Low Hanging Fruit
"Low Hanging Fruit" refers to pollution prevention opportunities that can be easily implemented and the rewards are swift. Such activities demonstrate the benefits of further evaluating processes and activities to identify greater benefits. The following will provide examples of Low Hanging Fruit that may be available to you:
$400 for you?
Everyone who chooses EnergyStar products for their home can save 30% on their energy bills, or roughly $400 each year. And while those products save you money, they also reduce incredible amounts of pollution. If just one household in 10 bought EnergyStar heating and cooling equipment, it would reduce more than 17 billion pounds of pollution and equal the removal of 600,000 cars from the road for one year.
Find out about the EnergyStar Home Improvement Toolbox, Energy Yardstick, and Home Energy Advisor at http://www.energystar.gov/
Sleep is Good...For Computers, Too!
The EPA's EnergyStar program offers tools that enable any person or organization to allow their computers to "sleep" when not in use. By simply touching the keyboard, the computer "wakes" within seconds.
Those interested in having their computers sleep can use the web-based EZ Wizard software that allows individual users to activate monitor power management in seconds. Anyone can get this free at:
Consultation on the Windows 2000 or Windows XP functions to enable monitor power management throughout an organization can be obtained at:
Just as sleep is good for our bodies, it is for computers. The EnergyStar program estimates that for every 1,000 computers, using these sleep features saves an organization 200,000 kWh per year or $20,000 at 10 cents per kWh.
Staying Cooler in Summer
Staying cool and comfortable is challenging in these days of summer. There are three fairly simple steps to help keep yourself more comfortable while at home.
1. Use circulating fans as much as possible. Ceiling, floor and table fans cool your skin by increasing bodily heat loss through convection and sweat evaporation. Moving air from these fans can make you feel 4 - 8 °F cooler than the room's temperature. These fans only cost about 2/10 of a cent per hour to operate compared to a range of sixteen to fifty-two cents per hour for central air conditioners.
2. Open all registers and doors. An old practice is to close off registers and close the doors in unused rooms, reasoning that this is "wasted space" and that more conditioned air will be available for the rooms actually used. Instead, closing off registers and doors reduces air flow through the entire house system (ductwork), lowering its efficiency and ability to cool.
3. Apply reflective film to windows. Single-pane, unshaded windows allow 85% of the solar heat striking them to transmit into the interior space. Reflective films can block 50% to 75% of the solar heat, increasing comfort and decreasing the amount of cooling needed.
If your air conditioner is running frequently, it's not necessarily a sign of inefficiency. It is standard practice for contractors to oversize air conditioners by 30-100% to ensure they are "big enough" to cool living space. However, oversized units frequently cause excessive moisture through short cycles, a phenomena that occurs when an oversized unit only runs in short spurts.
Personal comfort is achieved by lowering air temperature and removing humidity. Using fans and allowing your home's designed air flow movement to fully function will lower the air temperature you experience. And, the air conditioner must run for significant periods of time to remove moisture. A system you hear running frequently helps keep the relative humidity at less than 60% which will suppress the microbes linked to respiratory problems. So, a frequently running system helps alleviate health concerns as well as increasing personal comfort.