As part of our San Francisco Green Team, Executive Assistant, Bobbie Casey, set up a presentation entitled Re-Energize your home. On Wednesday several employees headed over to a conference room in the Autodesk Gallery to hear about saving energy in our own homes. Many of you may recall my Sustainable Design Center post where I mentioned that most of the world's energy is consumed by buildings, not cars, so it made sense to us to check this presentation out.
Marc St Raymond of Recurve Corporation and Sandra Kwak of eco-shift Consulting explained a process where a home can undergo an energy audit. The interesting fact is that some of the most effective improvements are not always the most expensive, and sometimes expensive improvements don't provide optimal benefit without accompanying smaller ones. It's important to consider the home as a whole regarding energy consumption.
Borrowing a slide from Marc's presentation, some common sense tips I learned from the presentation included:
Adjust Ceiling Fan Settings
Fans cool people, not rooms
Clean HVAC Filters
Dirty filters reduce efficiency
Replace incandescent bulbs with low wattage bulbs
Dimmed bulbs reduce consumption
Turn Water Heater Down
Turn water heater temperature down
Fridge over 10 years old?
At the end of the presentation, I signed up to have an energy audit for our townhome in Alameda. The cost is $295 which can easily be recouped by pinpointing where to apply the common sense tips.
The key is to take what is learned from the audit and get a roadmap in place.
It is important to get the fundamentals sound first, then consider major systems, and then possibly renewables. Consumers often jump straight to renewables, and much of their savings are lost due to inefficiencies in the fundamentals. For more information, visit the Recurve site.
Thinking green is alive in the lab.