Inexpensive Steps you can take to Reduce your Home Energy Consumption, Costs and Footprint
- Solar Collector: Add a solar collector in line to your conventional water heater to preheat the water. If you have
an electric water heater, you will see up to a 30% savings on your electric bill. I recommend a ProgressivTube
Collector which will also add additional hot water storage capacity. When you do this you may want to turn off the
lower water heater thermostat. Cost ~$1500 plus installation
- Programmable Thermostat: If you have a conventional thermostat, change it out to a programmable thermostat.
This will allow you to program the time for the temperature to set back rather than having to remember to do it manually.
You will see approximately a 5% savings on your utilitiy bill. Note that
if you have a heat pump, you need to buy a programmable thermostat specifically for that. One source is
'SmartHome'. Cost ~$150 plus installation. BTW, don't forget to change your furnace / airhandler's filter regularly!
- Attic Fan: Adding an attic fan to your home will reduce heat transfer into the upper portion of your living space.
If you use airconditioning, adding an attic fan will realize a 5% savings. I prefer a fan that mounts under the eaves
versus one that goes through the roof for ease of installation (and reduction of leak potential) as well as efficiency. Note that
a solar fan -- while a good idea -- just doesn't move the volume of air necessary to realize any cost savings. Cost ~$100 plus installation.
- Lighting: Convert as many of your household lightbulbs to compact fluorescents. For outdoor lights, add a motion sensor module
that ensures the light is only on when it is needed. Motion sensor modules are beginning to show up for in-home lighting as well,
automatically turning off the lights when no one is in the room. Changing your lighting can realize up to an additional 5% savings!
Cost ~$3/bulb and ~$30 per motion sensor module.
- Cooling: Before using your airconditioner, consider closing doors and windows (including blinds or curtains where the sun is shining in)
and turning on the heat exchanger/pump's fan only. If your air handler is under your house, consider adding a solenoid-operated door to
pull cool air from under your house. Lastly, consider planting deciduous trees on the south side of your house to reduce heat gain during the
summer and to increase it in the winter.
- Appliances: Consider upgrading major appliances to more efficient new ones (look for and compare the EnergyStar ratings).
[In order of annual energy consumption: hotwater heater, refrigerator, stove, dryer, washing machine].
- Water: Be aware of how much water you are consuming and for what. If possible, purchase a small portable water meter and use it whereever
you use large quantites of water (e.g. irrigation) [Source: MeasureAnything]. Use automatic timers or consider diverting gray water for use in irrigation.
Walk your irrigation regularly looking for leaks or broken emitters. Fix dripping faucets and place water bottles in toilet tanks or upgrade them to low-flow models.
- Waste: Recycle as much as possible. Start a compost pile for scraps and yard debris.
- Toxics: Look for alternatives to pesticides and herbicides. Leave a native area untouched to attract beneficial insects and animals. Compost
and use the material rather than commercial fertilizers. Consider your watershed and what you may be allowing to enter it from your actions.
- Transportation: If you can, walk or bike to work and the store. Consider driving a smaller vehicle (at least for everyday use), possibly
an SLEV or hybrid.
Thermal Conversion Technology; PO Box 3887; Sarasota, FL 34230-3887
941-953-2177, Fax 941-957-0106
SmartHome -- Resource for home automation.
MeasureAnything -- Measurement and monitoring devices.
Copyright © 2003-2005 GreenTransitions. All rights reserved.
Information in this document is subject to change without
Last modified: May 12, 2005