(NAPSI)-Living in an energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable home is now more easily attainable.
Here are a few hints that may help from the experts at the United States Department of Energy:
1. Keep appliances clean and in good repair; clogged air vents or worn-out parts make motors work harder, which wastes energy.
2. Insulate your water heater and hot-water pipes.
3. Plant trees, shrubs and hedges around your home so they shade your home in summer and let sunlight right in, in winter.
4. Change your lights to energy-saving compact fluorescent lights (CFL). If every American home replaced just one lightbulb with a CFL bulb, we would save enough energy to light nearly 3 million homes. We’d also save more than $600 million in annual energy costs and reduce greenhouse gases by the equivalent of nearly 750,000 cars. The average CFL lasts 6,000 to 15,000 hours, and when you replace it, you can recycle it.
5. Use solid-state lighting (SSL) for holiday tree lights, nightlights and walkway illumination. They’re durable and long lasting and use about a tenth as much energy as incandescent bulbs.
6. Turn off power strips or unplug electronics. Electronics-computer, TV, VCR, even your phone chargers-use energy even when they’re turned off. Standby power can account for as much as 20 percent of home energy use.
7. Caulking your window seals around the glass can provide insulation.
8. Air seal and insulate your attic and ventilation ducts. More than half the energy used in a typical American home is for space heating and cooling. Much of that conditioned air escapes through poorly sealed, underinsulated attics.
The Department of Energy and homebuilders are working together to combine advanced building techniques with renewable energy sources to minimize energy needs from outside providers.
When you live in a “green” home you reduce the amount of carbon dioxide, the building block of greenhouse gases, that you add to the environment, otherwise known as your carbon footprint.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot to do so. New homes built green from the ground up can cost the same as a conventional house, as homebuilders incorporate innovative technologies directly into new homes.
Take, for example, Trilogy by Shea Homes, eight active lifestyle communities located across the country.
The company uses a number of technologies and products designed to reduce the carbon footprint of each home by up to 48 percent. These include dual-pane, low-e windows, solar electricity systems, solar-powered attic fans, high-performance insulation, wood from sustainable forests, weather-responsive sprinkler systems, Energy Star appliances and more. As a result, Trilogy homes exceed the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code by 45 percent.
You can find energy-saving and eco-friendly tips and other information online at www.trilogylife.com or by calling (800) 685-6494.
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