Project Green: Inside the home of Reed Yadon


Posted on May 25, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 1:27 PM

(WHAS11) - For the past 3 weeks we've been visiting the homes of WHAS 11 Storm Team finding out what they're doing to live a greener lifestyle.

Our tour of homes concludes this week with meteorologist Reed Yadon.

Welcome to Yadon house. This week let's talk about the color green, but the perspective is the green that goes in your pocket.There's a lot of things you can do to help the environment and preserve our natural resources. But you can also pocket a lot of savings instantly. In my home , I like a lot of windows, which gives an open airy feeling. I like a lot of light coming in, but that presents a problem; because the heat also comes in.Well, there's an answer; you can tint your windows.

Chad Sievert of the Tint Shop in Louisville says tinting reflects heats out before it ever enters the room, and in the winter the same tinting keeps the glass from getting cold, as it acts as a thermal barrier. There's another benefit too, the tint can reject up to 99% of UV. This number depends on the type of tint you select. Blocking the UV keeps carpet, hardwood and furniture fabric from fading. If you're going to tint your windows make sure to do your research. The wrong tint can cause problems with the seals on the glass.

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In a year a half my records show tinting the windows lowered my utility bills by 8 to 10 percent.

Green a good color in the garage too. If you see green valve stem covers, you know the tires in that vehicle are filled with nitrogen.

Jaye Parker, a service advisor with Lexus of Louisville tells me the main advantage is knowing your tires are properly inflated at all times. Because you have proper inflation, you'll get better gas mileage. Tires not properly inflated by 20% can cost you 10% in gas mileage.Nitrogen is a very stable gas, and unlike air it is not subject to the expansion and contraction. This also means you're low tire pressure warning light won't be going off when it turns cold. Keeping a constant pressure in your tires will produce a mileage increase of 2 to 3 miles per gallon. On top of that, you add 25% of life to your tires, so you end up buying fewer tires for your car.Since nitrogen does produce moisture inside the tire, you won't be fighting rust on those expense wheels.

On my Lexus RX 350 mileage around town improved 10%, and on long trips I see up to 15% better mileage. The cost to fill 5 tires with nitrogen is $39.50, with no charge for top offs. The changeover takes less an hour.

I found out quickly the dollar saving with the low energy lights bulbs. Just for outdoor security lights I was changing 6 bulbs 3 times a year. The low energy bulbs have been in for over a yea, and they're still going. The savings amounts $75.00 just in the cost of bulbs, not counting electricity.

I like to try to find a second or third use for just about everything for throwing it away. The small plastic bags the newspaper comes in are perfect for cleaning out the cat's liter box.

I like to get off the grid whenever possible. So, I have two radios that allow me to do just that. I never need to replace batteries. Using a small crank for less than a minute will get me an hour of listening. Both radios also have solar panels, so I can go with sun power, or even the light in a room. There are inputs on both radios for listening to an iPod.

I enjoy riding bicycles and motorcycles or scooters. Just using a scooter for short trips around town cuts immediate dollars out of the gas bill. I have a Yamaha Vino that gets well over 90 miles to the gallon. It is perfect for the city streets, but forget the expressways. With our system of parkways in Louisville it's possible to travel to all parts of town without using the expressway.

A crawl space can be a source of a lot of cold air in winter and produce a musty smell in the house. With a little online research I found a low cost solution. I put gravel down first and covered it with heavy plastic to act a vapor barrier. Then I insulated between the floor joists. In this case remember to leave the exposed side of the insulation facing down. I found a year round savings in heat and air conditioning, plus no cold floor in winter. My utility savings are over $150.00 a year.

I enjoy tracking the savings that can result by making an effort to lead a greener lifestyle. This involves keeping detailed records, but knowing the green you're keeping in your pocket makes it all worth the effort.

I confess that I'll never be totally green at Yadon house. I have a black cat named Bob, and he owns the place. I just live there.