15 Jan 7 Ways To Make Your Portland Home More Eco-Friendly
If your home goal is for 2018 is to go green, here are 7 ways to save you money and create a healthy clean living space.
1. Energy Efficient Heating & Cooling
Spray Foam: Air leaks waste energy and drive up utility bills. Portland area homeowners can save on their energy needs by having spray foam installed. Here’s a great layout and information on spray foam.
Double Glazed windows: Also known as double paned windows. Double glazed windows consist of two layers of glass with a layer of inert gas sealed between them. This creates nearly twice the insulation as single glazed units. Once sealed, the unit becomes airtight.
Modern Hot Water Heaters: Unlike storage tank heaters, tankless water heaters keep water hot without using a tank. Water gets heated on demand, meaning you only heat what you need. There’s no need to worry about heat loss since you’re using every last drop of hot water. If there are any drawbacks, it’s a limited flow rate of about 3.5 gallons per minute.
2. Solar Panels
Studies have also shown that solar energy is a green option compared to other power production processes that are in use currently. The use of fossil fuels (natural fuels like coal, gas etc.) results in water, air and also land pollution. This impacts not just humans but all living creatures.
For example, pollution resulting from coal is responsible for high levels of mercury in fish, making them dangerous for consumption. Fish consumption advisory warning people of this danger has been issued by several states across the US. Switching to solar power prevents this all-around pollution and allows every living being on the planet to lead a healthier life.
3. LED Lighting
LED stands for light emitting diode. LED lighting products produce light approximately 90% more efficiently than old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs.
4. Sustainable Building Materials
Bamboo: Used for framing buildings and shelters, bamboo can replace expensive and heavy imported materials and provide an alternative to concrete and rebar construction, especially in difficult-to reach areas, post-disaster rebuilding, and low-income areas with access to natural locally-sourced bamboo. Bamboo is sustainable, environmentally friendly and recyclable.
Certified Wood / Reclaimed Wood: Not only can outfitting your house with reclaimed materials be financially lucrative, it is also an excellent choice for the environmentally conscious. In a country where just about everything is becoming more sterile and uniform, there’s no question that many homeowners are seeking a bit of individuality when they remodel. By finding fixtures that have history and items that are one of a kind, you don’t have to work too hard to create a space that is unlike any other.
5. Choose the Right Appliances
Energy Star Certified:
Washer and Dryer combo: Energy Star certified dryers use about 20 percent less energy than conventional models without sacrificing features or performance. They do this using innovative energy-saving technologies, such as moisture sensors that detect when clothes are dry and automatically shut the dryer off. Longer drying cycles on a low heat setting use less energy. Less water is used for washing machines.
Refrigerator: More than 60 million refrigerators are over 10 years old, costing consumers $4.4 billion a year in energy costs. By properly recycling your old refrigerator and replacing it with a new ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator, you can save more than $270 over the next 5 years.
Dishwasher: Dishwashers are now built with sensors monitoring the soil levels in the water as it’s being filtered and reused. Sensors lead to longer cycle times with an average 120-129 minutes. The final clean-water rinse assures your end result of sparkling dishes. Efficiency alone is not necessarily a reason to replace a dishwasher under 10 years old. The $25-35 savings is not worth the return on your estimate for a $699 dishwasher. Other factors like quietness, racks and overall construction are better reasons.
6. Naturally Pigmented Water-Based Paint
Eco paints are improving all the time. By 2010, paint manufacturers will be obliged to comply with stringent new EU limits on VOC levels. Earth Safe Finishes offers water-based, nontoxic wood finishes and sealers containing no VOCs and no heavy metals.
7. Monitor Water & Energy Usage
Being aware of your energy and water use can help you look for ways to reduce your impact on the environment.
Wireless Shower Meter
A wireless, smart shower meter like the Amphiro can track your energy and water consumption. By connecting via Bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet, this shower meter will provide you with energy consumption statistics, among other features. Knowing your water consumption rates will motivate you to create reduction goals, saving you money on your energy and water bills.
Energy efficiency is right at your fingertips with energy management Apps like Kill-Ur-Watts track your energy consumption and provide you with suggestions and strategies for reduction. The app also allows you to calculate your carbon footprint and share your score with family and friends, creating a friendly challenge that’s beneficial for the environment. By investing in a remote control or Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat, you can better control room temperatures at home or in the office from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet.
These thermostats learn your energy-use habits and can create a program to assist you in reaching maximum comfort and efficiency.
Cornerstone Builders can help in reducing energy and making your home more environmentally safe and energy efficient.