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From New York City in Honor Of Everything GREEN

  • Transcript

    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And welcome to a very special edition of The Money Pit. We are celebrating everything green today and showing you that you don’t have to be a superhero to save the Earth. There are a few, small steps taken in your own home – can really have a big impact on the environment and in, most importantly, your wallet.

    LESLIE: That’s right. We are coming to you from New York City. While this might not be the first place that comes to your mind when you think “clean environment,” but New York has made real strides towards going green. You know, we’ve got hybrid taxi cabs here and even some recognition from the EPA for our ENERGY STAR buildings.

    TOM: And we’re at The Home Depot on 23rdStreet. They’re really into the spirit of Earth Day this whole month, with a line of Earth-friendly products that you can buy every day. And they’re called Eco Options. And that’s a really cool program, because everything that’s in the Eco Options brand has met rigorous standards to make sure that they save you energy and save you money. So we’re going to be talking about some of those products that can actually add some cash back into your wallet and some green back into the planet.

    LESLIE: Can’t talk about a good, energy-efficient home without talking about its windows and doors because they are key to its energy efficiency. We’re going to discuss the best options out there.

    TOM: And we’re also going to cover a toilet that will not only save you the headache of never having to worry about a clog but it’s also going to save lives in parts of the world with bad sanitation. Very cool.

    LESLIE: Alright. Well, let’s get things started with a look at what we can do to be eco-friendly during a construction project. Now, there are such things as eco-friendly tools and here to discuss our options is [Dimos Kazamias] (sp) from TTI. And of course, they are the manufacturer of RIDGID and Ryobi products.

    Welcome, Dimos (sp).

    DIMOS (sp): Hi, Tom. Hi, Leslie. How are you?

    TOM: Hey, we’re great. So, let me ask you a question about the greenness of battery technology because it’s not something that we normally think about. As a country, we’re switching off of NiCad batteries and we’re going more towards lithium ion. And I know that Home Depot has a recycling program. They’re really leaders in that where you can bring your batteries back to the store for recycling purposes. What do you guys recommend that folks do with old batteries when they’re switching them out?

    DIMOS (sp): Sure. Well, Ryobi and RIDGID both work with the RBRC program.

    TOM: OK.

    DIMOS (sp): And actually, what they do is they provide drop stations throughout the U.S., where you can go recycle your used batteries.

    TOM: OK.

    DIMOS (sp): And the toll-free number for that is located on each battery pack that we offer.

    TOM: That’s really smart. And why would we want to switch over to lithium ion? What are some of the qualities of lithium ion that we don’t have with NiCad batteries?

    DIMOS (sp): Sure, Tom. There’s a few different advantages that you get with lithium ion that you don’t get from NiCad. Number one, it’s safe for the environment and easily recyclable, like I just mentioned. Runs longer, actually, so this reduces the amount of recharging that you actually do with the batteries.

    TOM: Right.

    DIMOS (sp): Lithium ion actually stores more energy in a more compact size, which reduces the amount of materials used for packing and storing. And lithium-ion batteries actually create corded-like power so you can reduce the use of traditional tools, like corded drills or corded circular saws.

    LESLIE: And I think what’s interesting – when lithium ion first hit the market, it really gave me – you know, a girl builder – the opportunity to work with a much more powerful tool, where I simply couldn’t do it with a NiCad. Because an 18-volt driver drill was just too heavy for me to actually wield, so I was stuck in the 14-volt category.

    DIMOS (sp): Sure.

    LESLIE: And sometimes, I needed that extra power. So this is great because I get a much more powerful tool in something I can really handle much more easily.

    TOM: Right.

    DIMOS (sp): Yeah, that’s correct. And especially for – if you want the power of an 18-volt, now you can use it because the batteries are more compact in size or lighter weight. And you can get that 18-volt power with the weight of, say, an older NiCad 12-volt.

    TOM: Now, what are some of the new tools that you guys are bringing out this spring at Home Depots across the country? What’s kind of new to the market? What’s cool?

    DIMOS (sp): Well, yeah, along with all the lithium-ion battery packs, it’s part of our One+ system, actually, so even if you have the old battery packs, you can upgrade to the new battery packs – the lithium ion – and they will work on the old tools. Coming out with a whole new range of tools, of cordless hammer drills, drill drivers and packs, pretty much any tool that you need to accomplish any specific job.

    TOM: And that’s kind of cool because you wouldn’t think of a hammer drill – something that really needs that much power – to be possible to run off a battery. But you can today.

    LESLIE: And I think it’s interesting, Dimos (sp), that when I think of a battery-powered tool, I never think about the charger and what energy I’m using there to charge, actually, those rechargeable batteries. But you guys actually have a battery-charging platform that’s actually ENERGY STAR-rated?

    DIMOS (sp): Yeah, it is ENERGY STAR-rated, actually, and Eco Option-certified. See, what happens with that is that the – it charges the battery only when necessary. So when the battery is topped-off, it goes into a sleep mode and it stops charging that battery.

    TOM: Oh, that’s really smart. Very cool. [Dimos Kazamias] (sp) from TTI, manufacturers of both RIDGID and Ryobi power tools, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    DIMOS (sp): Yeah, no problem. Thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Candace, who’s here shopping at The Home Depot, from New Jersey.

    Welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    CANDACE: Thanks, guys. I had some really nice, big trees that were providing my house some nice shade, that I actually lost in Hurricane Sandy. And now the roof of my house is getting a lot of sun exposure and I have two layers of asphalt shingles on it.

    TOM: Yep.

    CANDACE: I just want to know, is that going to be bad going down the line?

    TOM: Well, I mean your roof will wear out a little more quickly because it’s got more sun now. But definitely, the next time you want to replace that roof, we would recommend that you take off both layers.

    Generally, best practice is to always strip off all the old layers of roofing. Now, I know that, economically, some people try to save some money. But truthfully, that new layer is going to last as long as possible if it doesn’t have multiple layers of asphalt underneath, because that asphalt holds a lot of heat. So, if it holds a lot of heat, it’s going to radiate up into the new layer and dry it out more quickly, which means it’s going to have a shorter life.

    CANDACE: OK. And what about different options besides asphalt? Is that the most eco-friendly choice?

    TOM: Well, certainly, there are a lot of options in asphalt that you should think about.

    For example, Leslie, I know that you’ve been planning a roof. What are you going to do? Going to have something that looks like a cedar shake, for example, or …?

    LESLIE: No, I’m going with your standard asphalt roofing that – I think they call it “dimensional three-tab.” It has a lot of dimension to it but we have several layers of roof on our home that’s been there for years and years. So I’m looking at this as a great, fresh start. I’m getting the 30-year, so that’ll really stand up.

    If you’re looking for something that’s going to go 50 years or plus, a metal roof is a great option and can be – I don’t want to say manufactured but they’re made to look like a variety of styles of roofing shingles.

    TOM: Right, exactly.

    LESLIE: Super-lightweight. They’re made to reflect the heat away and since now you’ve got a ton of sunlight pouring down on your house, it can help you get that extra heat off of the house.

    It is pricier up front but in the long run, it’s going to last twice as long as any other roof out on the market.

    TOM: And there’s also composite shingles, as well.

    LESLIE: Well, those are interesting, too.

    TOM: They can last 50 years, even 75 years. So you have a lot of options, depending on what your budget is.

    LESLIE: Well, here’s a super-simple tip that can save energy and money. Before you turn your faucet or your washer to hot, just stop and ask yourself, “Do I really need hot water for this?” Although my son never uses hot water for anything, so he’s good.

    TOM: Now, Leslie and I both have kids so trust us, we know the answer is going to be yes, sometimes. But check out the statistic: 80 percent of the time, the answer is no.

    Now, if you’re cleaning your kitchen, you don’t need hot water and you don’t need to leave the faucet running. The same goes for mopping water anywhere in the house. Most laundry is fine with cold water, as well.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what? Rinsing your dishes in hot water before you put them in the dishwasher is a double-fail. Not only do you not need the hot water, you don’t actually need water at all. All you need to do is scrape off the food and then put those dishes in the dishwasher. So our parents totally lied to us growing up about cleaning those plates really well.

    You know, it really is a small thing that you can do but it gives your water heater a break. And it’s actually going to give you a break on your bill, as well.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you from The Home Depot on 23rdStreettoday in New York City. We are honoring Mother Earth by helping you find ways to make changes to your home that will help you save money and energy.

    LESLIE: Up next, when looking to keep cold air out and warm air in, you need to look no further than your front door. We’re going to talk about the latest technology in storm doors, after this.

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    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. And we are coming to you today, from New York City, in honor of everything green. We’re bringing you information today on products and materials that will save you money and energy and maybe help keep your environmental conscience, too.

    TOM: Absolutely. It’s a big milestone for people around the world who’ve been celebrating Earth Day since the first one back in 1970.

    LESLIE: You know what? And since then, we’ve learned a lot more about saving energy in your home. And one area that’s seen great improvement is in windows and doors. Andersen has new fiberglass and storm doors that we’ve been checking out here at The Home Depot. And Rich Allen from Andersen is joining us now to talk about it.

    TOM: Welcome, Rich.

    RICH: Hi. It’s a pleasure to be here.

    TOM: So, Rich, let’s start by talking about the storm doors. And I actually put in one of your easy-to-install storm doors last summer.

    Now, I’ve got to tell you that every time something is labeled “easy,” it’s usually not. But this actually was really easy to install. It was almost sort of pre-hung.

    RICH: That’s fantastic. I’m glad you had that type of an experience. I know we’ve really worked very hard over the last number of years. Andersen, we’re a 110-year-old company, made in America.

    And one of the things we strive to do is to make things easier for the customer to be able to use our products. And for years, customers – and the storm doors really is a product that, typically, they’re going to – do-it-yourself.

    TOM: Right.

    RICH: There are some contractors I saw – Home Depot does installation, as well.

    TOM: Yep.

    RICH: But the majority of the doors are installed – and one of the feedback we’ve received from customers was just how difficult it was. You’ve got all these pieces; they’re not attached. You’ve got to cut, drill, punch.

    TOM: You’ve got to carry a piece to fit. Right, exactly.

    RICH: Right. It was a challenge. So our engineers got together and they came up with a great system that coming out of the box, it takes about 45 minutes to put one of these doors in.

    Economically, it’s a fairly inexpensive way of doing a home improvement on your house, less than $300. Basically takes about as much time as it takes a person to cut their grass, really, to get that done.

    TOM: Yeah.

    RICH: And now, all of a sudden, you have this beautiful door in the front.

    LESLIE: Now, I think that’s great. And I personally took the storm door off of my house and I can’t tell you how unusual it’s been of an experience without the storm door. You order a pizza, the pizza delivery man walks right in. You have trick-or-treaters, they walk right in.

    RICH: Yep.

    LESLIE: I’m thinking about putting one back. But say you’re not going for a storm-door category, you’re given so many choices in your entry systems. Is the best material, the sort of new way of thinking, fiberglass?

    RICH: That’s correct. One of the beautiful things about fiberglass is it’s not going to swell like wood when it gets wet.

    TOM: Right.

    RICH: It’s not going to rust like steel. Well, over the years, time with moisture with a lot of the maintenance aspects of it, fiberglass is going to outperform all the other product lines out there.

    TOM: Yeah. Yeah. And the other thing that I think Andersen has always been a leader on is in the quality of the glass that you put in your windows and your sliding doors and things like that. Rare is the day when you find an Andersen panel that’s failed.

    RICH: That’s correct. We have superior glass-manufacturing capabilities. We have one of the industry-leading warranties out there to kind of back up that claim as well as, really, a first-class service department, should you have any types of issues, to be able to handle that.

    TOM: We’re talking to Rich Allen – he is joining us today at The Home Depot in New York City and he represents Andersen – about some of the new, eco-friendly home improvement products that Andersen makes.

    And I want to go back to the storm door because I think that a lot of folks don’t recognize the fact that if you add a storm door to an existing door, that you really pick up the energy efficiency of the entire entryway, correct?

    RICH: That’s quite a bit. I’ve seen studies that a tremendous amount of energy is lost through the windows and doors from inside a home.

    TOM: Right.

    RICH: A front-door entryway, obviously, is designed to be open. And having a storm door – a good-quality storm door – on there, you’re going to reduce the amount of air infiltration to be able to – comes around the sides.

    So during the winter months, it’s great to be able to open your front door and to be able to let sunshine in. Brings up some warmth. And then when you get into the spring and summer seasons when you want to have more of a cooling season, you’re able to open that screen door up and be able to get proper ventilation through, with one hand, with our door.

    TOM: Yeah. And we have fiberglass entry doors in our home that look like wood. They’re beautiful doors but I did add a storm door on top of that. In my case, I wasn’t really concerned about the energy efficiency but I was concerned about the increased light and increased ventilation. Because on a pleasant day that’s maybe 50 or 60 degrees out, we can leave the inside door open and get all of that light into the house. And when it gets a little bit warmer out, we can leave the door open and have all that air ventilation coming through without worrying about the bugs.

    RICH: That’s correct. At Andersen, we have a self-storing door. So a lot of people are concerned about taking the full glass out and not having any place to store. Our Easy Series door – our 3000 Series sold at Home Depot – has a self-storing application. It’s a one-hand operation. You do not need to remove any kind of a panel. We call it “anytime ventilation.”

    TOM: Right.

    RICH: It gives that as an option, so it’s really a superior product for you.

    LESLIE: So it all sort of stores in that lower panel of the door.

    RICH: Yes, ma’am. Very good. Exactly it.

    TOM: Wow, that’s …

    LESLIE: That’s really great.

    Now, when it comes to selecting the glass for your storm door, do you have as many options as you would with a traditional door?

    RICH: Yes, ma’am, we do. We have very much – we have an art-glass collection that many people choose to put onto their front doors to really jazz up that look. We also have – the low-E glass coatings are available for additional energy performance. And we have a laminate glass door that’ll give you more security.

    Please visit us at StormDoors.com for further information. You’ll find our website easy to navigate.

    TOM: Excellent. Rich Allen from Andersen, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    RICH: Thank you, sir. It was a pleasure.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re going to be talking to Sue in New York who’s dealing with some mold in the bathroom.

    Welcome, Sue.

    SUE: I have a bathroom that has mold all over the caulking.

    TOM: OK.

    SUE: I’ve tried bleach and water but I was wondering if there’s something else I can do to get rid of the mold on the caulking.

    TOM: Yeah, a couple of things. First of all, we want to take you back to the beginning of this project. So the first thing you need to do is get rid of all of that old, nasty caulk. You do that …

    LESLIE: Yeah, because that’s probably coming from the back side and seeping through.

    TOM: Yeah, who knows where it’s coming through but …

    LESLIE: You’ve probably done as much as you can already.

    TOM: Yeah. I mean you don’t want to put good caulk over bad caulk.

    LESLIE: Right.

    TOM: So, there’s a product on the shelves at The Home Depot called “caulk softener.” And it’s like paint thinner or like paint stripper. And it softens that caulk and makes it easy to get all that old stuff out, including the stuff that’s dug into the tile seam. So you really want to put that on there, clean as much of the old stuff out.

    And the next thing that you want to do after that is to spray a mixture of bleach and water against that whole seam area.

    LESLIE: Right.

    TOM: Because that will kill anything that’s there. After that, you want to fill the tub with water. People don’t think of this step, right?

    LESLIE: Right.

    TOM: And the reason you want to do that is …

    LESLIE: And it really is a good trick of the trade.

    TOM: Yeah, because you want to weight it down. And that’s what happens when you get in the tub and kids get in the tub and you kind of stretch that tub out. That will pull that caulk seam apart. So by weighting it down with water, you are all set for the final step, which is simply to apply the caulk. Now, the selection of the caulk’s important. You want to make sure that you use one that has a mildicide in it.

    So if you get rid of the mold that’s there to begin with, if you strip out all the old caulk, if you weight the tub down with water and then you caulk it, let it dry, let the water out of the tub, the tub will come back up, it will compress the caulk and you’ll be good to go. It won’t pull away and it will not grow mold any further.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. No. And it really is a very simple, do-it-yourself project. So that would really take care of that.

    Next up, we’ve got Michelle in Michigan who’s got a question about LED lighting.

    Welcome, Michelle.

    MICHELLE: The problem is my husband is going crazy buying these LED bulbs.

    TOM: OK.

    MICHELLE: And he’s replacing every light in the house with these LED bulbs. And I’m just wondering if this is a smart thing to do. Is this the right direction to go in? Are we really saving money in the long run?

    TOM: Well, absolutely, it’s the right direction to go in because these bulbs use so much less energy than incandescent bulbs. For example, the new Cree LED bulb uses 84 percent less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And an LED bulb is going to last about 22 years. So when you think about the cost, you’re spending, what, $10 perhaps for an LED bulb and it’s going to last you 22 years.

    TOM: Yep.

    LESLIE: How many times would you change an incandescent in that time period? A lot.

    TOM: Yeah. And the technology is rock-solid today, so I think he is on the right track. And you don’t have to tell him that; you can just sort of stop bugging him about it. We’ll keep your secret but …

    LESLIE: Well, you know what? I also think that the LED – the lighting quality is so much nicer.

    TOM: Absolutely.

    LESLIE: It’s just more comfortable. It gives you a more even, warm glow that I think we’ve all become so used to from an incandescent and we’re kind of missing in the CFL category.

    TOM: Yeah. And those Cree bulbs are cool because they have a safety coating on them. So, if you drop one, it doesn’t shatter.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s really smart.

    TOM: It stays sort of intact and of course, you throw it out and just buy a new one. But there’s a lot of advantages to going LED today, Michelle, so I think your husband is on the right track.

    LESLIE: The Money Pit special broadcast continues, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Trex, the world’s number-one, wood-alternative decking brand. Just in time to give your outdoor-living space a summer upgrade, Trex Enhance Decking is available, in stock, at your local Home Depot. To learn more about the long-lasting beauty, hassle-free maintenance and industry-leading warranty of Trex Enhance, visit HomeDepot.Trex.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Coming to you today from New York City. We’re in Home Depot, the 23rdStreetlocation. And we are celebrating all things green this hour. We’re helping you make smart choices that will help the planet and your home improvement budget.

    LESLIE: That’s right. You know, April has sort of become synonymous with all things green because of Earth Day. Now, the very first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970. And if you’re old enough to remember the 70s, you’d probably recall that there was a lot of waste going on during that time period. Nobody recycled anything, really. And we just figured dirty air was the price to pay for progress. And clean water, well, that was just taken for granted.

    TOM: But 43 years later, we’ve gotten a lot smarter about conservation. We also know we can no longer take sanitation and clean water for granted. And now, American Standard has a toilet that can help your household save water and help those who live without proper sanitation around the world. Jeannette Long is with American Standard and joins us now to talk about the Champion Toilet.

    Welcome, Jeannette.

    JEANNETTE: Thank you. It’s great to be here.

    TOM: And we’re so glad to have you. Let’s start by talking about this new product. Well, it’s not terribly new, because I’ve actually got two Champion toilets in my home and I’ve got to say, you guys advertise them as virtually clog-free. Mine have been clog-free for, I guess, a couple of years now.

    JEANNETTE: That’s great to hear.

    TOM: So they really do work.

    JEANNETTE: Yeah, yeah. We’ve been continually making improvements, so the newest addition to the Champion family is actually our WaterSense-approved 1.28 gallon. So, it’s now – has all the great power features that you have in your toilet. Virtually clog-free and it will save 20 percent on your water bill.

    TOM: And think about that: 1.28 gallons.

    LESLIE: That’s not a lot of water.

    TOM: That is not a lot of water. Just a tiny bit more than 1¼ gallons of water does the job. And that’s the thing. I mean I think folks want to be green and they want to buy products that are going to save …

    LESLIE: You don’t really want to think about your toilet having a mishap.

    TOM: Right. But …

    LESLIE: Let’s say it correctly. Not (inaudible at 0:21:50).

    TOM: If there’s one place in your house that we need – I think the key word is performance?

    LESLIE: Yes.

    JEANNETTE: That’s right.

    TOM: We want your toilet to work properly and this one does.

    JEANNETTE: That’s true. The Champion is guaranteed to work every time. Flush once and never look back.

    TOM: I like that. I like that.

    JEANNETTE: Even with less water, yeah.

    TOM: Yeah.

    JEANNETTE: And the toilet is important in your home because it takes a full 25 percent of the water that’s used in a home. So it’s very important to think about that as you’re thinking about saving water.

    LESLIE: And I think what’s interesting is you’ve also thought of it in a sanitary sense. You’ve really gone so far as to make the coatings antibacterial, easy to clean. Really a very thoughtful process there.

    JEANNETTE: That’s true. There really is science behind toilets. Maybe many people may not think of it that way but we have engineers and PhDs that spend all day thinking about that.

    TOM: Right.

    JEANNETTE: So, yes, it’s got great performance, great bulk removal, as we call it, and has an EverClean surface, so it is an antimicrobial surface. And in addition to that, comes with a slow-close seat so you never have to worry about slamming lids any longer.

    TOM: Oh, sweet. Oh, that’s great.

    Now, I think installing a toilet is something that would slow down most consumers when it comes to certain projects. Now, everyone will pick up a paintbrush but not everyone will change out their toilet. You guys have actually designed this now to the point, though, where it really doesn’t even need tools, correct?

    JEANNETTE: Exactly. It’s an easy project to replace. No tools needed. Very few steps involved. You can change out your toilet in basically 40 minutes.

    TOM: The other thing that you guys are doing with this, which I think is pretty cool, is you’ve recognized the problem of sanitation on a worldwide basis. And you’ve got a program that’s going to support improving sanitation in developing countries. So talk to us about that.

    JEANNETTE: Yeah. We have been – American Standard has been on a mission, here in North America for the last 40 years, to really improve daily living. And now we are taking that to other parts of the world, as you mentioned. Forty percent of the population don’t have access to safe sanitation and a lot of us don’t stop and think about that. There are 1.6 million people that die every year because of the lack of sanitation.

    TOM: Wow.

    JEANNETTE: And many of those are children under the age of five.

    TOM: Wow.

    JEANNETTE: So it’s a serious issue; we’re taking it very seriously. We’ve developed our Flush for Good program.

    TOM: OK.

    JEANNETTE: So for every Champion toilet that we sell this year, we will donate one of our specially designed sanitary toilet pans to a developing country.

    TOM: How do they install those? How does that change the life of someone in a developing country?

    JEANNETTE: Yeah. Right now, they’re open pit latrines.

    TOM: OK.

    JEANNETTE: So, insects can get in and actually carry bacteria out to food supplies, which is what causes the issues with unsafe sanitation.

    TOM: Oh, good point, yeah. Right.

    JEANNETTE: So, our sanitary pan now has actually a trap door on it, so it seals tightly. Also leaves a water seal there so insects can’t get in and carry that bacteria out.

    TOM: Wow, that’s fantastic. So, a great program and nice that you’ve matched a high-performing toilet here that’s sold in America with the lack of toilets in other parts of the world. And well done on the continued improvement of the Champion Toilet, as I mentioned. I don’t think mine’s a 1.28 – it probably uses a little bit more – but now you guys continue to reduce the water that it takes to really do the job.

    LESLIE: But not the performance.

    TOM: But not the performance.

    JEANNETTE: That’s right.

    TOM: So, terrific job, Jeannette Long from American Standard.

    JEANNETTE: Thanks. Yeah. A lot more can be learned about the program, at FlushForGood.com, so we encourage you to visit there.

    TOM: OK. FlushForGood.com. Jeannette Long from American Standard, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit during our broadcast, this Earth Day, at The Home Depot in New York City.

    JEANNETTE: Thank you. It was my pleasure to be here.

    LESLIE: Well, forget about zombies. No matter how popular they might be right now, you’ve probably got some energy vampires in your home right now. We’re going to tell you how to get rid of those suckers, when The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show’s special, green-product broadcast continues, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Trex, the world’s number-one, wood-alternative decking brand. Just in time to give your outdoor-living space a summer upgrade, Trex Enhance Decking is available, in stock, at your local Home Depot. To learn more about the long-lasting beauty, hassle-free maintenance and industry-leading warranty of Trex Enhance, visit HomeDepot.Trex.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. And The Home Depot has really gotten into the spirit of being eco-friendly by rolling out all kinds of Eco Option products that are both Earth-friendly and budget-friendly.

    TOM: Yeah. And that’s right. And one thing that people have realized since the first Earth Day back in 1970 is that going green isn’t something for radicals; it’s really something for those of us that are practical. It’s all about making small investments for your home that pay off not just for the Earth but also in energy dollars. You don’t have to go off the grid completely or stop bathing or anything crazy like that. Just make a few changes in the environment and your wallet will definitely appreciate it.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Not just for hippies anymore.

    In fact, here we’ve got a dude in a suit who’s shopping at The Home Depot today. His name is Steve, he’s from New York and he’s working on a project at his apartment.

    How can we help you?

    STEVE: Hi, guys. Well, I was wondering that – I’m redoing my apartment.

    TOM: OK.

    STEVE: And it’s really going to be more of a kitchen project. I want to see what things I could do to make it more eco-friendly.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s great. There’s actually a lot of things that you can do from a décor perspective, from an appliance perspective, from a material perspective when it comes to making an eco-friendly kitchen.

    So, for example, start with the faucets. Anything that you put in, in terms of a faucet, should be WaterSense-certified. That means it’s going to use about 30 percent less water than one that’s not WaterSense-certified.

    STEVE: OK.

    TOM: There’s also eco-friendly countertop options, right?

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, there really are. There’s a lot of products that are made from recycled glass. And you might think that would look a little quirky but it’s very interesting. And if you just do a Google search or even hop around The Home Depot, you’ll find recycled-glass countertop options that can come in a variety of colors and really look natural and beautiful. And of course, it’s made from recycled materials, so it’s very Earth-friendly.

    Also, same thing for tiles for your backsplash. Look for something that’s made from a recycled element and you’re really able to help a lot there. I think, also, when it comes to your appliances, you want to get things that are ENERGY STAR-rated because that’s going to save you a lot in your energy usage and your dollars there.

    TOM: Yeah. And also, don’t forget about your lighting. Make sure you only use LED lighting. You install the LED lighting on dimmers because if you reduce the power in with a dimmer, that actually does save you energy.

    So, there’s a whole bunch of ways that you can be eco-friendly with a kitchen design just by sort of thinking about that when you choose your products.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And if you’re doing the flooring, think about bamboo flooring as an option there. Because it grows so quickly, bamboo, that’s considered a great green resource, especially if (audio gap) that you can get that’s farmed here in the United States rather than having to deal with all of the sort of environmental expense of it from traveling overseas.

    STEVE: Wow. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

    TOM: Yeah, you’re very welcome. Steve, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit and asking us your question.

    STEVE: Thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Alright. Well, we’ve been telling you about eco-friendly products and small lifestyle changes that you can make that just make sense.

    TOM: For example, here is this week’s Green Home Tip, presented by Lutron.

    Now, if you want to become a more energy-efficient consumer, a good place to start is by unplugging vampire home appliances.

    LESLIE: The EPA says that 40 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is actually used when they’re switched off. Now, figuring that most homes have 10 to 50 such devices ­- and think about how much electricity you could be wasting.

    TOM: Absolutely. So, turn off your computers when you’re done for the day. Use the sleep mode when you need to step away for a shorter time and unplug your power chargers when your mobile devices are fully charged.

    Now, you can also use power strips to disconnect multiple devices at the same time and easily turn off those hard-to-reach appliances with the power strip.

    LESLIE: And that’s your Green Home Tip, presented by Lutron. Lutron is the maker of the Maestro Occupancy-Sensing Switch, so you’ll never be left asking “Who left the lights on?” again. Lutron products are available from your local home center, your lighting showrooms or even your electrical professional.

    And if you want some more energy-saving ideas, check out our online Green Home Guide and remember to visit LutronSensors.com.

    And I think this is, really, the benefit and downfall of recording from a Home Depot: you hear just the ruckus and sort of the franticness going on at The Home Depot today. People are shopping.

    TOM: That is the sound of energy-saving improvements getting done.

    LESLIE: Exactly.

    TOM: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show at our broadcast from New York City. We are here in The Home Depot on 23rdStreettalking about all things green.

    And speaking of green – and I guess green lawns, in particular – we’ve got another guy shopping here joining us from out on the island. And his name is George.

    And you’re doing some – you have a gardening question, George?

    GEORGE: Well, a yard question.

    TOM: OK.

    GEORGE: When I’m sprinkling the yard, is there a way I can save more water?

    TOM: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about the WaterSense program. Do you know the very first WaterSense product that was approved was a lawn sprinkler? It’s kind of funny but that’s where they started, with the sprinkler heads. And the WaterSense-approved sprinkler heads use about a third less water.

    LESLIE: But I mean you so rarely hear about that. Is that just standard now or do you really need to specify that?

    TOM: No, I think you need to shop for it. And if you’re changing out your sprinkler heads, you make sure you use WaterSense-certified sprinkler heads because they improve the pattern and they improve the volume. But they don’t reduce their performance, so you still get the water where you need it but you don’t waste water by using these sprinkler heads.

    But if you use a WaterSense-certified sprinkler head, you’re going to reduce the amount of water and that’s going to reduce the water bill. I think that’s really key.

    LESLIE: Well, I think the other thing that people forget – and I cannot tell you how many times in a downpour I see somebody’s sprinkler system running – you need a rain sensor.

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: If it’s raining and there’s water coming down from the sky, there is no need for you to put on your sprinkler. So that is, I think, a really simple addition that you can make to your lawn’s sprinkler system that will save you a lot of water, as well.

    TOM: And the other thing is to make sure you’re accurate. I hate when I see sprinklers covering sidewalks. The only thing that grows when you water concrete is the size of your water bill, right?

    LESLIE: Right.

    TOM: So you really need to be strategic about that. So, George, take a look at WaterSense-certified sprinkler heads and I think that will make a big difference in your water bill.

    GEORGE: Great. Thanks a lot.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. We’ll be back with more green ideas to save you energy, as well as that green in your wallet, when we return, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Arrow Sheds, the leader in steel storage sheds and buildings. Steel sheds are durable, secure and a great value. Arrow Storage Products, available at national home centers, hardware stores and online. See a complete line of products at Sheds.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: We are broadcasting today a very special edition of The Money Pit. We’re in New York City at The Home Depot on 23rdStreet. And we’re talking about the many changes that you can make in your home that will have a positive impact on our planet and on your budget.

    LESLIE: We are so happy to be just a small part of the worldwide celebrations going on all month long in April, honoring our planet and doing what we can to preserve it.

    Now, if you’ve got a question about how you can make your home more energy-efficient, we will be happy to answer it. Pick up the phone and give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re going to take a question from Michael who’s here shopping at The Home Depot. He’s from New York but he’s got a question about a Cape Cod house.

    How can we help you today?

    MICHAEL: Well, to tell you the truth, Leslie, I have an avocado-green, cast-iron bathtub in my house on the Cape.

    TOM: Oh, so you’re very green at your home.

    MICHAEL: Yes, indeed. And I don’t want to remove the bathtub. I would have to destroy the entire bathroom to do it.

    TOM: Right.

    MICHAEL: It’s a rather small bathroom. But I would like to have it resurfaced. I’d prefer to have it resurfaced rather than have a fitted mold – vinyl or acrylic mold – on it.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Yep.

    MICHAEL: I would like to know if there’s a particular method that you would recommend above all others or a particular finish and to know the durability of the finish itself.

    TOM: And those are great questions. You have, obviously, an understanding of your options because you mentioned an insert. There’s a reason that the inserts are so popular and one of the reasons is because refinishing cast iron is not an easy project.

    LESLIE: And it’s not necessarily a do-it-yourself project.

    TOM: No.

    LESLIE: I feel like the products that a professional, who could come to your house and actually do it on site, are so much more durable and so much more effective, that really make it a lasting job.

    TOM: They’re almost too dangerous for a consumer to use because they have to acid-etch the cast-iron surface to make sure that the new enamel sticks.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    TOM: And the thing is, though, that even if they do that, what we’ve found is they’re just nowhere near as durable as what you had originally. So you can change the color. You will pick up a new color for some number of years. Is it going to last 20 years? Absolutely not. If you got five years out of it, I’d think that you’re pretty fortunate.

    So I think you really need to look carefully at the option before you decide that that’s where you want to go. Or maybe you want to hold off a little bit more, give up on the idea of not doing a reno, do the reno – or another option that we’ve had people in your situation do is to, believe it or not, accept the avocado green and decorate around it.

    LESLIE: Are you just so over it?

    MICHAEL: Yes.

    LESLIE: That was like a look of exasperation.

    TOM: Yeah, not happening. No way.

    LESLIE: You’re like, “I am so done with it.”

    The green is a challenge. But with green, there are so many complimentary colors that you can actually work with. You’ve got this look; you’re like, “Don’t even try it, Leslie. I’m going to paint this tub.”

    MICHAEL: It’s not happening.

    TOM: Alright, Michael. Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    MICHAEL: Thank you very much.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. And we are so glad that you have spent this hour with us. We hope we’ve given you some ideas on how you can save energy and money.

    We’ve got many more tips on sustainable, energy-efficient living in our Green Home Section at MoneyPit.com. You can also check out some of the products that we’ve been talking about on the program, in our Green Products Guide. All of these are available at The Home Depot.

    LESLIE: And coming up next week on the program, we’ve got tips on garage safety for summertime.

    And Tom, you’re going to be so proud of me.

    TOM: Yep.

    LESLIE: I’m actually getting a new garage door.

    TOM: Oh, no.

    LESLIE: Next few weeks. I know you’re …

    TOM: Are they putting your old one in the Smithsonian?

    LESLIE: Could go there.

    So I know you’re going to be so happy and so proud of us at our money pit, because we want to make sure that you guys have safe garage-door usage. We want to make sure it’s in good shape and avoid any injuries. We’re going to tell you how, next time on The Money Pit.

    I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …

    LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.


    (Copyright 2013 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)

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