Maureen Harmonay - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 1/23/2018

As a society we are realizing how increasingly important it is to practice becoming more eco-conscious in our day to day lives. You probably already practice some eco-friendly habits whether it’s reusable bags at the grocery store, signing up for a recycling bin or carrying a water bottle around with your throughout the day. There are lots of small steps we can take. Below are some you may not have thought of, or have been meaning to start carrying out and just need that extra push! When Cleaning: Choose non-toxic cleaning products and microfiber clothes over traditional cleaners. Microfiber clothes are a fantastic multitasker to keep in your cleaning arsenal. Used damp they are great for cleaning and scrubbing while when dry they can be used for dusting. Since microfiber clothes seemingly have cleaning super powers you will find yourself needing less cleaning product. When you do need a product to get the job done opt for a more natural or even homemade one. Vinegar and baking soda are two kitchen ingredients that are also efficient cleaners as well! Smart purchases: Buy items made of recycled materials and reusable options over one-use products. Look for natural cleaners and products for not only around the home but for personal use too. What you put on your body matters, after all, your skin is your largest organ! When buying detergent look for a concentrated variety instead of the traditional watered-down options. And avoid dry cleaning! It’s electric: Look for solar powered outdoor lights to save on your electric bill and, if possible, install solar panels as an energy source for your home. There are many companies today whose goal is to make solar panels more affordable for the average household. When upgrading old appliances purchase low energy varieties that are Energy Star qualified. Bonus points: you can usually get tax credits for doing so! Need a free way to save electricity? Turn off the lights when you leave a room and unplug any electronics not in use. Electronics can use power when plugged in even if they are not turned on! Try using power strips with an on-off switch to easily control electricity flow. CFL (compact fluorescent) and LED bulbs use less energy to heat than traditional ones and while pricier they pay for themselves over time. Water wisely: Bathrooms are, naturally, the place where the most water is used. There a few upgrades you can make, for example, look for low-flow toilets and showerheads with the WaterSense label. Installing a recirculating water pump saves on water by allowing water to be hot when you turn on the faucet so you don’t have to let the water run while waiting for the temperature to change. Some free ways to save on water? Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth and flush the toilet less often throughout the day. Heating & cooling: Thermal drapes are great in the winter to keep out the cold and in the summer to keep out the heat of the sun. Keep drapes open during the day and closed at night during winter and closed during the day and open at night during the summer. Opt for ceiling fans over air conditioning to save on energy in the summer months. In the winter, opt for more layers instead of increasing the room temperature. Draft stoppers and carpeting on hardwood floors are another way to keep your home warmer when it’s cold out. There are so many ways to make your home a more eco-friendly one. Whether you have money to invest in smart upgrades or opt for the more frugal habits each eco-conscious step you take will have a positive impact in the long run on not only the environment but your wallet as well.




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Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 7/26/2016

We all want a more energy efficient home. And while we know an energy efficient home is an eco-friendly one our favorite benefit is that it also helps save on utility bills each year. Below are some ways you can perform a home energy audit yourself to hunt out the places your home needs to have repaired to prevent energy leaks: Manual Tests Start by locating any air leaks. Areas where two different building materials meet are especially susceptible. These places include along baseboards and floors or where walls meet the ceiling. If there are any obvious cracks or gaps you have an energy leak. Windows, doors, plumbing, switches, and outlets are all guilty suspects as well and should be tested for drafts. For less obvious leaks dampening your hand and passing it over areas that are likely offenders will help you find drafts. If there is a draft the passing air will make your hand feel cool as it passes by. Another test to try is to start by closing any vents in the room and then light some incense. Watch closely if the smoke moves or billows around in areas you suspect are a culprit to any energy leaks. If the smoke wavers there is a leak. Check for leaks around windows and doors by closing them on a paper bill. If it is easy to pull out the bill you have a leak. This test is also a great way to check the seal of your fridge doors for any leaks. Tech Tests Buy a home energy monitor to determine which appliances are your biggest energy hogs. Consider upgrading old appliances to more energy efficient ones, keeping them unplugged when not in use or getting rid of the appliance altogether if it isn’t essential. Devices that have a standby are energy consumers even when “off” as they are never truly off. If it has an indicator light, charger, AC adapter or digital clock than it is using up power when plugged in. Plugging these devices into a power strip will allow you to easily flip them to off and disconnect all power to them when not in use. Investing in a handheld infrared thermal leak detector to detect any leaks in walls in places like outlets, cable wire holes or around windows, doors and attic hatches. If you find a significant difference in temperature as you pass the detector over a likely culprit you have an air leak on your hands. Whether you opt for the cheap ways to audit your home or invest in a little bit of tech to hunt out those energy leaks taking the time to test your home is well worth the effort. Finding where you home is losing energy and repairing them will save you money in the long run and turn your home will become a more eco-friendly one to boot!




Tags: ecofriendly   energy saving   diy  
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