Labor Day weekend is only a few weeks away and while it might sound like fall is right around the corner, there is still plenty of summer heat to be had, especially here in Northern California. As much as I love summer, once it hits 95 to 100+ degrees I’d prefer to be inside the house with the air conditioner on. Well, according to The Money Pit’s Tom Kraeulter there is a more energy efficient way to beat the heat and will actually save you money too. Tom was kind enough to join me for an interview recently to dish on how to beat the heat by going green, as well as simple ways you can improve your home with energy saving appliances and cleaning products.
Candace Rose: Inside the house can use a breath of fresh air, do you have any tips for us?
Tom Kraeutler: “One of the first steps to create that healthy home environment and improve that indoor air quality is to replace your filter with a top quality filter. This is the Filtrete Healthy Living Ultra Allergen filter and it’s 90% effective in capturing those large allergens like dust, pollen and mold spores. In fact, we did a quick demo with this a little earlier, we took a standard fiberglass filter and dumped playground sand on top of it and as you can see (please see video above for details) it falls right through. We did the same test with the Filtrete filter and all of it stayed on top. The reason that happens is the Filtrete filter is much more efficient. You’ve gotta think about this, the particles in the air that fly around are actually smaller than playground sand, so if it can’t stop the sand, what can it stop? This can also stop microscopic airborne particles that carry bacteria and it’s going to last up to three months. It’s a great way to improve the air quality inside your house.
Another way to improve air quality is by making sure that air smells great, but not with an air freshener that masks it. You want to make sure you use an air freshener that eliminates it and that’s what Citrus Magic does. It’s a very powerful natural odor eliminating air freshener. Basically the way this works is through the power of natural citrus oil (it’s kind of mother natures air freshener) it will completely eliminate those odors. There’s three versions of it, there’s a solid, which gives you 24/7 odor elimination that lasts up to eight weeks; there’s a spray that instantly eliminates the odor; and then there’s a brand new product called Triple Action. This is a really neat product because it does three things – it absorbs the odor, it freshens the air and absorbs moisture. Inside the Triple Action there’s this tray that lifts out and there are moisture absorbing crystals, so the moisture gets absorbed there and it drains out through the tray into the base and you simply empty the base when it gets full. This is perfect for a musty closet or a damp basement or a bathroom.”
Candace Rose: Wasted energy means high utility bills. What’s the best way to tackle this problem?
Tom Kraeutler: “Well, one of the things you can do right now is if you don’t have it in your house, pick up a ceiling fan and here’s why – if you use a ceiling fan and you use it correctly, you can actually reduce your cooling costs by up to 47%. The ceiling fan was invented by the Hunter Fan company 125 years ago and basically uses very little energy to create a windchill effect. You can turn up your thermostat and set the blades to spin counterclockwise. Just go up about 60 degrees and turn the fan when you enter the room and off when you leave. That will reduce your cooling costs by 47%. Fans like this Hunter Orchard Park model are also energy star certified. That means they use 17 to 22 percent less energy used. They’re also rated for extreme elements, so they can be used outside a porch or a pergola. If you do that you spend less time running the a/c. It’s a great way to reduce cooling costs with a ceiling fan from Hunter.
Another way to reduce energy costs is by replacing your dryer. This is a brand new model from LG, it’s called the Eco Hybrid Dryer (please see video above for details). What’s unique about this is it’s the first dryer on the market to use unique heat pump technology to reduce energy by actually recycling the heat. In fact it will reduce your energy consumption by 57% while still delivering terrific drying performance. It works with select cycles like low temperature, cotton, normal, heavy duty and towels and it’s big! It’s got space for your entire families needs in 7.3 cubic feet and it’s available with a matching energy star certified washer, so between the two you’d have a whole laundry room green makeover.”
Candace Rose: How can I make my heating and cooling systems work more efficiently?
Tom Kraeutler: “Well, I’ll tell you, if you replace your filter besides having the air cleaner inside of the house, it will also mean that the a/c system can be more efficient because if the coils get dirty, it has to run longer to do the same thing.
Another thing to do is to pay attention to the cleaning products you’re using inside your house. Shaklee has a product called the Get Clean Kit which I really love. Shaklee has been around since the 50s and they make concentrated very green, very efficient products. In fact the Get Clean Kit sells for around $100. There’s enough cleaning power in here that if you had to buy ready to use cleaners to get the same amount of clean, you’d spend $3400. It’s incredibly concentrated for example one bottle of Basic H, you can make 16 ounces of cleaner. I use Fantastik and things like that before I got this. Three cents is all it costs to make that 16 ounce bottle of cleaner.
I’ll give you another example, it’s called Nature Bright (please see video above to watch Tom Kraeutler demonstrate how Nature Bright removes stains). I was looking at the instructions for Nature Bright before and you use a half a scoop full (it’s about the size of a thimble) it’s really incredible how little you need for the job with this product.
If you buy this Get Clean kit right now, you’ll also get a copy of our brand new book, ‘The Money Pit Guide To Green Remodeling’ absolutely free and that’s available at GreenMyMoneyPit.com. Go there, check it out. If for any reason you don’t like any of the products, they’ll even give you 100% of your money back, even if you send back the empty bottle. If you aren’t satisfied, money back guarantee and a free copy of ‘The Money Pit Guide To Green Remodeling’.
That’s it! Great ways to save energy, to cool your home, be comfortable, be green and clean all at the same time.”