Earth Day 2012 — 12 Tips to Green Your Home
In conjunction with the 42nd annual Earth Day on April 22, CertainTeed Corporation — North America’s leading brand of building products — is encouraging homeowners to take steps to help protect the environment and make their home more sustainable.
Monitor Your Thermostat. Keeping your thermostat turned down in the winter by as little as two degrees — and up two degrees in the summer — can result in significant savings on utility bills.
Use ‘Green’ Household Cleaners. Shop for non-toxic, environmentally safe and biodegradable cleaning products. Another option is a homemade concoction, such as white vinegar — a common household item used for cleaning grease, mildew, stains and more.
Plant Shade Trees and Shrubs Around Your House. This is a great way to cool your house in the summer and add to your landscaping. A new tree will look wonderful while blocking some infrared radiation that heats up the house during the warm summer months. One tree can also offset tons of carbon over its lifetime while also sprucing up outdoor living areas.
Keep Your Refrigerator Isolated. The refrigerator works to keep its contents cool so putting it next to a vent, stove or dishwasher — which all give off heat — make the refrigerator work even harder. Placing it in an isolated location will save you money while saving the refrigerator from exerting unnecessary energy.
Use Compact Florescent Bulbs. They us about 66 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last about 10 times longer.
Increase Energy Efficiency with Insulation. Fiberglass insulation saves 12 times more energy per pound in its first year of being installed when compared to the energy used to produce it, according to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association. In other words, using fiberglass insulation to make homes more energy efficient is a smart way to mitigate our impact on the environment.
Unplug Electronics When Not in Use. Many electronics, including TVs, DVD players, computers, video game consoles, and cell phone chargers continue to use electricity in the “off” setting. In the average household, this can account for up to 1,000-kilowatt hours of electricity annually, which is enough to power an entire home for two months. To avoid unnecessary energy waste, unplug electronics that are not being used or use a smart power strip that automatically stops the electricity when an item is turned off.
Replace older electronics and appliances. Installing products that are ENERGY STAR® certified can go a long way in reducing energy usage. At www.energystar.gov, homeowners will find a full list of certified products including lighting, fans, washers, dryers, roofing, computers and more.
Put Rainwater to Good Use. Collect rainwater for use in gardens and on lawns instead of using potable water from a drinking water utility. Local hardware stores often carry barrels specifically for rainwater collection that can be connected to a down spout from the roof of a home and come equipped with a detachable hose for easy use.
Don’t Overlook the Foundation. Exposed concrete slab foundations can be a conduit for air leaks and a drain on energy bills. By installing the EnergyEdge® Insulation System to the exposed slab edge of the home, homeowners can save 10 percent or more in heating costs.
Go Low Flow. Change that old water-guzzling toilet for a modern low flow toilet, which can save homeowners up to $100 a year. And, for additional water-saving tips, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.To schedule an interview about green homes and buildings or obtain images, contact Mike Loughery of CertainTeed Corporation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-341-7328.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.
A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 and 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3.2 billion in 2011. www.certainteed.com