Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It’s Easy Being Green – Tips from Hunter Douglas

It’s Easy Being Green – Tips from Hunter Douglas

Insulate Everywhere It Counts

And don’t forget the window. Remember that nearly five percent of all energy consumed in the U.S. is lost through the windows of our homes. Be sure you use double-glazed windows and that window seals are tight and/or caulked. Select super-energy-efficient products from Hunter Douglas such as Duette® Architella honeycomb shades with their honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction to help protect against heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.

Automate Window Coverings
To make the most of the natural heating and lighting power of the sun, window coverings should be automated to open and close at set times. Attach an inexpensive BTU sensor to the window and pre-set your motorization system. You need to integrate your window fashions with the other systems in your home – including media, security and electric lighting systems – for energy-savings potential to be maximized. All should be able to communicate with one another to optimize energy savings.

Go On a Power Strip
Power strips aren’t just for your computer gear. Use them for TVs, VCRs and appliances – electronic “vampires” that suck electricity to the tune of $1 billion a year when not in use. Turn them all off with one quick click.

The Light From Above
Light should enter the room from the highest point. Use products such as Duette® honeycomb shades, Silhouette® window shadings and Vignette® Modern Roman Shades from Hunter Douglas in a Top-Down/Bottom-Up configuration that lets you open from the top and stack at the bottom. This allows light to stream in from the top of the window, effectively lighting the room without electricity, while providing a measure of privacy and a view

How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint? Replace conventional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). They cost a little more, but last up to 10 times longer, use two-thirds less energy and give off 70 percent less heat. Turn off lights and electronics when you leave the room.

Turn It Down
Lowering your thermostat by just one degree can reduce costs by about four percent. Using a ceiling fan in the summer and the winter can also help lower A/C and heating energy consumption.

Filter It Out
Keep air conditioner and heating filters clean and replace fiberglass filters with reusable, washable ones.

Your Solar System
In the U.S. , a home solar system can meet about three quarters of a family’s energy needs. A 4,000-watt solar-power system costs about $20,000, yet may qualify for significant tax credits. In states offering additional rebates and financial incentives, return on investment can be achieved in seven to 10 years.

Lean Green Washing Machine

Improvements in technology and effective, environmentally friendly laundry products mean there’s no need to use hot water in the laundry. Enjoy savings in electricity and a kinder, gentler treatment of fabrics and the environment.

Go Low With the Flow
Invest in low-flow water fixtures for shower, faucets and toilets and reduce water consumption and electricity costs as much as 50 percent.

Grime Out
Household cleaning and laundry products such as bleach, detergents and phosphates add fumes, carcinogenic toxins and other dangerous substances to clothing and household surfaces and then get poured down the drain to do permanent damage to the planet. Inexpensive natural cleaning products such as white vinegar with lemon juice, baking soda and borax are safe, sustainable and work on a multitude of household objects.

Bag It
Plastic bags have a lifespan of 500 years. Cut down or eliminate their use altogether by bringing cloth bags to the supermarket, cutting down on trash and giving garbage new life in a compost heap instead of a trash bag.

The Constant Gardener
Even if you don’t talk to them, plants are living things with a job to do – clean the air. Include houseplants in your interiors – one for every 10 yards of space. Outside, plant shrubs and flowers that require less water and replace harsh pesticides with natural substances.

With these tips and more, being green can be easier and more impactful than you think.

Hunter Douglas Inc. is a national sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, covering windows in every Habitat home built in the U.S. and Canada . Headquartered in Upper Saddle River N.J. , the company is the leading manufacturer of custom window fashions in North America . For more information visit:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wood blinds slats are the lightest of all blinds and are generally the best bet for large windows. They are known to give a cozy feel to the room and provide the desired privacy, even while allowing enough sunlight to filter through the slats.