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Green Living Part Two

June 20th, 2010 · No Comments · Building Green, Carpinteria Real Estate, Hope Ranch Real Estate, Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Montecito Real Estate, Property Search, Santa Barbara Realtors, Summerland Real Estate, The Real Estate Concierge

How to Live Happier….Make Your Home More Green,

Part II

Want to do something simple, cheap and incredibly important for our environment? Start at home–Green your house, live happier and increase the value of your property. Start with your electricity consumption. Most of America’s electrical usage comes right from our buildings–66%, in fact. Since 1/3 of the world’s population still has no access to electricity, cutting the US consumption will make a significant difference in decreasing the world’s greenhouse emissions.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

REFRIGERATOR–GET A NEW ONE

In most places in the US, the fridge is the 2nd largest user of electricity, right after air conditioning. So here in Marin, where air conditioning is often provided free, it’s the first. With most appliances you save energy by using them less, but you can’t do that very well with your fridge. The main way to save money with this appliance is to use an efficient model. New refrigerators aren’t just a little more efficient, they’re incredibly more efficient. A 1986-era fridge uses 1400 kWh a year, while a post-2001 fridge uses only 500 kWh — a 64% savings.

WASHER–USE COLD WATER, FRONT LOADING

Washing your clothes in hot water instead of cold water for a year, wastes more electricity than leaving the refrigerator door open 24 hours a day for a year! Front-loading washers use 40-75% less water and 30-85% less energy than typical top-loaders.

LIVE IN CALIFORNIABack in 1976 California set a maximum amount of energy of 1400 kilowatt hours per year for a standard fridge. After they finished protesting, appliance producers met the standard easily, and on time. Because California represented such a large share of the market, and the necessary improvements were so minimal, the appliance manufacturers applied that standard to their entire lines. California kept demanding more efficiency, the manufacturers kept complying, and now, the criteria is 500 kWh….wow! Now Energy Star is the government’s rating–follow that, and get more efficient appliances.

CHANGE YOUR LIGHT BULBSCompact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLS, use 75 % less energy, last six times longer, generate less heat and reduce energy costs associated with cooling as compared to incandescent bulbs. Each bulb will save $30 or more in energy cost over its lifetime compared to standard bulbs.

BELIEVE “Optimism is a political act. Those who benefit in the status quo are perfectly happy for us to think nothing is going to get any better. “* So, believe each step you take, each bit of electricity you don’t use, will make a difference.

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