Fred Oxner of West Columbia has developed a kit for building a boxed cover. Click here for more information.
Kermit the Frog may have thought "it isn't easy being green," but you don't have to think like that. Here are six ways:
1. Go caulk crazy
“Caulk is cheap,” says Ben Leigh of The Sustainability Institute in Charleston. Find the holes and fill them. “The biggest loss is through air leakage,” he says. And always caulk before you repaint, inside or out.
2. Do the light switch
“The average home has 40 light bulbs,” says Leigh. Then he does the math: replace 40 60-watt bulbs with CFLs and save at least $100 per year on electricity.
3. Add insulation
“The attic is the easiest place to start,” Leigh says, “and if you’re a handy homeowner, it’s something you can do on your own.”
4. Use low-VOC paint
“Homeowners used to ask contractors to use paints with low volatile organic compounds and they’d refuse, but it’s such an easy decision to make now,” Leigh says. All major paint manufacturers offer a low-VOC line, and the cost over regular paint is minimal.
5. Install radiant barriers under your roof
A highly reflective material—sort of a heavy-duty aluminum foil for your attic—radiant barriers reflect summer heat and can be installed for pennies a square foot. Architect Scott Johnston says adding a radiant barrier can reduce the temperature in your attic 20 to 30 degrees in the summer.
6. Button up your attic hatch
Leigh sees this is the great untapped opportunity to save: “It’s the biggest hole in your house.” In summer, hot air moves down through your attic hatch. Hatches tend to be in hallways, as are heating and air thermostats, which means systems may be working harder than they need to. To weatherproof the hatch, a homeowner needs to add weatherstripping and insulation.
Fred Oxner of West Columbia has developed a kit for building a boxed cover. Click here for more information
SMART, MONEY-SAVING GREEN CHOICES