Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

Part One: Shrinking Our Carbon Footprint at Home

Carbon Footprint

It may sound trite, but the future really does belong to our children, and the children of each generation continuing into the future. So it makes perfect sense to do everything we can today to ensure that the future they have is bright and their environment is a stable, healthy one.

Many of the things you do in your own home can have a profound influence on the lives of future generations, so now is a great time to make positive changes in your home that your kids and grandkids will appreciate.

How Big is Your Footprint?

One of the first things you should do when striving to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is to determine your household’s emissions from energy consumption, transportation and waste. The EPA’s carbon footprint calculator will help you determine the main areas in which your activities cause emissions of greenhouse gases and how these can be reduced.

Take Steps at Home to Create a Healthier Environment

Once you have calculated your household’s greenhouse gas emissions, you are ready to begin implementing positive changes. Here are some simple, yet helpful changes to get you started.

Lighting

Look around your home and determine which lights are used most frequently. Create a game plan to start with the most commonly used light bulbs in the home, and then gradually replace all light fixtures and light bulbs with ones that bear the ENERGY STAR® label. Doing this will not only help you protect the environment, it will also lower your power bills, and result in fewer light bulbs being sent to the trash.

Two: Appliances, Electronics & HVAC

Look at your appliances, electronics and heating and cooling equipment and determine which ones are performing their duties efficiently and which ones have become energy hogs. Make a plan to replace to poor performers with ENERGY STAR® appliances as quickly as possible. Doing this will not only help you honor your commitment to leave the environment in a better condition for future generations, but it will also help you enjoy lower utility bills.

While waiting to replace some of the older, inefficient ones, find ways to make them more efficient, such as:

  • Operate dishwashers, washers and dryers with only a full load.
  • Eat more oven-cooked meals in winter when the extra heat helps to stabilize indoor temperatures and enjoy outdoor grilling, salads and quick-fix dishes like stir-fries when you want to limit the amount of heat that is released into the home.
  • Eliminate the clutter of small appliances in your kitchen and opt to use hand-operated can openers, mixers and other tools instead.
  • Unplug every appliance and electronic, including chargers, that is not in use.

To live lighter upon the earth, it’s also important to conduct business with environmentally and socially responsible businesses, such as Mopfrog of Danbury. Mopfrog is committed to safeguarding human health and the planet by implement sustainable business practices.

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Energy Efficiency for Earth Day

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Each year, on April 22nd, events are held worldwide in celebration of Earth Day. With the observance of Earth Day around the corner, Mopfrog of South Milwaukee, is helping to create awareness regarding environmental issues, particularly, conserving energy.

For starters, reducing the overall energy footprint of your home is a truly great way to help out the environment. By making a few key and cost effective modifications, you can help make sure that this generation is leaving the planet in a condition that is a bit better than the one we found it in. Also, aside from mitigating the environmental problems associated with energy consumption, energy efficient homes save you money your utility bills!

Basic Tips

While an energy audit will provide specific recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your home, there are a few key spots that often contribute to poor energy performance. If you are looking for ways to be a bit more eco-friendly this year, the following recommendations are a great place to begin shrinking your carbon footprint.

  • Replace your light bulbs with ones that earned the ENERGY STAR label. LED and CFL bulbs are not only more energy efficient than traditional lighting solutions, but they’re also of a much higher quality overall. For example, they use about 70-90 percent less energy and last 10 to 25 times longer before needing to be replaced.
  • Save energy and dollars by installing ceiling fans, as they can supplement your HVAC system and help keep the temperature regulated.
  • Take advantage of natural day light versus turning on light fixtures.
  • Update your windows with more efficient frame technology. High performance windows featuring low-E coatings will go a long way towards keeping hot air out of the house during the summer and preventing warm air from escaping during the winter. You can also place reflective film on your windows to not only lessen the sun’s harmful rays, but also prevent fading and other negative effects to your upholstery.
  • Use low VOC caulking and weather stripping around all of the windows and doors, along with door sweeps, in order to prevent too much air into or out of the home.
  • Water heating is one of the largest energy expenses in your home. Washing laundry on cold settings and taking shorter showers will help reduce monthly water heating bills.
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Brrr…Improving The Efficiency of Existing Windows

Energy efficient windows can certainly seem to some like an expense that they just don’t need to commit to. A home is a constant investment – things often need repairs or updates to help create the type of positive environment that you can truly be comfortable in. Unfortunately, many often overlook windows. Then, the temperature quickly starts to drop both outside and inside thanks to a set of windows that has been neglected since you originally purchased your house. Those frigid winter nights are the ones where the importance of energy efficient windows truly reveals itself.

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Energy Star Windows

One of the most important things to know about ENERGY STAR windows is that it lowers energy bills and thus, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and shrinks our carbon footprint. Outside of doing our part to protect the environment, in many states, homeowners may claim a tax credit for ENERGY STAR windows purchased in 2012 through 2014. Not only will the windows help keep you warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer, but they’ll also shave a bit off of your tax bill (or add to your refund) at the same time.

Energy efficient windows are high in quality mainly because of their construction. Many feature dual pane, low-emissivity coatings. Low-e glazes insulate the window and control heat transfer. Furthermore, better insulating properties lower the U-factor, or rate in which heat is lost.

General Window Tips

If replacing your windows completely is not within the budget, there are still a number of steps that you can take to help keep Mother Nature out of your house as best as possible. You can improve the efficiency of existing windows by installing window treatments, for example, as they can help keep heating and cooling costs down. You can also reduce drafts and improve comfort by adding weathering stripping and caulking cracks or gaps. Ultimately, if your home is old and your windows are causing your heating and cooling system to work much harder than it should to properly regulate the temperature it’s time to replace them. 

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