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Water Heater Efficiency Ratings

Water Heater Efficiency

According to, your water heater accounts for about 15-20% of your monthly energy bill.  When it comes time to purchase a new hot water heater, it is important to understand efficiency ratings of the many types of water heaters that are out there. 

Energy efficiency of water heaters is discussed in terms of two metrics: First-hour rating (FHR) and efficiency. First-hour rating (FHR) measures how much hot water is available during the busiest hour of the day. Interestingly, the size of the water heater does not always correlate with the FHR. More importantly, look for the recovery rating, which tells you how quickly the water heater will replace the hot water as it is used.... read more

Gas vs Electric Water Heater: Which is more efficient?

 Gas vs electric water heater

Hot water heaters last, on average, 13 years. So when it comes time to replace your existing water heater it’s important to do your research and make the right decision for your home.  Water heaters account for about 25% of your energy bill – that’s a pretty large chunk, and is why it often makes sense to spend a little more money initially. The big question that comes up is gas vs electric. Should you buy a gas water heater or electric? Which is cheaper, and more importantly, which is more efficient?

In short, gas (both natural gas and propane) water heaters are more efficient than electric.  It usually costs about 3x as much to heat the same amount of water with electricity as it does with gas (yes, I said THREE TIMES as much).... read more

Family Time: Benefits of Family Meals

We’ve all heard a million times how important it is to eat meals together as a family, but in practice few American families make it a priority. In 2010, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) released a comprehensive study looking at over a decade of data on family eating habits.  Here are some of the benefits of family meal time and tips to make it a reality in your home:... read more

10 Tips for Summer Energy Conservation (without spending a dime)

Energy savings

Here are some tips for staying cool this summer while decreasing your energy consumption.  If you're not ready to go solar, there are still plenty of changes you can make to reduce your carbon footprint.

1. Turn your thermostat to 120 degrees.  Run a meat thermometer under the water 5-6 hours after you lower the temperature and adjust the settings on the thermostat as necessary.

2. Wash your clothes in cold water.

3. Insulate your hot water heater.... read more

Have a Green 4th of July!

Green 4th of July

The Fourth of July is a time to get together with friends and family, to celebrate American history, and to eat BBQ in the summer fun.  Traditional 4th of July celebrations can create a lot of pollution.  It's easy to replace some old habits with new ones for this year's Independence Day.

Greener Grilling: On the Fourth of July alone, an estimated 60 million barbecues light up nationwide, consuming enough energy to power 20,000 households for an entire year. But who says you need to give up your hot dogs and steak in order to be an environmentalist? Buy a natural gas or infrared grill instead of dirty-burning charcoal. Avoid chrome-coated aluminum grills and instead opt for steel or cast iron (my favorite). Also, go with a smaller grill, as they take less energy to heat up.... read more

What are Energy Efficiency Window Films?

Window FilmEnergy experts agree that roughly 30% of your cooling is lost due to heat entering through windows. That adds up to a lot of money! Energy efficiency window films are one way you can intercept that solar heat from getting into your house and zapping your cool air, especially if your home was built before 1980.

There are many types of window film available that serve a variety of purposes – to provide shade, UV protection, privacy, solar heat reduction, and heat retention. Heat rejection film, more commonly called energy efficiency window films, can reduce energy loss by 30-50% and is inexpensive compared to other energy saving home improvement projects. Window films are dyed, metalized, or ceramic in order to reject solar heat back from the window instead of letting it flow through into your house.... read more

Tell World Leaders to End $775 Billion Subsidies to Oil, Gas, and Coal Companies NOW!

Join Keen For Green and environmental-minded people around the globe today, June 18th 2012. Let our world leaders know that Fossil Fuel subsidies must end now. Tweet and Facebook #endfossilfuelsubsidies.... read more

Home Window Efficiency Testing

About one-third of your heating and cooling are lost as heat transfers through your windows. While window technology has improved dramatically over the past 20-30 years, newer windows still contribute to home energy loss significantly. There are many things you can do to improve the efficiency of your home windows. The best place to start is with testing the efficiency of your windows to determine if it is time to invest in new windows, or if there are smaller improvements you can make to your existing windows.  ... read more

Home Energy Use Facts


Here are some astonishing tidbits and facts I have discovered about home energy use in the United States. 

The average home contributes more air pollution than does the average car.

Every time you open the refrigerator door, up to one-third of the cold air can escape.

Switching from ten 100-watt bulbs to ten 40-watt bulbs saves 600 watt hours. That savings is for every hour the lights are on. Saving 0.6 kWh from changing 10 light bulbs x 8 hours/day x 365 days/yr = 1752 kWh.... read more

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