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Greening your home - Page 2

post #31 of 49

a few more ideas to add in here:

1. get a home energy audit (it's worth the investment): http://planetsave.com/2010/10/19/going-green-tip-8-get-a-home-energy-audit/

2. cut the air conditioning. some tips on that: http://planetsave.com/2010/09/20/going-green-tip-7-cut-the-air-conditioning/

 

3. shopping is not part of your home energy or water usage, but if you are looking to do your part in some simple ways, watch what you buy & who you buy it from. climate counts has an excellent campaign going on to help you out with that: http://planetsave.com/2010/12/08/climate-counts-striding-shoppers-campaign/

if more come to mind, will let you know smile.gif

post #32 of 49

Good Ideas, also what you can do with water heaters is put a fiberglass insulated jacket around it and you will save a bundle. I did this and was happy with results.

post #33 of 49

We have a "Habitat for Humanity" store in our area and they take all kinds of donations and they actually sell them very reasonably. The money goes to a good cause as well. Check your area you will be surprised.

post #34 of 49

looks like a great product, Jim.

where can it be bought? (out of curiosity.. i don't actually have an electric dryer, hang things out to dry..)

post #35 of 49

This past weekend my hubby and I went to a friends home to help with some flooring and on the way home with both commented on how uncomfortable we were because their house was so hot! I am a cold weather wimp after living in Arizona for so long. We have lowered our temps even below the recommended norm and I was surprised how accustomed we have become to the lower settings, even myself who loves Arizona summers! So we realized how easy it was to save money and not feel bad about it.

post #36 of 49

Hello

 

There is one great method to accomplish these tasks that has not been mentioned yet, TREES!

 

In terms of eco-waste, trees can prevent soil erosion by collecting rainwater and if you live close enough to a water source (stream, pond, etc.) erosion from flooding can be reduced. If you are lucky enough to be able to grow trees which provide food (nuts, fruit, syrup), you can save money and use appliances less (lowering electricity usage).

 

Trees allow you to lower both your air-conditioning and heating bills. Shade produced during the summer reduces the need for A/C, in some cases it will reduce your bill by 50%. Placed in the right areas, trees act as a barrier against wind and winter storms, cutting your heating bill by 1/3. This is also accomplished as trees trap heat around your house.

 

Hope this helps!

 

MyCarbonQuest.com - your source for tree planting and carbon offset collection, just stop by and watch some green videos.

post #37 of 49

great tip! plant some trees :D

post #38 of 49

Wow! There are some great ideas on here!

I have recently just started with green cleaning my home.

 

I now use baking soda and vinegar a lot in my bathroom and kitchen.

Martha Stewart has a new line of green cleaning products out, and they are great.[bought at Home Depot]

I also bought the Air-It-Out shower hooks to go along with my new fabric shower curtain. My bathroom is tiny with horrible ventilation, and I was constantly replacing the shower curtain due to gross mold. This air it out hook is a little suction cup hook you stick to the side wall, and then you drape the curtain over it when youre done showering.

This has kept my curtain mold free, and I dont have to scrub it with strong chemicals now or try washing it (which always ripped the curtains) [bought at www.air-it-out.weebly.com]

 

 

Please keep the green tips coming- im learning so much on here!!

post #39 of 49

There are many wonderful tips here to help save energy, however, if you really want to get serious about making your home energy efficient, you need to start by understanding how your home and family consumes (or wastes) energy, by getting a home energy evaluation or home energy audit.

 

The bulk of a home's energy consumption (over 40%) goes towards heating and cooling, therefore you can get  the most savings by making sure that these systems perform efficiently and that the air you are paying to cool and heat stays where it belongs: in the conditioned space of your home. Things like better attic insulation, air sealing, basement or crawl space insulation, duct sealing, and virtually any improvements that make the house envelope a bit tighter should be given priority.

 

The truth is that even the most energy efficient HVAC in the world, and the smartest programmable thermostat, won't really save much if all the conditioned air is leaking out. They will just work harder to keep up with the loss.

 

Makes sense?

 

 

 

 

 

post #40 of 49

nice information

post #41 of 49

To keep warmer in the winter, I bake a lot of our meals and leave the oven door open after I turn it off. I also have a tendency to make huge pots of soup, which also keeps the heat up in the house. :)

post #42 of 49

Apart from energy, another resource that we can save at home is Water and that is very true.  By saving  energy, water at home, we help our environment in a big way. Water levels in many parts of the world have dropped significantly. It might lead to drinking water shortages. And the important thing in all this is make your surroundings green by gardening http://www.mightygarden.com

post #43 of 49

Another option to save on air conditioning is to install a smart window fan that automatically exhausts hot air and brings in cool air when the temperature drops.  Nature's Cooling Solutions has a fan that also checks outside humidity to make sure you only bring in cool dry air. 

post #44 of 49

Yes, planting trees (in the spring or fall-too hot to plant now) is a good idea

BUT

It also depends on where you live, and what are the water restrictions.

Several years ago, I had over 300 trees in my yard, but because of the drought

and horrible insects for the past few years (I refuse to use chemicals),

I've lost 35-40% of my trees. 

Plant to your area, and plant with low water use in mind.

Regarding the original intent of this thread-

Insulate, insulate, insulate.

Again, it's too hot to get into an attic now, but come fall, add to it. Check the vapor barrier also.

Many utility companies will give you a "door test", if not check into a reputable outfit to have it done. My house was leaking like a sieve when they did mine.

Nooks and crannies are the culprit. Pipes coming into the house, electrical outlets, windows/doors, all those vents on your roof; any opening will exchange air. 

I was lucky enough to qualify for the energy efficient program pushed through

by Obama, and they pumped in 35 bales of recycled newspapers into the walls, attic.

 

They put up batts on my basement ceiling, gave me new energy efficient windows/doors, new frig/stove.

I know that people in higher income brackets don't qualify, and it's hard to buy a new frig,

but insulation is inexpensive and can be done by most homeowners themselves.

Caulking too.

Even a diy'er can use the blown in cellulose themselves. The payback is almost immediate.

My light/gas bills now average 30E-13G, before gas was 120-140 in the winter, lights were 50-60 every month.And the old stand-by, power strip everything electrical

(except the frig) and turn the switch off when you leave or go to bed.

Rain-barrels if your lucky enough to have rain.rolleyes.gif

post #45 of 49

I recently installed new "smart" vents in my home. They are made by a company called activent (www.theactivent.com). These are electronically controlled vents that allow you to set the temperature you want the room to be so when that temperature is achieved, that vent is closed and then sends the cold or hot air to the other rooms that are not at the temperature. This allows your heater/AC to not run as long, due to the decreased time it takes to achieve the temp., and thus reducing your electricity bill. The company advertises up to a 30% decrease in your electric bill (depending on how many you install) and I am happy to report I have seen these results!!

post #46 of 49

You can join the no junk mail list. Prevents you from getting all those useless flyers and helps reduce your impact on trees.

http://www.earthrangers.com/wildwire/actions/say-no-to-junk-mail-2/

post #47 of 49

Excellent tips.  I sadly lost a few trees as they were dying due to trees on the neighboring property - I really miss the shade.  Extra insulation in the attic has helped greatly, alongside caulking - and even the window shrink-wrap for the summer (and year round in lesser used rooms), and the comfort and efficiency of the house has increased tremendously.  Naturally, since I've been involved in the lighting industry, I switched to LED lighting - which also made a huge difference in overall comfort.  (sitting under track lighting with fluorescent or incandescent is simply hot!)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenteadrinker View Post

Yes, planting trees (in the spring or fall-too hot to plant now) is a good idea

BUT

It also depends on where you live, and what are the water restrictions.

Several years ago, I had over 300 trees in my yard, but because of the drought

and horrible insects for the past few years (I refuse to use chemicals),

I've lost 35-40% of my trees. 

Plant to your area, and plant with low water use in mind.

Regarding the original intent of this thread-

Insulate, insulate, insulate.

Again, it's too hot to get into an attic now, but come fall, add to it. Check the vapor barrier also.

Many utility companies will give you a "door test", if not check into a reputable outfit to have it done. My house was leaking like a sieve when they did mine.

Nooks and crannies are the culprit. Pipes coming into the house, electrical outlets, windows/doors, all those vents on your roof; any opening will exchange air. 

I was lucky enough to qualify for the energy efficient program pushed through

by Obama, and they pumped in 35 bales of recycled newspapers into the walls, attic.

 

They put up batts on my basement ceiling, gave me new energy efficient windows/doors, new frig/stove.

I know that people in higher income brackets don't qualify, and it's hard to buy a new frig,

but insulation is inexpensive and can be done by most homeowners themselves.

Caulking too.

Even a diy'er can use the blown in cellulose themselves. The payback is almost immediate.

My light/gas bills now average 30E-13G, before gas was 120-140 in the winter, lights were 50-60 every month.And the old stand-by, power strip everything electrical

(except the frig) and turn the switch off when you leave or go to bed.

Rain-barrels if your lucky enough to have rain.rolleyes.gif



 

post #48 of 49

Rid your home of expensive, harmful, toxic cleaning products.  There are tonnes of homemade cleaning solutions you can make with ingredients you most likely already have.  Good idea if you have kids around.  They can help clean without exposure to harmful toxins, and you straight up get them out of your cupboards.  Visit Greenclean books for some ideas for ecofriendly cleaning products.

post #49 of 49

Build an Earthship and be totally on solar with one or no kids, growing your own food and living a low eco-footprint lifestyle.

With existing homes, add solar panels and iron edison batteries and inverter, disconnect from the grid.  Build a thermal mass walled green room addition to grow food and warm your house in winter.  Yes to super insulation and recycling used tires for thermal mass.  Use indigenous materials, and rainwater catchment with water recycling.  The biggest thing is to have no kids and enforce it on others until sustainable population is reached.
 

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