My New Outside Blog: August 2012

Green Fort Worth Homes Are Worth More

Green Fort Worth Homes are Worth More

Concerns from residents of Fort Worth about our environment grow with each passing year, and "going green" has progressed from a trend to a norm as Texans attempt to adapt to the changing world. You can do your part to reduce your footprint and protect the environment by performing a few updates to your Fort Worth home. Here are some projects to tackle.

1. Buy the most efficient appliances you can afford. Replacing an old refrigerator or an ancient water heater can save a significant amount of energy, which also reduces your utility costs. High-efficiency washing machines not only use less electricity, but they consume far fewer gallons of water than older machines.

2. Purchase low-flow plumbing fixtures. Older styles of toilets, faucets and shower heads consume far more water than necessary. If you are concerned about a lack of pressure when using these water-sipping fixtures, take heart; they force water through smaller holes to maintain satisfactory pressure, while saving gallons of water each day.

3. Install a programmable thermostat. Maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home when you are gone all day is a waste of energy. Programmable thermostats automatically adjust the air temperature based on the times you set. This means that you could turn your furnace down or your air conditioner up automatically when you leave for work in the morning and have it return to your preferred temperature a few minutes before you arrive home in the evening.

4. Install rain barrels to conserve water. You may use thousands of gallons of water for your lawn and garden this year, but thousands of gallons of water run right off your roof, unused. By attaching rain barrels to your home's downspouts, you can use the collected rain water for giving thirsty plants a drink or watering the lawn, reducing the amount of water you have to pay for.

5. Clean your home with natural cleaners. Plain white vinegar is great for cleaning counters, floors, walls and other surfaces; you can also use it as a fabric softener and for cleaning your coffee pot. Baking soda is another versatile, non-toxic cleaner; use it to scour cookware, sinks, the tub and more. The fewer chemicals you apply to household surfaces, the better.

6. Use CFL bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs use far less electricity than standard light bulbs, and they last for years rather than months. While older CFL bulbs cast strangely colored light, newer varieties are available in cool, natural and warm varieties.

7. Replace old, single-pane windows with double-glazed varieties. Old windows allow a shocking amount of air to escape, making your heating and air systems work much harder. Double-glazed windows contain layers of air sandwiched between panes of glass; the sealed cushion of air acts like insulation. Some windows are even treated to reflect more light, reducing the amount the sun heats your home.

Creating a greener home doesn't have to happen overnight. Simply making better choices when it's time to replace your current appliances, fixtures, cleaning products and so forth can improve your home and the environment a little at a time.

Happy Trails,

Donnie

DONNIE KELLER

Fort Worth, Texas

817.932.4900

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Comment balloon 0 commentsDonnie Keller • August 29 2012 05:08PM
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