Albuquerque, Rio Rancho Green Ideas
I hope this common sense approach to conserving our natural resources will help Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Corrales, and East Mountain home owners. These ideas will help home owners conserve natural resources and save some money.
Go Green For Under $50
- Lower the setting on you water heater. This may take a few attempts to get right. Lower the setting slightly and monitor your hot water for a few days. If you have plenty of hot water, then lower the setting slightly. Continue this process until you do not have adequate hot water. Then adjust the setting up slightly. Most water heaters come pre set at 140 degrees F and many families find they have adequate hot water at 120 degress F. Heating water is one of the largest uses of energy in the United States.
- Most new water heaters have a “Vacation Mode”. Turn your water heater to vacation mode if you are leaving town for a few days. Remember to turn the water heater back up when you return. If your water heater does not have a vacation mode, just lower the temperature setting when you are leaving town for a few days.
- Wash your clothes with cold water, most clothes will be cleaned by using cold water.
- This will save on your energy bill. Use the correct water setting when washing clothes, this will reduce your water consumption.
- Make sure your dishwasher is fulling before washing dishes and use the energy saving setting if available. The cost is nearly the same to run the dishwasher whether it is full of 70% full. This will conserve energy and water.
- Turn stuff off if your not using it. This includes the lights, television, computer, video games, and anything that uses energy.
- Computers, printers, TVs, stereos, DVRS, etc. use power even when they are turned off. Buyer power strips with an on and off switch and plug your devices into the power strip. Turn the power strip off after you have properly turned off or powered down the devices.
- Manage your thermostat, keep you house as cool as comfortable in the winter and as warm as comfortable in the summer. Programmable thermostats allow you to program the temperature in your house to minimize your energy consumption. We turn the temperature down low in the winter and add an additional blanket on the bed. Experiment with your thermostat to minimize your energy bill and remain comfortable. Heating and cooling is one of your largest energy costs.
- Place a small brick in the tank of your toilet if you do not have low flow toilets. This will conserve water and your toilet should still function properly.
- Install low flow shower heads and low flow strainers on all of your faucets which will conserve water and you won’t notice the difference.
- Buy drought resistant plants if your are landscaping your home. Plants that need less water typically do not cost any more than the water hogs.
- Take a shower instead of a bath, showers typically use less water and less energy to heat the water.
- Check the thermostat on your refrigerator and freezer,use a thermometer to set your refrigerator to 37 degrees F and your freezer to 3 degrees F. Check the gaskets on the doors to make sure you have a good seal. Keep the doors closed as much as possible. You let that cold air out that you have paid for each time the door is opened. Refrigerators can use up to 20% of your monthly electric bill.
- Recycle your plastics, glass, paper and cardboard. It is easier than ever to recycle as there are many locations to drop off your recyclable products or your waste pick supplier will pick them up at your house for a small monthly fee.
- Buy energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs for your most commonly used lights. They cost more up front buy use about 25% of the electricity as regular incandescent bulbs and the will last longer. Make sure to dispose of the compact fluorescent bulbs properly.
- Weatherize your home by caulk and weather stripping to plug air leaks around doors, windows or other openings to your house.
- Replace the air filters on your house, dirty filters may cause damage to your heating and air conditioning equipment and the reduce their efficiency.
- Repair leaky faucets and toilets immediately.
Home Energy Rating Score (HERS)
Are you considering the purchase of a new home in Albuquerque New Mexico or the surrounding area? Most new homes will have a HERS rating. What is HERS rating? Well first it is complicated but I will explain what is necessary for you to know. A HERS is a key component of an energy audit to help homes meet the Energy Star Efficient Guidelines. The HERS rating is a analysis and diagnostic of how energy efficient is a home’s plan. What comes out of the HERS inspection is a score which is established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RSNET). Now here is what is important, each home is given a score and the lower the score, the more energy efficient the home. Each point is equal to 1% reduction in energy consumption for that home. For example, a home with a HERS rating of 70 is 30% more efficient than a home with a rating of 100. There are net zero energy consuming homes with a HERS rating of zero. Ask you Real Estate Professional if the home you are interestedin has a HERS rating. The HERS rating makes it easy for consumers to compare the energy efficiencyof different homes. Not all homes will have a HERS rating as the rating system and local requirements that require HERS ratings on new construction is relatively new and changing.