Solar Power Systems

The Home is Greener: Energy Efficiency and You

by Karl Fendelander

Making your home greener has little to do with getting a new paint job. It has everything to do with reducing your environmental impact and increasing energy efficiency. While a nice, eco-friendly coat of paint might be in your plans for the future, it probably isn't your first priority. Cutting your power bill, though, should be.
Turn Me Off: Stop Wasting Energy
Most high-tech gadgets have a stand-by setting that's dangerously close to being turned off. It's dangerous because the device is still sucking down electricity in anticipation of your return.
Videogame consoles and plasma televisions are the worst, with Sony's Playstation 3 gobbling up five times the energy of a refrigerator, even when it's standing by. Nearly half of the power consumed by the average home computer is wasted, so make sure you shut your devices down completely when you're not around.
Good Weather for Stripping: Energy Efficiency in the Home
Whether it's time to retain heat indoors or keep it outside, weather-stripping your windows and doors is a great green-home idea. Having the most efficient furnace on the block won't make a bit of difference if you let all of that saved energy sneak out around doors and windows, so seal-up those thresholds and make sure that your home is well-insulated.
Let the Sun Shine: Green Homes Go Solar
You can take advantage of fusion power, right in your own home. How? By letting that gigantic, glowing ball in the sky work a little of its magic. It's as easy as letting the light in. In winter, open your curtains on the sunny side of the house to passively warm things up; just be sure to close them when dusk approaches to keep that heat inside. In summer, do the opposite.

Other active solar solutions include installing solar panels on your roof. While this used to mean unattractive apparatus adorning your home, there are now classy-looking solar shingles that produce up to 17 watts a piece.


Better Homes and Gardens., 10 Tips for Energy Efficiency, by Ron Taggirt
Better Homes and Gardens., Green Living Guidelines, by Greg Cook
Better Homes and Gardens., Solar Power Goes Prime Time, by Greg Cook
BobVila.com, Cut Your Power Bill
dwell, Powering Down, by Laura Heller

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