Editor's Ten Tips for a Greener Home
By James H. Schwartz | Online Only | Mar. 1, 2009
Top Ten Tips for Homeowners on Greening Their Homes:
1. Add or upgrade your attic insulation. You'll reduce heating and cooling costs by as much as 20%.
2. Close fireplace dampers. An open damper means you're paying to heat (or cool) the great outdoors.
3. Turn your refrigerator up to 38-40 degrees, and your freezer up to 5 degrees. (Don't worry: the rum raisin ice cream will still be frozen).
4. Unplug appliances (cell phone chargers, TVs) when not in use. The EPA estimates that electronics drawing power when turned "off" cost the average homeowner $100 per year.
5. Install compact fluorescents. They use a fraction of the energy consumed by old-fashioned incandescent bulbs.
6. Turn down the water heater to at least 130 degrees. Then wrap it with a pre-cut jacket or blanket to save 4-9% in heating costs.
7. Add individual thermostats to old radiators so that each operates on its own "zone."
8. Install low-volume showerheads and dual-flush toilets to save water.
9. Use ceiling fans to circulate warm air in winter, and reduce perceived interior temperate in summer.
10. Maintain windows and storm windows, and consider window treatments: a close fitting shade can reduce heat loss in winter by 20 percent or more!
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