Winter is no longer coming. It has arrived with a vengeance. Here in the South, we do not get much cold weather, but today we are in single digit temperature with sheets of black ice covering the roadways. Wherever you, I hope you and your families are safe and comfortable.
We are fortunate to have heat and power and I am grateful that I can share this with you from the comforts of my home while admiring the frozen beauty outdoors.
As we kick off the new year I wanted to revisit energy efficiency and conservation with you. Since everything around us is comprised of energy, how we utilize energy is extremely important. Waste not, want not as the saying goes.
But more importantly, as we learn to better harness our energy better we can produce more, higher quality work.
According to NASA, Thermodynamics is a branch of physics which deals with the energy and work of a system. And the First Law of Thermodynamics is based on the conservation of energy which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed but merely changes form. I describe the conservation of energy concept as an energy accounting systems with a ledger of debits and credits. What goes into the system is accounted for by adding up what comes out of the system and any losses that may have occurred in the system. My goal is to help you waste less of your energy (have fewer debits) to make the credits you have available to you go further.
A simple way to think of energy efficiency and conservation for your home would be this –
Conservation: By regulating your thermometer you conserve energy by adjusting the temperature that triggers your HVAC unit to run. We keep our home set around 68 in the winter and when it is 5 degrees outside the inside feels great at 68. As long as the inside temperature of my house stays above 68, my heat does not come on. I am conserving energy by not consuming it.
Efficiency: If I left my den door open to the outside while trying to heat my home’s interior that is not a very efficient process. It is obviously wasteful, akin to driving your car with the brakes on. The home’s heated air that consumed energy to be produced is being released to the outside while even more, colder air is rushing in probably lowering my home’s temperature caused more demand for heat to maintain my desired temperature.
In our daily routines we can practice both energy conservation and efficiency. We can practice conservation by getting adequate rest, proper nutrition and spend times with friends and family. We are not meant to work all day. We need to let our bodies recharge and keep our powder dry for when we are ready to fully unleash our power. Think of a tiger or lion. They sleep and rest most of the day and then surge with incredibly powerful and directed force. Humans are endurance creatures but we need our rest and recovery as well.
We can become more efficient in many ways but one way I would recommend is by practicing deep work. If you would like to learn more about this read Cal Newport’s Deep Work. Multitasking takes more time and energy than a single, deeper focused effort.
by Cal Newport
Also published on Medium.