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Green remodeling ideas for the rest of us

EcocomputerSome readers got a little testy when the L.A. Times featured a green home above Laurel Canyon that cost $1.2 million to build and included a $15,000 computer system that automatically raises and lowers window shades, among other functions. But what about the rest of humanity? One reader wrote: "Why not focus on green strategies for low-income residents of the city?"

And that’s why the paper put together a nice graphic showing both the luxury and the economy versions of green building strategies. (Click here to see graphic.)

Some luxury and economy solutions are:

Bathroom
Luxury: Dual-flush toilet, $300 and up. Economy: Low-flow faucet aerators for sinks, $2; low-flow Shower head, $5 and up; low-flow toilet, $100.

Energy consumption
Luxury: Replace all appliances with Energy Star-rated equipment; instantaneous, tankless water heater, $500 and up; test and repair air ducts for leakage, $1,500. Economy: Use clothes drying rack, $10 and up; switch to compact fluorescent bulbs, $4 each; turn down water heater.

Dealing with the sun
Luxury: Photovoltaic panels hidden in roof shingles, $40,000. Economy: Pull down blinds and shutters to keep house cooler in summer; plant trees and other plants to shade south-facing windows.

Air conditioning/heating
Luxury: Ground-source heat pump system for heat and air conditioning that draws hot or cold air from ground rather than air, using hundreds of feet of vertical pipe, $15,000. Economy: Ceiling fans, $40 and up.

What else? Any good ideas missing from the graphic?

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