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HIDDEN WAYS TO GO GREEN AT HOME
By Jens Bolleyer
By definition, “Going Green” relates to the pursuit of knowledge that can lead to environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.
Individuals and businesses everywhere are being encouraged to reduce their “carbon footprint.” A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular, its impact on climate change. Each of us leaves a carbon footprint through the products and services we use and consume in our daily lives. What are some new ways to reduce carbon footprints? This white paper outlines a few simple solutions that are sometimes overlooked that can help you achieve the ultimate greenness in your home, especially when it comes to saving water and energy.
USE WATER WISELY
Of all the water on earth, 97% of it is salt water that is unfit for human consumption, unsuitable for washing cars, unhealthy for preparing and cooking food, and unsafe for watering lawns. The remaining 3% of the water on earth is fresh water, of which 2% is frozen in the polar ice caps leaving just 1% of the most precious resource on earth for our use. Communities across the country are starting to face challenges in maintaining healthy and affordable water supplies. The U.S. Government has estimated that by the year 2015, 36 states will face serious water shortages. That’s why it’s more important than ever to use our water wisely and not waste it.
COOL IT WHEN DOING LAUNDRY
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about 90% of the energy used for washing clothes in a conventional top-load washer is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes — use less water and use cooler water. Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible. Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Even just switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half.
HOT WATER ON-DEMAND
You don’t keep your car running 24/7, so why would you heat your household water when you don’t need to? There is an affordable solution — Electric Tankless Water Heaters. These space-saving devices allow you to keep water hot when and if you need it. On-demand water heating is one of the most effective ways to conserve energy.
Saving energy means saving money too. You will reduce your electric bill because the greatest savings will occur when replacing an oversized electric tank (80 gallons) in a home with minimal hot water on demand electric tankless water heater. Think about your typical hot water usage: 10 to 12 minutes in the shower, a minute washing your hands in the sink, washing the dishes by hand or running the dishwasher, and the occasional load of laundry on the HOT setting. You will quickly see there isn’t a lot of hot water demand in a typical day, but your hot water tank has to be ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
All the energy spent on keeping the reserved tank water hot is wasted energy. Tankless systems are up to 50% more energy efficient than standard tank systems because they don’t heat reserve water. An Electric Tankless Water Heater only turns on when there is a demand for hot water, and it virtually heats water instantly to meet that demand, and no more. When there is no hot water demand, there is no hot water expense. There is no stand-by heat loss, meaning you save energy and money.
Instead of having a tank style water heater in the basement, tankless heaters can be installed close to where the water is used like in bathrooms or kitchens. By placing heaters near the point of use, the hot water doesn’t waste time traveling through pipes, losing heat along the way. It’s almost instantaneous, and you never run out of hot water. Get the precise temperature you want exactly when you want it. There is no scalding and no wasted water waiting for it to heat up.
SAVING THE PLANET
Electric Tankless Water Heaters are the perfect energy-saving solution for new construction and for green home renovations. They can provide decades of trouble-free performance, can last twice as long as tank heaters which can rust out and need replacing. Making better choices like using cold water for your laundry and installing an electric tankless water heater can help you achieve a higher level of greenness in your home. You’ll not only save water, energy, money, time, and space, you’ll ultimately help save our planet.