Greening your home – Tips and new technology

February 2, 2009 at 9:51 pm Leave a comment

There is a lot of press lately about needing to save energy, decreasing your carbon foot print, and saving water.  The last is especially important here in the southwest as we continue to be in a drought!

However, it is often forgotten in these stories to let us all know some easy ways to accomplish this! I have written on this before but I have a good selection of articles tonight for your pleasure.

First we have the simple question about saving energy in a way that we can all not only appreciate but easily do from the folks at Treehugger.com (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/02/does-turning-down-water-heater-make-difference.php).  This article is about all things to do with that standby appliance your water heater.  It is however pretty basic and doesn’t include some of the maintenance tips I have found useful over the years.

You should do a couple of things to help this appliance by more efficient and last longer.  This yearly ritual includes a basic inspection for leaks, a look at the burner to make sure it is not clogged and you are getting the full flame potential and also your tank should be drained to remove the sediment that accumulates at the bottom.

This last step is one that is often overlooked and it is important to not only the efficiency but to the longevity of the unit. This sediment over time will cause the unit to recover more slowly as it has to be heated before the water is heated.

The next item is a cute little shower timer that is certainly the easiest way to save money by helping you control the length of time you spend int he shower. I found it on Ecoprenturist.com (http://ecopreneurist.com/2009/02/01/eco-water-saver%E2%84%A2-shower-timer-green-blue-just-neat-idea/).

Another relatively new idea is using the water that would otherwise go down the drain in your shower or sink to flush the toilet. On Ecofriend.org (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-gadgets-recycled-shower-water-and-some-technology-for-greener-toilets/) is one example of this technology. I agree with him however that it probably needs some more development before it is ready for prime time.

The most expensive new eco-toy is the new line of ceiling light fixtures from Panasonic. The article on Ecofriend.org (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-gadgets-panasonic-s-eco-lamp-saves-60-energy/) gives us a good first look.  The fixture has technology that allows it to adjsut to the environment on its own to increase it overall efficiency while providing a well lit area.

Lastly we have an article about the do’s and don’ts of buying green power. The article on Greenbiz.com (http://www.greenbiz.com/resources/resource/green-electricity-a-buyers-guide) is a simple overview and the actual site is here: http://www.cec.org/programs_projects/trade_environ_econ/nagpi/index.cfm.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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Entry filed under: Design, Environment, Technology. Tags: .

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