1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

October 21, 2008

:295 Clear Gutters

Filed under: :295 Clear Gutters — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 6:32 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:295 EcoTip: Autumn is here and leaves are starting to fall. Make sure you clear your gutters on a regular basis so they are ready for rain. Clogged gutters will overflow and can lead to saturation of the foundation, and water backing up under the roof into the eaves and possibly into wall cavities.

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 Additional Information:

Gutter shields are available that will help keep leaves out of the gutter, but the leaves can still block the gutter shield. If you are using gutter shields make sure to keep them clear as well.

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October 20, 2008

:294 Storm Shutters

Filed under: :294 Storm Shutters — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:17 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:294 EcoTip: Shutters can help protect a building from many types of storms. Fire shutters, hurricane shutters and storm shutters are all available. When choosing a shutter type-make sure it is easy to install and remove or better yet – get a type that a both functional and decorative so that they can remain in place year round – ready to use at a moments notice.

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 Additional Information:

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October 19, 2008

:293 Rain Barrels

Filed under: :293 Rain Barrels — Tags: , , , , — John Banta @ 12:19 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:293 EcoTip: Rain barrels can be used for storing water during periods of rain so the water can be used later. For information about using rain barrels safely and effectively check out www.rainbarrelguide.com.

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 Additional Information:

Rain barrels can be a helpful way to store water, but there are important considerations – like making sure that misquotes can’t use them as a breeding ground and children won’t drowned. www.rainbarrelguide.com has a lot of very good information about using rainbarrels.

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October 18, 2008

:292 Gallons per Flush

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:292 EcoTip: You can learn how many gallons of water are used each time you flush your toilet by following the steps outlined below.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :138

To determine the gallons of water used each time you flush the toilet:

  1. Shut the toilet’s water flow off at the shut-off valve.
  2. Check the level of water in the tank.
  3. Flush the toilet.  The water will go down but not refill since the valve is shut off.
  4. Use a gallon size container to refill the tank to the fill line.
  5. Now that you know how much water your toilet uses per flush check out post :138 for information about low-flush toilets that really work to see how much water you could be saving.

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October 17, 2008

:291 Attic Ventilation

Filed under: :291 Attic Ventilation — Tags: , , , , — John Banta @ 12:18 am
Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.
 
1:5:10:291 EcoTip:  Proper attic ventilation will increase roof life and reduce the chance of developing attic mold. The ventilation requirements for attics vary depending on the climate where the home is located. Assuming your home was built correctly – look for changes that may cause problems. For example leaves and debris may clog attic vent screens. Holes in screens may provide a path for rodent, bird, bat and insect infestations
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 Additional Information:

The following information is from the EPAs EnergyStar Program:

Natural Attic Ventilation

At first it may seem odd to add insulation for warmth and then purposely allow cold air to enter the attic through vents, but this combination is the key to a durable and energy-efficient home. Here’s why: in the winter, allowing a natural flow of outdoor air to ventilate the attic helps keep it cold, which reduces the potential for ice damming (snow that melts off a roof from an attic that is too warm and then re-freezes at the gutters, causing an ice dam that can damage the roof). Proper insulation and air sealing also keeps attics cold in winter by blocking the entry of heat and moist air from below. In the summer, natural air flow in a well-vented attic moves super-heated air out of the attic, protecting roof shingles and removing moisture. The insulation will resist heat transfer into the house.

The most common mistake homeowners make when installing insulation is to block the flow of air at the eaves. NEVER COVER ATTIC SOFFIT VENTS WITH INSULATION — use rafter vents and soffit vents to maintain airflow.

For more information about attic ventilation check out Joe Lstiburek’s website. He has several documents posted that discuss attic ventilation requirements for different parts of the country. For example if you live in a hot humid climate – there will be different considerations. http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/digests/bsd-102-understanding-attic-ventilation/

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October 16, 2008

:290 Attic Check

Filed under: :290 Attic Check — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:25 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:290 EcoTip: With winter coming, its time to check your attic. If you can’t do this safely or know what you are looking for, it is best to have this done by a professional. If the temperature difference between inside and outside is at least 20 degrees F, then a cold weather thermal imaging of the attic will help to identify problem areas like missing insulation and air infiltration paths. As it gets cooler, it also makes sense to have your attic checked for condensation moisture on the underside of the roof sheathing which can lead to mold growth, material deterioration and a shorter roof life.

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October 15, 2008

:289 Change Filters

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:289 EcoTip: Even if you don’t have a full scale service and cleaning for your heating system, you should change the filters. As the filter loads with dirt the air flow is reduced – which can waste energy. See EcoTip :110 for information on upgrading filters.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :110

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October 14, 2008

:288 Service Furnace

Filed under: :288 Service Furnace — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:07 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:288 EcoTip: With winter coming – it is time to have your furnace system cleaned, checked and tuned-up for maximum energy efficiency and savings.

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October 13, 2008

:287 Seal Attic Hatch

Filed under: :287 Seal Attic Hatch — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:40 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:287 EcoTip: As you are reviewing your preparations for winter – take a look at the attic access hatch and see if it needs sealing. You can use the techniques in :039 & :040 to look for air flow infiltration. Depending on the type of hatch, you may be able to use weather stripping.

Source: Battic at – http://www.batticdoor.com/atticstairinsulator.html

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :039, :040

Also take a look at the information from Battic. They have kits for sealing attic stairway hatches.

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October 12, 2008

:286 Beneficial Nematodes

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:286 EcoTip: Beneficial nematodes are microscopic roundworms that are used as an organic grub control for soil in lawns and gardens. The nematode enters the grub’s body releasing a bacteria that attacks and kills the grub. The nematodes then use their host to feed and breed. The fall is a great time to use beneficial nematodes while grubs are active and preparing for winter. Two applications 7 spaced days apart is best for breaking the cycle.

Credit: ARBICO-Organics

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

It is important to use the right nematode for the job. Some nematodes work best for mobile pests (see :241 about flea control) For soil grubs, beetles, weevils and borers you want to use a stationary nematode like Heterohabditis bacteriophora. They are available from ARBICO Organics.

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