Category Archives: utilities

say bye-bye to extra refrigerators and freezers (especially if they’re from the ’80s or older) and save $

During an  energy audit today*, I was surprised to see the resident’s electricity usage on a recent utility bill. It was about “average” for a household in the area, but seemed  high for an elder one-person household. Most bulbs were … Continue reading

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when was the last time you vacuumed your refrigerator?

NEVER, probably. At least that was true for me until recently, when I cleaned the heat-exchange condenser coils, which are what cool your refrigerator by releasing heat. If the coils are covered in a blanket of dust, the refrigerator has … Continue reading

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10% water use reduction: what does that mean?

Here in drought-reality California, we’re being told to reduce our water usage, voluntarily. I’m all for water conservation, but what does a 10% reduction look like? My household of two uses 145 gallons per day*, so 10% means 14.5 gallons … Continue reading

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earth day: pick your battles

Today is Earth Day, so lots of attention is being paid to earth-friendly efforts. Fortunately, the interest in energy-saving and CO2-reducing efforts is increasing every day. But really, isn’t it Earth Day every day? Since the topic of this blog … Continue reading

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line drying: good for the earth, good for your clothes

90-degree April days, a perfect time to inaugurate my new clothesline. Did you know your clothes dryer accounts for about 10-15% of your house’s energy consumption? Do you know where all that lint comes from? YOUR CLOTHES! Have you noticed … Continue reading

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water audit

Take shorter showers! That’s the big take-away for today’s Water Wise House Call. The Ssnta Clara Valley Water District offers it free as part of their water conservation program. I signed up a few weeks ago as part of my … Continue reading

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water: how hot is too hot?

138ºF  water. Scalding hot. Waste-of-energy hot. Hurts-my-hands-to-wash-dishes hot. Risky-to-jump-in-the-shower hot. Sure, it’s better than the other way around–no hot water–but my guess was the water heater in my house was set too high. The recommended temp is 120 F. It’s … Continue reading

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