Green Tips–Household Systems
Tips 11–19
 
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11.   Meet Your Water Heater—Making Your Water Heater 
         Efficient
You can get water heater advice as part of a no-cost energy assessment. Just ask.
Fells True Value Hardware carries foam pipe insulation and water heater insulating blankets. These can be installed by the homeowner (search on web for guidance) or by a handyman  or contractor.
When replacing gas or electric water heaters, consider more efficient tankless models. New, more efficient electric water heaters using heat pump technology are now also available.
Electric and gas water heaters are often not inspected for years, if ever. However, their life can be extended by clearing out sediment and checking the anode rods every year or two.
See the business listings in the phone book or on the web for water heater servicing contractors or plumbers.
For more information on solar hot water heaters, check out Nexamp in Andover.
12.   Light of Your Life—Installing Energy Efficient Lights
Compact Fluorescent lights (CFLs) use about 1/4 the power of incandescent bulbs. CFLs are no-cost with a CoolWin Energy Upgrade.
You can also buy CFLs locally at Fells True Value Hardware, CVS ,and Stop and Shop. Some vendors also provide the Massachusetts CFL rebate forms in the store.
To learn more about CFLs, check out the facts in the Consumer Guide from the non-profit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.  
Dimmable CFLs are needed if you have a dimmer on your circuit. A limited selection of dimmable bulbs are available at Home Depot and Lowes.
Light Emitting Diode lights (LEDs) use about 1/10 the power of incandescent bulbs, however are more costly than CFLs.  You can order these online.
13.   Chill Out—Sealing Air Leaks
A no-cost energy assessment can help find and seal air leaks. Check out the details at Energy Upgrades.
Fells True Value Hardware carries weather stripping, outlet insulators, caulking, insulating foam, window putty and door sweeps.
To learn more about sealing air leaks, check out the Consumer Guide from the non-profit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
14.   Furnace Fling—Tuning Up Your Furnace
Get furnace advice as part of a no-cost energy assessment. Just ask.
Contact your electric, gas or oil utility for advice about tune-ups, or look up the many local contractors under "Heating Contractors" in the phone book or on the web.
Local heating contractors can also advise on duct and steam pipe insulation.
To learn more about various furnaces and boilers, check out the Consumer Guide from the non-profit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
15.   A Sustainable Energy Household—Achieving Maximum
         Energy Efficiency
An energy assessment (upgrade) is a key way to achieve major energy efficiency improvements
Go to CoolWin’s Energy Upgrades. to learn much more about this option and how to take action.
If you're planning to buy a new refrigerator:
Check out the Consumer Guide from the non-profit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
The Winchester Transfer Station will accept your old refrigerator for recycling for a fee of $15 (includes freon reclamation). Doors must be removed. Check the Winchester Transfer Station website for the most current information.
Tips for renters
If you're looking for a new apartment, check out the following before signing a lease:
Previous few months' energy bills for the apartment
Efficiency of the air conditioner, furnace, water heater, and other appliances
Amount of insulation in the walls and attic
Whether the apartment has a programmable thermostat
Whether the apartment needs caulking around the windows and doors
Point out to the landlord that improving the energy efficiency of the apartment makes it more desirable to potential tenants.
Resources for condo owners
A report by the Foundation for Community Association Research includes five case studies on homeowners associations that have successfully reduced their energy consumption and costs. See pages 14–18 of their Best Practices / Energy Efficiency report. 
For people looking to design / build green homes or rooms
Mary McKenna & Associates is a local architect who does small and large sized projects.
Green Depot at 100 Fallon Road, Suite A, in Stoneham provides all green building materials (781) 914-3300.
 16.   Green Power—Switching to Renewable Energy
Switch to NSTAR Green. 
While not a substitute for taking other energy-relation actions, it is by far the easiest switch to renewable energy.
For most Winchester families, 100% Green would represent only an increase of about $10 per month. Use our NSTAR calculator to be more be more precise: 
Mar2011_NSTARGreenCalculator.xls
Get full details from CoolWin at our page: About NSTAR Green. See also the NSTAR NSTAR Green information page.
Consider solar. Learn more about installing solar power in your home at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative website.
Consider wind. Some local vendors that supply small wind turbines are listed in the "Small Wind Turbine Manufacturers in Massachusetts" website.
Consider geothermal solutions. Some local vendors that supply geothermal solutions:
Eco Friend Geothermal
East Coast Geothermal
Learn more about other clean energy technologies at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative website.
To learn more about federal incentives for renewable energy, see this EnergyStar information.
To learn more about state tax incentives for renewable energy, see the following information at the DESRE site: Massachusetts Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
17.   Is Your Car Physically Fit?—Maintaining an Efficient Car
Maintaining tire pressure:
You can find tire pressure gauges in local stores, such as Fells Hardware.
You might also be interested in valve stem tire pressure gauges. These devices, which replace the caps on your tire's valve stems, display green or red to give you an at-a-glance indication of whether a tire's pressure is OK or low. A common brand name for this product is Tire Minder. You can order them on the web from various vendors.
Most relatively new cars require little in the way of tune-ups. However, changing the oil and filters regularly, using the correct weight of oil, and being sure the oxygen sensor and catalytic converter are functioning properly can increase efficiency and reduce pollution.
18.    Befriend an Earth-Smart Auto—Buying a Fuel-Efficient
          Car
Websites that rank cars by fuel efficiency:
FuelEconomy.gov
GreenerCars.org
Kelley Blue Book
19.    Carbon Neutral—Neutralizing Your Carbon Footprint
Local vendors where you can purchase trees
Mahoney's Garden Center 242 Cambridge St. (Rte. 3), Winchester, MA 01890 Tel: 781-729-5900
Spence Farm: 30 Wyman St., Woburn, MA, 781-933-4847
Wagon Wheel Farmstand:  927 Waltham St., Lexington, MA 02421, 781-862-2112
Local vendors that help maintain the health of trees
Boston Tree Preservation
Some additional notes on planting trees
Proper selection, siting, and pruning of trees can provide cool shade in the summer and warm sun and/or wind breaks in the winter.
For trees to provide true carbon sequestration, an additional tree would need to be planted for every tree that dies or gets harvested to soak up the dying tree's sequestered carbon .
An even greater impact than planting trees is stopping the massive cutting of rain forest trees.
Additional carbon offset resources
LiveCooler.org
EcoBusinessLinks Environmental Directory provides a very clear table of all the different offsetters, their price, their certifications, etc.
A Consumer’s Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers
Voluntary Offsets For Air-Travel Carbon Emissions
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