Wash a full load of laundry in cold water, whenever possible.

Air dry laundry as much as possible, reducing the need for the dryer, the 5th most energy-consuming appliance.

Heaters, the most energy-consuming appliance, are responsible for over 30% of home energy use. Addressing poor insulation and gaps contributing to energy loss are the main ways to reclaim, lowering heating costs.

Cooling appliances account for about 10% of home energy consumption, also being affected by poor insulation and gaps, leading to loss of cooled air.

The state of your windows accounts for nearly 30% of potential heating and cooling losses. Dirty panes, debris, cracks and gaps, and broken weather stripping all contribute to higher energy consumption, as your heating and cooling must work harder to maintain a temperate environment.

Overall, a cleaner home, inside and out, increases the quality of air you breathe inside and outside your home. It also has a direct bearing on the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems. Clean homes using clean, energy efficient appliances will work easier, saving you money as well as reducing energy consumption.

Professional House Washing protects your home from deterioration from elements, buildup of grime, bacteria, and fungus, which can work their way beneath your home’s exterior, ‘infecting’ and deteriorating the efficiency of your home’s energy.

Professional Window Cleaning likewise promotes better use of your home’s energy consumption. Clean windows allow more natural heat and light to enter your home, reducing incessant reliance on appliances and electric lighting.

There are many other appliances, electronics, and habits that affect your home’s energy consumption. While most of these depend on YOUR use and habits as a homeowner, why not depend on US to make the most of your heating and cooling energy expenditure, by scheduling a Professional House Wash and Window Cleaning Service.

With all of the “smart” technology available, let’s be smarter consumers, making better use of our energy consumption.

Darkness, Dirt, and Depression

How Dirty Windows Can Contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Exactly one month since the autumnal equinox, Latin for ‘equal nights’, and it has grown noticeably darker each evening. That sense of darkness will be even more impactful when the observance of DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ends, this year on the 7th of November, 2021. We enjoy the ‘extra’ hour of sleep that evening, however the loss of that hour’s light affects our evening routine.

Decreased sunlight has a direct bearing on our mood. As it grows darker, our bodies produce less serotonin, the brain chemical that controls our mood. Melatonin production is also decreased, as it is produced in proportion to the light received by the retina, affecting our sleep patterns. This combination of factors has a direct bearing on our mood. This may result in loss of energy, lack of interest, oversleeping, and feelings of hopelessness: symptoms of SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER. However, there are simple solutions to combat these ‘winter blues’.

While we experience darker evenings, the time shift means an earlier sunrise. Taking advantage of that by rising early and making the most of the morning light can help us get a good start for the day. A daily walk in the sunshine and fresh air, even for as little as ten minutes can make a difference. But as most of us spend our days indoors, especially with so many now working-from-home, light exposure may be minimal. In fact, even our home’s efficiency is affected by the lack of sunlight. It is therefore imperative to maximize light and sun exposure for the next two months, until December 21st, when the winter solstice begins, and sunlight once again increases.

The most cost effective way to boost mood, boost light, and boost energy efficiency is to thoroughly wash windows and glass doors. Even a little bit of dirt or dust on windows can affect your home’s energy efficiency. According to one study, windows bear 2530% on home energy consumption. That means that dirty windows means less sunlight (heat) exposure, increasing energy consumption as your heating system works harder to heat your home. Therefore, clean windows, inside and outside, not only reduces your energy costs, it also allows more light to brighten your rooms and lift your spirits, boosting your mood, maximizing your use of energy.

Other helpful tips for boosting light include:

  1. Using mirrors to reflect natural light entering through windows.
  2. Using light colored paint on walls, light colored furnishings and floors, and adding reflective surfaces to help light bounce around the room.
  3. Add lighting. While skylights optimize sunlight, even adding lamps and other energy-efficient lighting can increase the brightness of dark days. Light Therapy (via Lightboxes) also helps to curb the effects of SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER, by tricking the eye, and therefore the brain, into receiving more light, boosting melatonin and serotonin production.

Banish the ‘Winter Blues’, take care of your home and your health by scheduling a Professional Window Cleaning, making your home clean, light, and bright.

Home Window Cleaning in Bethlehem, PA by Grime Fighters