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Sep. 1st, 2005


Housing
Capital improvements (over $50)
  • [N]Install new energy efficient appliances.
  • [o]Install timed thermostats.
  • [N]Insulate roof/attick.
  • [N]Install new, energy efficient windows (there are often government programs
    to help subsidize this)
  • [P]Plant a deciduous tree on your southern exposure. It will cool the house
    with shade during the summer and allow light/heat through in the
    winter.
    Minor improvements (under $50 or labor)
  • [X]Put cellophane over windows. (Including "forgotten" windows in basements and
    atticks.)
  • [X]Consider caulking or weather-stripping older windows and doors.
  • [X]Insulate doors against drafts.
  • [X]Check for other drafts and plug them.
  • [X]Insulate visible pipes.
  • [N]Insulate hot water heater or install point of use water heaters (heat water
    on demand instead of storing hot water).
  • [X]Block fireplace when not in use.
  • [x]Replace incandescent light bulbs with flourescent.
  • [X]Install interior door jambs and close off less-used rooms to reduce draft
    and heating of less used spaces.
  • [O]Install heavy, dark drapes and keep them closed at night. During the winter,
    open drapes on sun-facing windows to let solar heat in. During the summer, keep
    drapes on sun-facing windows closed during the day and open at night.
  • [X]Check for and plug leaks in foundation.
  • [-]Replace heat pump and furnace filters
    Behavioral

  • [O]Turn down water temperature on hot water heater.
  • [x]Turn off lights/appliances not in use.
  • [o]Unplug energy vampires (cell phone chargers, tvs, etc.) This is easier to do
    if you have them on power strips and turn off the power strips.
  • [o]Keep the back of your refridgerator clean.
  • [N]Reroute your dryer exhaust into the basement/inside instead of "wasting" the
    heat by sending it outside.
  • [x]Do only full loads of wash and wash more clothing in cold water, and do
    loads of wash in sequence.
  • [x]Reduce the heat/cooling in your house to the lowest level that is
    comfortable for you. Keep the house cooler at night than during the day.
  • [o]During the summer, consider drying your clothes on a line instead of in a
    clothes dryer.
    Transportation
    Investment
  • [N]Buy a fuel efficient vehicle
  • [N]Buy/rent a house within walking distance of your place of work, if
    possible
    Behavioral
  • [N]Use public transport if at all possible
  • [X]Keep tires properly inflated and engine tuned
  • [-]Drive the speed limit. Fuel efficiency degrades significantly after 55
    mph.
  • [-]If driving under about 35 mph cool the car by rolling down the windows.
    Above that it's more efficient to cool the car using AC.
  • [-]Carpool, if possible.
  • [X]Plan errands to minimize driving.


    In the overall remodeling plan for the house, I'd absolutely love to redo the windows and insulation. Ain't gonna happen in the real near future. The appliances I have are already decently energy efficient, other than perhaps the washer and dryer, which I will replace when they need replacing.

    Redoing the roof of the house to include a proper ridge vent and attic insulation would do wonders.

    The really nice deciduous tree on the south side of the house was cut down by the city.

    The hot water heater is a gas heater, already insulated. I could add insulation to the pipes.

    Don't have drapes on most of the windows. Think three cats. I will be doing a lot more plastic sheeting this year though.

    No furnace for furnace filter. Boiler. Added circulating pumps to increase efficiency. Need to uncover the radiators more.

    The hot water heater stays hot. Sorry, but that's a little bit of comfort that I love.

    Gas dryer. No rerouting exhaust into basement. Bad idea.

    I'm okay with the house being cool in the winter. But I also like it cool in the summer, so it's a half-and-half. Since I pretty much didn't use the studio at all this summer, it was not air conditioned. That saved quite a bit, I think.
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