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Greening Your Home

   

        

 

As a homeowner, you have many options when it comes to "Greening Your Home"  Click here to visit the ENERGY STAR Interactive Home and learn energy efficiency tips for each room in our home.



Also, you may want to consider soliciting a RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) Home Energy Rating System (HERS).  This nationally recognized system enables you to inspect and calculate your home's energy performance. You can have a certified Home Energy Rater assess the energy efficiency of your home and receive a relative performance score. The lower the number, the  more energy efficient your home is! For more information on how to utilize this service and discover your home's HERS Score, please visit the RESNET website
here.


Want to "Green Your Home" ?
Check out these simple things you can do to lower your energy and water consumption, while also benefiting the environment—and your wallet!

Type of Fix

Ways to Conserve Energy

 Lighting

 
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL or LED ones! Certified ENERGY STAR CFL’s use 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
  • Make sure ENERGY STAR CFL lighting is installed in your bathrooms for a bright, warm light that uses less energy and generates less heat than standard lighting.
  • Replace typical light switches with those containing dimmer or occupancy sensors so energy is not wasted when the room is vacant.
  • Along the same lines, turn off lights upon exiting a room.

 

 

 Appliances

  • Change your refrigerator settings to between 36 and 40 degrees. This can save you up to approximately 25% per year on your utility bills.
  • Replace outdated appliances (refrigerators, clothes washers, and dryers) with new ENERGY STAR labeled models to reduce utility bills. These use, on average, 10-50% less energy and water than standard models.
  • Insulate all exposed hot water pipes.
  • Install a water heater blanket and check the temperature settings of your water heater. Water heaters set above 120 degrees F waste energy. You can check your water temperature by placing a thermometer under the hot water coming out of your bathroom faucet. If it is above 120 degrees F, just turn your heater dial down a little.
  • A water heater typically lasts 10-15 years. If your heater is over 10 years old, consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR-qualified model before it fails.

 Heater/ Air Conditioner

  • Change your air filter every month during heavy use seasons (winter and summer).
  • Utilize fans, as moving air keeps you cooler. This way, you can set the thermostat higher during the summer and stay comfortable without the AC running. Each degree higher than 78 degrees will save you 5-10% on air conditioning costs.
  • Replace outdated manual thermostats with programmable ones. This way you can preset temperatures for your home and automatically reduce heating and cooling. This switch could save you up to $180 annually.
  • Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly to improve efficiency and comfort.
  • Create shade for your AC Condenser [just make sure not to block the air flow!] Units in the shade operate with 10% less energy.

Electronics


  • Use a power strip for your electronic equipment. Help reduce phantom loads (energy used when appliance is switched off)--and save up to $100 a year-- by plugging electronic devices into a power strip and turning the strip off when it is no longer in use.
  • Unplug all chargers when your device is finished charging. Chargers constantly draw energy even when not connected to a device.
  • Turn computer monitors off if you'll be away from your computer for over 20 minutes. If you will be away for over two hours, turn off the monitor and computer. Do not set screensavers to "conserve energy," this does not work!
  • Utilize rechargable batteries as opposed to throwaway ones, but be sure to unplug the battery chargers when they are not in use.

 Weatherization
(the act of modifying a building to reduce energy consumption and optimize efficiency)

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts alone can waste 5%-30% of your homes' energy use. 

  • Insulate your attic and attic door. Learn more about home insulation by visiting the Department of Energy's Webpage.
  • Seal and insulate air ducts
  • Caulk and weatherstrip windows, and install storm windows to keep out drafts of cold air in the winter
  • Install screens on windows and doors, so they can be opened to let cool breeze in without the risk of insects and pests.
     

 Water

  • Install a water-efficient toilet. According to the U.s. EPA, a family of four can save up to $2,000 in a lifetime by installing a Water-Sense labeled flusher.
  • Install a new Water Sense-labeled showerhead to save over 2,300 gallons of water annually .
  • View more water conservation tips here.

Other

  • Plant deciduous trees with high, spreading crowns (i.e. leaves and branches) south of your home to provide maximum summertime roof shading while still allowing sunshine to reach your home in the winter

    • Shading and evapotranspiration (the process of transferring moisture from the earth to the atmosphere by evaporation of water and transpiration from plants) can reduce surrounding air temperatures as much as 9 degrees Farenheit, and the area directly under the trees by as much as 25 degrees farenheit.
    • Plant trees far away from your home so that when they mature, they do not damage the roof (and the roof doesn't damage the tree!)
    • Apply vines to the side of your home or around your trellis to shade your home's perimeter while still admitting cooling breezes to the shaded area
  • Install energy-efficient windows, such as those with Low-E coating, to control heat transfer through windows. Learn more about different window options here to determine what will work best for your home.
    • Install a skylight to provide your home with day lighting and ventilation. An energy efficient model helps to minimize heating, cooling, and lighting costs. Learn more here.
  • Install a window awning, which can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows. Pair awnings with the right type of blinds to effectively reduce summer heat gain

 

 

   

   

   

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