help me go green!!!!!!!!

aml254May 24, 2007

I have been all over this forum and everything I read is going over my head. I currently live in a 2700 sqft home that has an electric bill from $200-$400 a month. I decided to move into our garden district and reduce the size of my home. I am moving into a 2200 htd home with lots of windows. I have spoke with the current owners and their monthly bill does not exceed $200. The home has storm windows and awninigs. The windows are wood on the interior and the gao b/w the windows is about 1 1/2 to 2 inches (I don't know if that matters). There are a lot of trees in the area, but the sun must hit the house pretty good b/c the back end of the house will heat up a lot in the afternoon. I have already converted to CF bulbs, I cut off my OC at night, anf I turn off all lights when I leave the room. Basically I have alrady done the easy things. With that info here are my questions.

Is 1615 consumption on a monthly electric bill good or bad? At the same time last year it was 695 so why has it gone up with all of my improvements? Also, in the new house shoudl I replace the windows? Are solar panels hooked into a grid a good idea for me (I can only put out an initial investment of 10K)? Does anyone know how I can get an energy audit in my area - Alexandira, LA? I want to live in this new house for at least 7 years. It is a 1940s bungalow. I know it is not ideal, but I also what to buy used and not contribute to the massive, unnecessary building that is occuring in our area. Everything I come across is someone remodeling or building what can a current home owner do? Also is there a Solar power for dummies? I don's even understand what a watt is so I am completely confused. all I know is that I have children and I want to change their future. Any help or info would be great. BTW, are there any other things I can do to improve the older home's energy concumption. The ceiling is already covered with white cellulose and the walls were insulated when the home was re-wired 7 years ago.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The first point of contact for energy costs and an energy audit is your own electric company. Contact them. You may find the rate went up, or you use a whole bunch more air conditioning than the previous owners. They probably can do an energy audit.

The energy audit may suggest attic insulation. Ventilate and insulate! Proper venting of your attic will remove superheated air. Blown cellulose is a good and comparatively inexpensive insulation after you ventilate.

Here in MA we have a 1100 sq ft house heated with propane. Our electric is about $175 per month and most of it goes to the dryer and the hot water.

search this forum for solar electric and PV panels. You will find the ROI is probably not so good for electric, but you might seriously consider solar water heating in LA. since you do not freeze, a batch solar water heater might be appropriate.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY solar water heaters, batch heaters

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 9:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would agree with Measure Twice (my dad's favorite saying) that contacting your energy company is a good idea. We live in the lower Hudson Valley, where it gets very hot in the summer, and very cold in the winter. Last year we installed a new furnace, which has helped keep the heating costs down. (we have gas heat) Interestingly, several heating contractors and a very knowledgable neighbor advised us to stay away from the uber-efficient furnaces. Apparently, they cycle on and off so much that they actually create a very drafty environment, plus they're really noisy. We went with a standard furnace, and I change the filters monthly.

Now, living in LA, there must be all kinds of incentives from your power company for going green. (there are next to none here - believe me - I've checked) Energy Star appliances, certain types of insulation, solar panels, all of these often allow you to take an energy credit on your bill. Again, check with your local power company.

Also, a lot of the old-fashioned methods really work. Venting the attic properly, fans placed in the windows to pull in cooler nighttime air, keeping the drapes drawn during the day to minimize solar heat gain - awnings - great idea. But get that energy audit. You may have unseen energy-sappers that can be corrected without too much expense.

Good luck to you, and good for you for going green!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 2:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think what you are doing is great. If we all made a small effort, it would contribute greatly to preserving what we have. I recently switched all my household cleaners to green products. It served multiple purposes. My main reason for making the switch was all the toxins that most household cleaners leave behind (I mean really bad stuff). Of course all that stuff ends up going down the drain, so it helps my immediate environment and the larger environment. Also GET CLEAN saved me $3400 in what it would have cost me in equivalent cleaning products.

I included the informaiton on the GET CLEAN products below - good luck!

Safe for you, your home, and your planetÂ

Get Clean products use biodegradable cleaning agents, which means they break down easily instead of hanging out in the ground for hundreds of years. They also have no phosphates, borates, nitrates, or other stuff the planet doesn't appreciate. And by making them superconcentrated, we leave you to add water so we can subtract waste. This has tons of implications. Literally. Less weight to ship. Less product to use. Less packaging to throw away. So you can get that clean feeling about your house, knowing you're keeping the planet clean, too.

When you buy the Get Clean Starter Kit instead of the stuff you probably buy:

You keep 108 pounds of packaging waste out of landfills
You eliminate 248 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions
Get Clean products offer cleaning choices that are Green, and here's why:

Sustainably sourced natural ingredients
Biodegradable surfactants
Recyclable packaging
Recyclable wipes
Recyclable dryer sheets
No chlorine bleach
No volatile organic cleaning compounds
No phosphates
No nitrates
No borates
No animal testing

Here is a link that might be useful: Green Household/Green Environment

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 6:30PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
if you must use solar, consider this option
first of all, for renewable energy i much prefer the...
Solar Panel on Shed, Standalone?
I have a small shed, like 10' x 12'. It is about 30'...
RedSun (Zone 6, NJ)
Geothermal $6K per ton?
In my ongoing quest into the geothermal world, this...
Critique of House plan
I am still trying to figure out the perfect plan for...
Radon system
Can somebody tell me why there's condensation outside...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™