Asheville Homes and LAND!- The Keep In Touch Blog

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10 Cost & Earth Saving Tips You Can Use in Your Home Today

 Things aren't the same as they were back in the 1950s, when hula hoops,  wearing poodle skirts to sock hops, listening to 45s, and cruising Woodward Avenue were the pastimes. Certainly people had money to spend. Bought homes. Bought  the  latest  "pink" appliances ...but those appliances weren't  energy efficient.

Things were different then. Some people say they wish that things were so simple as they seemed back then. But in the year 2007 and beyond, when emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion and the resulting warming of the planet   have serious  implications for all of us, we are in a different place.

It is  comforting to know that you and I can be part of the solution right now, today. We can take a few simple steps and make our homes more comfortable-while saving money. And money isn't all we can save. These are Earth-friendly solutions as well.

Here are five (5) of 10 Earth-friendly  remedies that have the added benefit of cost savings for savvy homeowners.. ..check back for the ever-expanding list.

 

ECO-Friendly Cost (and Earth) Saving Tips   #1-5


Tip
1:  Take the Do-It-Yourself  Home-Energy Audit . . .Most homes can save 25% to 50% or more energy. A home energy audit points to savings by looking at general condition of heating and air conditioning systems,  insulation, the degree of outside air infiltration, the operation and condition of lighting, and reviewing the efficiency of water heating systems and appliances. You may choose to ask  professional auditors to come on over to do the audit. They might bring some handy instruments with them like blower doors  ...to measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope... and/or infrared cameras   ...to reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation. But sometimes it takes a while before the auditor can get to your home, So in the meantime, you can start right away with a do-it-yourself home energy audit found right here: .

Tip 2.  Get Your 10 ECO-Friendly  Plan Together . . .Use this   instant access to free tools and resources. You can start saving on monthly electricity bill right away.  The average family can save $600+ a year on electricity by taking a few simple steps. In my home town of Asheville, North Carolina, the Average Home energy bill is $1594 while the bill for an energy-efficient home is $1003 with a potential  Savings of $591.   What are the figures in your area?

Tip 3.   Find Leaks.. .Use a spray mist bottle for this one. Get the gang together for the indoor mist test. Spray your arms and hands. They will become the  fast and ready tools to tell you where air leaks may be found in your living spaces.  Hint: look around electrical outlets ,switch plates, window frames, baseboards, weather stripping around doors ,fireplace dampers, attic hatches, wall- or window-mounted air conditioners, dog doors , pipes and wires, electrical outlets, foundation seals, and mail slots.

Tip 4. Find More Leaks. . .Teamwork pays off on this one, too. You may want to wait for a nice sunny day then venture outside to inspect all the places where two different building materials meet...like the  exterior corners, the places where siding and chimneys meet and the places where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet. You don't have to be a professional to notice where you need to  caulk holes or penetrations for faucets, pipes, electric outlets, and wiring. Look for cracks and holes in the mortar, foundation, and siding, and seal them up neatly.

Tip 5. Change Your Lights, Sparky.. .Energy for lighting accounts for about 10% of your electric bill. So it's always a good idea to check out the wattage on your light bulbs in your house. 100-watt bulbs use more energy than 75 watt bulbs do and you may not need all that wattage. I like the idea of replacing incandescent light bulbs with efficient  compact fluorescent lamps for areas where lights are on for hours at a time. Don't worry, the new fluorescents don't moan and flicker like the old ones did. ... give it a try. Start with your five most frequently used lights. Annual Savings: $60 (for upgrading your five most frequently used lights) 662 pounds of coal. Imagine what would happen if  you  upgraded your entire home!

Resources:
Find the best ways to save energy in YOUR home with this calculator!
 http://hes.lbl.gov/

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwarming.nsf
/content/ClimateScienceFAQ.html

The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center
http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/pns/faq.html

The United Nations Environment Programme/World Meteorological Organization:
http://www.gcrio.org/ipcc/qa/cover.html

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10 Cost & Earth Saving Tips You Can Use in Your Home Today
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