Residences are a model of energy efficiency

air seal and insulate old homes like this. Southern facing windows, solar panels and a tower for ventilation. These are among the features that make former Arcadia Planning Commissioner Ed Huang's house energy efficient.

Southern facing windows, solar panels and a tower for ventilation. These are among the features that make former Arcadia Planning Commissioner Ed Huang’s house energy efficient.

Firstn of all, Huang, an architect who works as a senior planner at the community redevelopment agency for the city of Los Angeles. He set out nine years ago to build the greenest home possible.

“As a kid I lived in a warehouse with a bamboo roof,” said Huang, who grew up in Taiwan. “We would go to the junkyard to get materials to patch up the leaks … it made me want to find materials to build a house efficiently.”


Therefore Huang and his wife, Caroline. Caroline conducts workshops on how to eat and shop green. They list their home as a demonstration house. All on how to live green, and give frequent tours.

With all of its features, Huang’s home ranks among the most green. That came from Charisse Dunn. Charisse is another Build it Green consultant. It’s the greenest she has ever seen.

That’s just any given sunday nowadays in the news. Why? Besides my book for the Green Guru Guides, Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audits explaining to you that you need to air seal and insulate your house; YOU NEED TO AIR SEAL AND INSULATE YOUR HOME!!

Here are some straight facts:

Do It Yourself Home Energy Audits. The average household consumes 11,040 kWh per year.  Then, if we go with Energy Star's statement that 1 kWh of electricity generates 1.55 lbs of CO2, then the average US household creates 17,112 lbs of CO2 per year through their electricity use. That's equivalent to a little over 6.9 tons of CO2
Do It Yourself Home Energy Audits

The EPA even reports that:

“Beginning late in the 18th century, human activities associated with the Industrial Revolution have also changed the composition of the atmosphere and therefore very likely are influencing the Earth’s climate.”

Try out these DIY projects for energy savings.

Install and properly use a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat is one of the best ways to save energy all year long. Use it to automatically lower your air conditioning and heating. Especially when you don’t need it. So raising the temperature seven degrees when no one’s home and four degrees at bedtime during the summer. That and along with proper programming in the winter, will save you more than $180 annually.

HVAC Maintenance: When was the last time you checked to make sure that your HVAC system was working properly? A few simple moves will make sure that your system is working efficiently.

ü Check your air filter every month, changing it whenever it is dirty (at least every 3 months). Dirty filters block air flow, making your system work harder to keep your house cool.

ü Your car isn’t the only thing you own that needs scheduled maintenance. Have a contractor give your HVAC equipment an annual tune up. Your system will work better, keeping you cooler all summer long.

Install ENERGY STAR light bulbs:

If you still haven’t switched out your old light bulbs for energy efficient options, an ENERGY STAR LED bulb makeover is a great summer project! ENERGY STAR certified bulbs use 70-90% less energy than incandescent bulbs, giving off much less heat inside your home.

They can save $30-$75 each in energy bills and last over 20 years, so this is a project that will make a difference for years to come. With prices falling dramatically all over the country, THIS is the time to make the switch to ENERGY STAR LED bulbs!

Shade your home:

Outfit your home with shades, blinds, curtains and awnings, especially on the south and west sides of your home where the sun is hottest. This simple move will keep the hot rays of the sun out of your home, bringing down the temperature.

Sources: US Energy Star, Energy Star and United States Environmental Protection Agency and Pasadena Star News, By Dan Abendschein, Staff Writer, Article Launched: 04/22/2008 10:13:32 PM PDT