Thursday, April 16, 2015

Go Green with Your Home

Earth Day was on Wednesday and we're offering up tips on how to make your home a little bit greener. Since 1970, Earth Day has been an annual holiday reminding us of the importance of the Earth and its protection. The first Earth Day started as a rallying effort by over 20 million people in the U.S. calling attention to this need. On Earth Day we are given a friendly reminder, but caring about the environment is something we can do every day. Here are a few simple tips and improvements that you can do to make your home more Earth-friendly!


Your parents probably called it a clothes line, which could be found in virtually every backyard across the country. While some people can’t install them due to property covenants, a clothes line is a great way to reduce your energy costs. Experts note that your electric or gas clothes dryer is one of the three most energy-intensive appliances in the typical home, right up there with refrigerators and hot water heaters. Expect to save 5-10 percent of your home energy bill.
Attach one end of your clothes line to an outside south-facing wall, and attach the other end to an upright pole about 15 feet away. Your local hardware or lumber store can sell you the wood, or even a steel pole. Or, buy one at


Before central air conditioning became virtually mandatory in homes, many people relied on a good ol’ ceiling fan to move the air and even out the temperature. In the summer, the fan saves energy by cooling your skin with a moisture-evaporating breeze. In the winter, a ceiling fan can push down the warm air that naturally rises toward the ceiling back down to where the people are. When you buy an Energy-Star-rated fan (about $100), it should have a small switch near the motor housing to reverse the direction of the fan. This is important to fully benefit from the fan in all seasons, so that you can raise the temperature setting of your air conditioner in the summer, and lower the heating thermostat in the winter.
To make sure your fan is spinning in the right direction, stand under the fan and look at the direction of the spin. If the blades move to the right, or clockwise, this is the correct setting to make the room feel warmer. The fan will create a slight updraft that pushes the warmer air down into the room. If the blades move to the left, or counter-clockwise, the room will feel cooler due to the breeze coming down from the ceiling. Remember, counter-clockwise equals cooler.
For tips on installing a ceiling fan, go to


It’s hip—and economical—to have functional window coverings to prevent the sun from warming up your house on a sunny summer day. And of course, you can also raise the shade or open the drapes in the winter to let the sunshine in.
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