Sellers Go Green!  Most Effective Green Changes

Great Ideas

Assess the energy efficiency of your home and see how it measures up:

EPA's Home Energy Yardstick provides a simple assessment of your home's annual energy use compared to similar homes. By answering a few basic questions about your home, you can get:
Your home's Home Energy Yardstick score (on a scale of 1 to 10);
Insights into how much of your home's energy use is related to heating and cooling versus other everyday uses like appliances, lighting, and hot water;
Links to guidance from ENERGY STAR on how to increase your home's score, improve comfort, and lower utility bills; and
An estimate of your home's annual carbon emissions.
Learn more about how the Home Energy Yardstick works.
See a sample results page.

Getting Started:

To calculate your Yardstick score, all you need is some basic information about your home:
Your ZIP code;
Your home's square footage;
Number of full time home occupants;
A list of all the different fuels used in your home (e.g., electricity, natural gas, fuel oil); and
Your home's last 12 months of utility bills (usually found in the 12 month summary provided on your bill or through a Green Button file  ).
Having trouble with the Home Energy Yardstick? Contact us at yardstick@energystar.gov.

VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP
Find out how much land it takes to support your lifestyle by taking the Global Footprint Network’s interactive ecological footprint quiz.

Quick, Easy, and Inexpensive Green Changes

Add weather stripping to the doors and windows to ensure the home is well-insulated. Install window film to darken the windows. Be sure to check with the window manufacturer first to ensure there are no warranty issues with installing the film. Place a brick or filled water bottle in the toilet tank. This will cause it to use less water in each flush. Set the thermostat a little higher in the summer (78°F or higher) and lower in the winter (68°F or lower). Replace regular bulbs in the light fixtures with compact florescent light bulbs. Leave grass clippings on the grass instead of bagging them. This mulch will result in a greener lawn. Open blinds and curtains and use natural lighting as opposed to light bulbs. In the summer, open windows during the cooler part of the day to cut down on air conditioning needs. Close the fireplace damper when the fireplace is not in use. Only run the dishwasher or clothes washing machine when it has a full load. Use your time in the shower efficiently. Use window curtains and draperies to help insulate the home from outside air (cold or hot). Use natural insect repellants or natural pest deterrents, such as ladybugs, bees, and butterflies. Putting a bird feeder in a yard could also can help attract birds that eat any pests. Mow the lawn during the cooler part of the day, less fuel will evaporate this way, which will reduce the number of carbon dioxide fumes that are released into the air.

3 Budget-Friendly Ways to Go Green

Whether you want to go green as a way to minimize your footprint on the environment or to slash your monthly utility bills, you might think of the process as important, but not urgent.  Check out these strategic approaches to help you get moving, while sticking to your budget of both cash and time.
  
1. Keep it Simple.  Don’t make the process of going green too complicated.  Sometimes quick and inexpensive projects can give you the biggest return on investment.  Begin with the do-it-yourself projects and work within your budget.  You need to find a balance between your priorities and the amount of time and money you are willing to invest.

2. Use Other People’s Time and Money.  It allows for you to be innovative and utilize resources that are readily available such as solar power service and even grant money from the government, which will cater toward your green home endeavors.  Be sure to investigate any tax breaks you may use to your benefit in your quest to make your home more efficient.

3. Make your Own Decisions.  Everyone is different and the concept of ‘Going Green’ can mean a variety of different things to anyone who can identify with its cause.  It can appeal to people wanting to be careful with their money and others who are interested in the conservation of the environment.  Take into account your motives for wanting to go green and use that when deciding what you want to do to improve aspects of your home.

Be sure to share with others what you have done to Go Green and let them know both successes and even what went wrong so they can avoid making the same mistakes.

Resources for Homeowners

Here are some helpful links for green-conscious clients

Contact Rick Zemo Today!