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Four tips for a green home

September 1, 2011
BY GREG SMITH, R(B), Prudential Maui REALTORS
Eco-friendly. Carbon footprint. Global warming. Energy-efficient. These catch phrases have become part of our lexicon as we’ve become more aware of our impact on the environment and our role in protecting it.

As a homeowner, there are some simple, inexpensive steps you can take to make your home energy-efficient. Get started on the road to being “green” with these four tips:

Change your light bulbs

By replacing just five incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, you can save $100 per year on electric bills while using up to 75 percent less energy and removing greenhouse gases from the environment.

Buy ENERGY STAR appliances

ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances, such as refrigerators, washers and air conditioners, meet a higher level of energy efficiency set by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy than standard models.

According to ENERGY STAR, if just one in ten homes used ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances, the impact could be compared to planting 1.7 million new acres of trees. And, switching to these appliances is not only good for the environment, but easy on your pocketbook. Although these appliances may cost more, you can reduce your energy bill by $80 per year.

Seal up

Cracks and air leaks represent cash seeping from your doors and windows. Get rid of air leaks in doors, windows and other areas by caulking gaps and cracks. This will help decrease your heating and air conditioning bill. But make sure you use silicone sealants.

Acrylic caulk tends to shrink, while silicone sealants are waterproof and won’t shrink or crack, creating less waste.

Use less water

Did you know that roughly 60 percent of a home's water consumption takes place in the bathroom? The largest culprit is the toilet, which accounts for 27 percent of your household supply every year.

By installing low-flow toilets, shower heads and faucets, you can save thousands of gallons of water each year. In addition, replace leaky fixtures. That slow-dripping faucet can waste as much as 2,400 gallons of water per year.

Going green doesn’t have to be overwhelming or costly. By making just a few small changes within your home, you can help decrease energy consumption and help make the world a “greener” place.

Greg Smith can be reached at (808) 357-4782 or at MauiRealEstateLLC.com. Prudential Maui REALTORS is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company.

Article Photos

ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances meet a higher level of energy efficiency set by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy than standard models.

 
 
 

 

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