The first rule in sustainability when it comes to energy is conservation. The EnergyStar program of the US Environmental Protection Agency is a good place to start.

  • Windows and Doors

    All of the windows and doors are EnergyStar certified. The windows -- from Sierra Pacific -- are aluminum-clad on the exterior and wood on the interior.

  • Lighting

    All lights in the house are EnergyStar. All of the light bulbs are compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED.

    There are no dimmer switches. Instead -- where we want the option of dim lighting -- a second switch lights a set of LED lights.

    All of the can lights are "air lock" type, sealed to minimize air leakage.


    Juno Lighting
    Model IC926 for sloped ceilings, with Air-Loc to stop infiltration and exfiltration

    Exterior lights have motion detectors. While this does cause the lights to come on when a deer walks by, this is still more energy-efficient than leaving the lights on all night.

    All exterior lights have shades, to ensure that the light is directed downward. We don't want to use precious energy to light up Outer Space.

  • Water Heating

    Keeping water hot in a hot-water heater is the greatest consumer of energy in a typical house. We have no hot-water heater.

    Instead, we have two on-demand water heaters. One is for the kitchen and bathrooms on the main floor and basement. The other is for the laundry room and bathrooms on the upper floor.

    They are located so the runs from each on-demand heater to the faucets are less than 20 feet.

  • Appliances

    All appliances are EnergyStar rated, where EnergyStar standards have been established. For us, these are:

    • Clothes washer
    • Dishwasher
    • Refrigerator

    For other appliances -- the clothes dryer, oven, and range -- we looked for models with very low energy usage, combined with durability and other features we wanted. We were able to obtain all of the appliances for a reasonable price.

  • Other Fixtures

    The ceiling fans in the living room and both bedrooms are EnergyStar rated.

    Exhaust fans in all of the bathrooms also are EnergyStar rated, and they have automatic timers so they'll run for a set amount of time and then turn themselves off.


    Model FV-11VQ3 Whisper-Ceiling fan
    110 cubic feet per minute

EnergyStar windows and doors by Sierra Pacific

Juno 'Air-Loc' can lights

Rinnai on-demand hot water heater

Energy Star logo

Panasonic EnergyStar bathroom exhaust fan

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