Is Your House As Green As It Could Be?
Today, people are making small changes and alterations in their daily lives to positively impact on the environment. As spring approaches, many begin to sort through their homes to recycle and or throw away the unnecessary stuff that piles up over time. Spring cleaning is a great way to explore your house and see what needs to be fixed. To take an inventory of what needs to be replaced and or fixed in order to ensure a green atmosphere; here are some things to remember:
-If your windows are old and drafty, it may be time to replace them with energy-efficient models or boost their efficiency with weather-stripping and storm windows. It is almost never cost-effective to replace windows just to save energy. According to EnergyStar.gov replacing windows will save 7 to 24 percent of your heating and air-conditioning bills. The larger savings can be realized when you replace single-glazed windows.
-If your house is older, with relatively poor insulation and windows, good landscaping can save energy, especially if planted on the house’s west side. In summer, the foliage blocks infrared radiation that warms the house, while in winter, the bare branches let this radiation come through. For more information on this please read our blog entry about planting trees.
-Replace an old furnace with a high efficiency system. This type of furnace wastes no more than 10 percent of the natural gas you buy, and may save you as much as 27 percent on your heating bill.
-Storage water heater standards were raised in 2001, and may not justify throwing out an existing water heater that is working well. In order to see savings here, turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F), then insulate your hot water lines so they don’t cool off as quickly between uses. Lastly, use low-flow fixtures for showers and baths.
Everyone’s house is their castle. Taking care of it means that in return, it will take care of you. The most effective strategy for improving household energy efficiency is to first target your home’s outer surface, i.e., walls, attic, windows, and doors. Then improve the inside of the house, such as heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances. Once your spring cleaning is done, you might want to consider solar panels and wind generators to supply your house. Spread the word and tell your neighbors how they can be green, too!