RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

MAY 2016

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE May 2016 91 {Ask the Experts} Charles Furlough Vice President of Field Operations Pillar To Post Home Inspectors www.pillartopost.com Q: What can homeowners do to lower their carbon footprint? A: According to Environmental Science & Technology, the carbon footprint of U.S. house- holds is about fve times greater than the global average, which is approximately 10 tons CO2e per household per year. Carbon dioxide accounts for the majority of green- house gas emissions, and electric- ity makes up the largest portion of CO2 emissions. For homeowners, it's important to note that the most power-hungry components within the home are what truly determine their carbon footprint status. Some of the de- vices that use the most energy in- clude desktop computers, clothes dryers, water heaters and air condi- tioning units. There are a couple of ways to lower your carbon footprint. First, unplug any appliances that are rarely used. You'll also want to unplug devices when they're not being used. For example, just be- cause your computer is turned off doesn't mean it isn't sapping en- ergy, so taking the time to unplug the computer while not in use can drastically improve your footprint. To reduce your carbon footprint even more, hang wet clothes on a line during the warmer months to give your dryer a break, and use fans when the temperature rises to reduce the amount of energy being used by the A/C. Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to plug consistently used appliances into a power strip, rather than right into the wall. Additional tips include: 4Open your freezer as little as pos- sible. When the freezer is open, it increases the amount of energy consumed. Removing frost from the freezer also helps reduce en- ergy consumption. 4Position your refrigerator in the coolest place in the kitchen. It's also important to leave an inch gap between the back of the fridge and the wall to help with ventilation. 4 If food needs to cook for a long period of time, use a pressure cooker instead of the oven, as reducing cooking time will ulti- mately save energy. 4Clean the dishwasher flter regu- larly to prevent build-up , which can cause the drain to clog and lower its ability to clean your dishes thoroughly. Today, you can fnd many new appli- ances that are energy-effcient, cut- ting your energy consumption by 72 percent. By simply replacing some of your energy-guzzling appliances with energy-effcient ones, you can save up to $700 per year. Eventu- ally, your new devices will pay for themselves by signifcantly cutting the cost of the energy you use. In addition, energy-effcient applianc- es will prove to be big-ticket items when it comes time to sell the home, so not only are you saving energy, you're also making money in the end. RE To reduce your carbon footprint even more, hang wet clothes on a line during the warmer months to give your dryer a break, and use fans when the temperature rises to reduce the amount of energy being used by the A/C.

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