Green Baby Step - Dishwashing Down-and-Dirty

Put a halt on pre-rinsing.  You bought that dishwasher for a reason, right?  So why do all the work for it, anyway?  Nixing pre-rinsing saves water (all that pre-scrubbing uses up to 6,500 gallons, according to Consumer Reports), and keeps a little more green in your wallet.  Simply scrape off the chunks with whatever utensil is handy and allow the dishwashers to show off.  You'll be surprised at what they can do!


Green Baby Step - Boo! Phantom Energy

This Green Baby Step is numero uno of a plethora of baby steps this blog will feature so you can learn to get your green on without making scary massive changes.

Choose the most unused room in your house.  Now, slowly, enter the room and look around.  What's plugged in?  Lamps?  Maybe a clock?  Did you know that these guys use energy even when they are not turned on?  Now, unplug them!  Yes, that's what I said.  UNPLUG THEM.  You may have to reset the time on the clock next time you have guests, but hey.  It's for the greater good!  Good luck!


Nifty HydroRight

Yes!  I finally found what every eco-friendly, financially conscious person must have:  the HydroRight Dual Flush!  Simply install on the current toilet and voila!  Push the top button for liquids, bottom button for, uh, "full flush power" as they so eloquently put it right on the box.  I will keep you posted on whether or not this is worth it.  If so, Greener House Today will very much enjoy offering this installation!  Stay tuned!


So what is this duct sealing thing, anyway?

Time to get serious.  This is truly something every homeowner should know and do.  So pull another shot of espresso, pop on your learning hats, and get out your notepad, because here comes a lesson.

Duct sealing is simply the process of reducing the amount of cooled or heated air that escapes from leaks in the duct system that is generated by your heater/AC system.  There are numerous connections in a duct system, and each connection has a potential for leakage.  Duct sealing makes these connections more air tight, thus reducing the amount of leakage from the system.  A trained technician goes up into your attic or crawlspace and applies duct mastic around each and every connection.  They will also seal the air handler itself to ensure minimal leakage.  If the air handler is sitting on a platform and the air return comes into this platform before going back into the air handler, the technician will also ensure this platform is air tight so as not to pull outside air back into the system.  This is often the most significant source of the duct leakage because the air handler creates tremendous pressure to pull the air back through it to be heated or cooled once again.  Duct sealing may be the single most effective measure a home owner can make for a return on investment in the home energy efficiency realm.

Understand?  If not, please feel free to shoot a post back to me so I may explain in different terms.  Very important.  Well, important if you enjoy saving energy and watching those pesky utility bills drop like Arizona home values in '06.