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Urban Referrals

(202) 332-0848

2630 12th St NE Washington DC 20018

What is “green”?

We at Urban Referrals define “green” as employing practices and using products that are “earth-friendly” by reducing people’s carbon footprints or by reducing one’s harmful resource consumption. Our time on this earth is precious and borrowed and we need to have as little negative impact as possible on the earth’s ecosystems.

 What does this mean in practical terms?

What this means for you (homeowners / renters / investors) is that you may want to become more knowledgeable about the products you use in your every day lives and the way you manage your energy usage. This will result in a more eco-friendly lifestyle and can save you money on your energy bills.

 What do “Green” and “Energy Savings” have in common?

Especially as it relates to energy usage in your home, people can reduce their carbon footprint by reducing their energy usage. This translates directly into energy savings. In order to assess energy efficiency, one needs to perform a comprehensive review of building envelope, lighting and other electrical usage, appliances, air leakage analysis heating and air condition systems, combustion analysis and water usage. This will provide an understanding of the energy efficiency in your home.

 Is Green just about Saving Energy?

No. In fact, energy savings is just one component. In the end, what we are trying to do is be earth-friendly with the products we use and the things we do. In addition, we need to consider things like water quality and indoor air quality. It is about living a healthier life by limiting exposure to VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) found in paints, carpets among other household items.

 What are the most common causes of energy leaks in a home?

This depends in many cases on the style and size of a home (sprawling ranch versus tall multi-story Victorian), but in general we have found that the main loss of energy occurs in the following order: 1) through leaks between conditioned space and the attic and poorly insulated attic, 2) through leaks and poorly insulated band-joists in the basement, 3) through leaks and poor insulation through walls and 4) through leaky, drafty windows. As a result, the “biggest bang for the buck” in saving energy in your home may be to do a proper air sealing and insulation of your attic. While addressing the other issues may be important and in some cases desirable, the cost-benefit analysis is often not as good.

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