Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Saving Green: Creating a Greener Home

A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions to save money, and a great place to start is with your home.  Creating a “greener” living environment is not only healthy; it will actually put some extra green in your wallet.  
Eco-friendly designer Robin Wilson, CEO of Robin Wilson Home, who has done design projects for Bill Clinton and the Good Housekeeping Show House, and has a hypoallergenic bedding line at, offers these tips to creating a greener home that will save money: 
-          Make sure and choose EnergyStar rated appliances which will significantly reduce your utility bills each month.
-          Washer/Dryer:  Robin’s favorite brand is the Whirlpool Duet which uses 40% less energy when the Eco-Normal cycle is selected. Sensors are in place to allow clothes to dry more efficiently and the water usage is minimal in the washer.  It is estimated to save over $800 in energy usage over the first five years of use. She always recommends front load washers as they use less water.
-          Dishwasher: There are hundreds on the market and the best models for energy efficiency have a light and a normal cycle which allows flexibility for water usage.
-          Refrigerator/Freezer: More families are opting for separate units if they have the kitchen space, which means that the freezer stays closed most of the time, and the refrigerator is opened more frequently during the food preparation timeframe. Also, many people have a separate beverage/snack refrigerator (door or drawer style) which allows the refrigerator to remain closed much of the day.
-          Air Conditioners: In-wall air units are never as efficient as central air systems, however if you do have an in-wall unit, please make sure to install a plexiglass surround so that there is limited air seepage in your home.
-          Countertop Appliances: Place all the items on a master switch (except microwaves & coffee makers) and/or unplug all the units that are not in use as you may have phantom power usage without even realizing it…especially to power digital clocks or timers.
-          Use low-VOC paint which is durable, looks beautiful and won’t off-gas leaving an obnoxious paint odor.

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