Braddock District Environmental Updates
Drafting of New Fairfax Stormwater Ordinance Progresses
Fairfax County is preparing a Stormwater Management Ordinance in response to state regulations requiring localities to adopt ordinances and take over reviews and inspections for Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) general permits relating to stormwater runoff from construction sites effective July 1, 2014.
Many processes, systems, ordinance changes and training of staff and industry, in addition to a written stormwater management ordinance, will need to occur in order for us to be ready for the effective date. A series of meetings with stakeholders is being held to gather information that will be used in developing the new county ordinance and design and construction standards for stormwater control practices.
To learn more about stakeholder meetings and provide input as the county moves through the process of writing and adopting a county Stormwater Management Ordinance, go to the following website: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/stormwaterordinance.htm
Energy Saving Tips for the Winter Weather Ahead
With cold weather beginning to settle into the region, and rumors of a cold winter ahead, here are some suggestions you can take to minimize energy consumption in your home.
Install dimmers on indoor lights to give you more control over the brightness of your rooms and save electricity when lights are turned lower. Before installing, check that the light bulbs are compatible with the dimmers.
Consider installing sensors on outdoor lights to save electricity when no one is present.
Install a door sweep to block air from coming under the door.
Install foam gaskets behind electrical outlets and switch plates on walls.
Close-fitting, insulated drapes can keep drafts at bay and in the summer block the hot sun.
If you aren’t able to upgrade your drafty, single-pane windows, attaching heavy-duty clear plastic sheeting during the winter can keep cold air out and warm air in.
Heating and Cooling
Control the temperature of your home with a programmable thermostat, which can automatically adjust the temperature based on different time schedules. For example, during the winter months set it to lower the temperature during weekdays when your family is out and raise it on weekends when you’re home.
Clean any radiators, baseboard heaters or warm-air registers to help them deliver temperature-controlled air more efficiently. Be sure that they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
Dirty filters make heating and cooling systems less efficient, using more energy for the same results. Clean or replace filters regularly (check your owner’s manual for guidelines), especially during the hottest and coldest months.
Have your heating and cooling system professionally checked annually. Your system will perform better and last longer with proper maintenance.
To make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight, close the door over one-half of a piece of paper and then try to pull the paper out. If it comes out easily, you may need to adjust the latch or replace the seal to ensure air doesn’t escape.
Arrange to dispose of old secondary refrigerators, which might be using twice as much electricity as newer models.
For more ideas, go to Energy Action Fairfax: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/energyactionfairfax/