What a great event this was, it was great to network with familiar local businesses and meet new ones. I had the great opportunity to present our local consumers with a workshop assisting them on how they can be a little greener in their existing homes.
With this being said, remember in order to properly claim an entire home as energy efficient the proper documentation needs to be provided in order to back the claim. I see way to many listings claiming an entire home as energy efficient by just changing an A/C unit or changing to a programmable thermostat and watch out the home miraculously becomes energy efficient. The latest one I read was a material was labeled as energy efficient sadly to have been said by a real estate agent that thought that by adding these two words would highlight the listing. Listings like this constitute misrepresentation of a listed property and so many alike this one.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL’s buy the ones that are Energy Star Qualified to ensure the savings & quality of the product. By changing the 5 most used in your home can save up to 75%. Or if you are able to buy LED lights you can save between 75-80% Energy Star Qualified LEDs use only 20-25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than the traditional bulbs.
- Install Programmable Thermostat by making this installation you’re able to pre-set you’re A/C to energy saving settings while you are away or sleeping. It will do this automatically. Many models come with a filter sensor.
- Replace your Air Conditioner Filters Energy Star recommends that you check your filters every month for excess debris that can restrict air flow.
- Insulate your hot water heater & furnace by properly insulated hot water heaters & furnace you can reduce heat loss by 25-45% reducing your energy bill by 4-9%. Read the installation/warranty to make sure this doesn’t void the warranty. Installing a water heater timer in order for your water heater not to continuously run when you are not using it. Especially, if you are one of the homes that have two water heaters. A licensed plumber maybe needed for this process. You can also set your water heater at 120 degrees this will add to your savings.
- Fill air leaks with caulking or weather stripping. Cracks around windows and doors can be major energy drain on your home as they decrease the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by allowing air to escape. Exhaust-vent covers like dryer vents, range hood vents, bath fans and other interior ventilation equip. typically terminate outside the house in a plastic or metal cover that has one or more louvers on it. The louvers are designed to be in the closed position whenever the fan is not in use, so that outside air doesn’t leak in. An energy auditor can identify these areas.
- Water conservation- install aerators on facets and install a low-flow showerhead. Aerators attach to your faucets to decrease the water flow while maintaining high pressure. Water flow on every faucet in your home makes up around 15% of a typical home’s indoor water use, reducing the water flow on every faucet in your home can easily save a significant amount of water. Look for hardware with the EPA water sense label for products that are at least 20% more efficient than standard models.
- Proper insulation in existing homes. The place where usually insulation needs to be checked is the attic. This will be one of the best ways to prevent heat loss and to keep your energy bill down. Make sure the insulation is in good condition and insulate with high quality insulation.
Also, by installing your new insulation batts perpendicular to the old ones, you now have the opportunity to cover and insulate the ceiling joists, and you're also covering any gaps between the old batts. So installing the new batts perpendicular to the old ones will definitely result in a better overall insulation job.
Remember to use unfaced batts for your new insulation so that you don't double up the vapor barrier, and maintain at least a 3-inch air space around older, non-IC-rated, recessed light fixtures, masonry chimneys, and anything else that produces heat. [i]
Other Energy Savings Tips around the house
Water can be collected in rain barrels that would normally pour off the roof through gutters downspouts. The purpose for this is:
It conserves water & helps lower cost and saves about 1300gals of water. This water can later be used to water your plants.
Stormwater runoff from developed areas increases flooding carries pollutants from streets, parking lots and even lawns into local streams and lakes; and leads to costly municipal improvements in stormwater treatment structures. While an individual rain garden may seem like a small thing, collectively they produce substantial neighborhood and community environment benefits.
This workshop was put together to bring awareness to my community on how to make changes in our homes that will save us money, add comfort, avoid greenwashing, increase existing home values through proper documentation and help the environment all at the same time.
If you should have further questions on how to green your home the right way and avoid legal ramifications contact me at Rose City Realty, Inc I look forward on to hearing from you.