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Found 7 results

  1. Improving your home’s energy efficiency not only saves you money, it increases your comfort year-round. These five tips offer durable ways to lower the amount of energy it takes to cool and heat it. Some are do-it-yourself projects, while others require the help of a specialized contractor. Energy Recovery Ventilator These affordable HVAC appliances exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air without increasing energy costs. The energy recovery ventilator (ERV) traps the energy in the outgoing air and puts it into the incoming air. ERVs also remove humidity from the incoming air, which lightens the cooling load in the summer. Window Sealing Kits Unless you have thermal or Energy Star windows, you could be losing a good deal of heat to the outdoors during the winter. Clear plastic window sealing kits are available from home centers and online stores. They don’t interfere with the view and block air leaks and thermal transfer to the outdoors. Air Leaks and Ice Dams The air leaks from the ceilings into the attic reduce energy efficiency, and for the most part, they’re easy to seal with caulk and expanding foam. Besides the heated air that escapes into the attic into the winter, air leaks from the ceilings cause ice dams in the winter. Once you’ve sealed the air leakage, check over the integrity of the gutters. If they’re clogged or broken, rain or snowmelt won’t be able to drain quickly, which could also trigger ice dams. Companies like Innovations Siding & Windows can inspect your gutters and siding to make sure your home will withstand the damage that moisture causes to the attic or the envelope. Shade Screens Popular in the southern states for their ability to block solar heat on south- and west-facing windows, shade screens are effective in any climate. Screening materials are available online or at home centers. Some eliminate 90 percent of the heat entering through the glass. They don’t block the view and most homeowners take them down in the fall to take advantage of solar passive heating. Solar Cooking Cooking outdoors with a solar cooker on a hot sunny day requires no fuel. Solar cooking is an inexpensive and effective way to harness the power of the sun to cut energy consumption and produce delicious food. Bottom Line These suggestions will help you deal with the climate unique to this area. They won’t break the bank, and even if you need an expert, are easy to execute and will last for years.
  2. If you have a green home, you already know that the key to green living is to make the most of your energy consumption. Did you know that having the right roof can make the biggest difference in your home’s energy usage and the size your energy bill? Much of your home’s heat loss in the winter, and source of heat in the summer is the roof. Let’s learn more about how your roof affects your green home. Dark Roofs in the Summer Did you know that darker roofs can heat up to 50 to 60 degrees hotter than the outside temperature in the summer? If you live in a warm climate, a dark colored asphalt roof can heat up to 175° if the temperature is 95° outside. This makes your cooling system work much harder and also contributes to the heat island effect if you live in a city. A lighter colored roof decreases the solar gain and heat retention of your home. If you want to same on summer cooling costs, then replacing your roof will make a difference. Winter Heating Woes While a dark roof may not be ideal in the summer, if you live in a climate that has a longer winter than summer, a dark roof will help to reduce heating cost. Dark asphalt roofs absorb more heat than metal or rubber roofs. This not only helps to provide additional heating for the home, it helps snow melt off faster too. This is especially true with a properly insulated attic. Proper Insulation Having a properly insulated roof with the right color and type of roofing material means that you can run your furnace at a lower setting, which can result in big savings for your green home. Companies like Leon Construction can help you choose the right roof for your home and replace your old roof with new materials that are more sustainable than those used in the past. If you want to improve the efficiency of your green home, then your roof is the first place that you should look. A roof that is leaky and old can cost you more in the long run than replacing your roof with one that is more cost and energy efficient. A new roof is an investment that will pay for itself in the long run through lower heating and cooling bills. Not to mention, it will also improve the value of your home.
  3. As the weather turns warm and thermostats get turned down, many people will see a spike in their electric bills. Fortunately, there are a lot of options to make your house more energy-efficient. From simple steps that can be done in minutes to more intensive projects that may require hiring a professional, these tips can help lower your energy costs and make your home more environmentally friendly. Install Ceiling Fans Ceiling fans can drop the temperature of a room up to four degrees without using much electricity, but a four degree difference in your thermostat can lead to a huge difference in your electric bill. A window fan can also be used to cool a room much more efficiently than turning on the air conditioning, especially in early mornings and later evenings. Maintain the Air Conditioner If your air conditioner is in good condition, it will run more efficiently. Change the air filters regularly, vacuum and clean dust out of registers and vents, and clean around the exterior unit to ensure smooth airflow and not overwork the unit. It's also a good idea to have it professionally serviced once a year to troubleshoot any repairs and make sure it is running at peak condition. Install a Programmable Thermostat When you aren't home, don't keep the thermostat set low. If you are going to be gone at the same time every day, you can program the thermostat to raise while you are gone, then program it to lower to your preferred temperature about thirty minutes before you come home. This way you don't need to worry about re-setting your thermostat every day or forgetting to raise the temperature before you leave. Repair or Replace Old Windows Old windows can leak, and while the drafts in the winter are noticeable, they let a lot of warm air in in the summer, too. Caulking or weather-stripping around frames and leaky areas can help, but if your windows are old or single-paned, it may be worth it to replace them to a more efficient style of window. Have Your Home Insulated Insulating your home can make a huge difference in your home's energy efficiency. If your home is older, your home may be lacking insulation, or it may have lost its effectiveness. Having Reflective Optimizing Insulation installed by Parsons Construction Group in attics can reduce energy bills drastically and make your home significantly more efficient all year and has a lifetime performance guarantee. As the mercury creeps up, don't let your electric bill follow suit. Follow these tips to make your home more energy efficient to save money without sacrificing comfort.
  4. Cutting back on your energy usage can have benefits to both your wallet and the globe. According to data from the Alliance to Save Energy, the average American household spends $2,100/year on energy, so reducing energy costs by just 10% or 20% could equal big savings. By making your home more energy efficient, you'll also help make a positive impact on the environment Ways Energy Efficiency is Beneficial 1. Improving the Environment It's no secret that the creation of traditional forms of energy releases carbon dioxide and pollutants into the air. By making their homes more energy efficient, people are decreasing the emissions released by power plants. Energy efficiency can lead to improvements in air quality and the level of water pollution. 2. Tax Credits When you make your home more energy efficient, you may qualify for an energy tax credit. The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit applies to installations of solar, wind, and geothermal energy systems. If you've made improvements to your home's insulation or added Energy Star windows, you may qualify for the Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit 3. Immediate Savings Making energy-efficient improvements to your home will decrease the amount of your utility bills, and you won't have to wait long to see the savings. In addition, your home will probably be more comfortable during the summer and winter. Tips to Increase Energy Efficiency There are many things you can do to enhance the energy efficiency. Some options, like putting in LED or CFL lightbulbs, are pretty simple and don't require much of an investment. Other improvements may require an up-front investment that will pay for itself over time. A large portion of your energy usage is probably spent on heating and cooling your home. One option is to get a ceiling fan installed. Ceiling fans use much less energy than air conditioners, and they can help redistribute warm air in the winter. Replacing your old windows and doors with durable materials can also be a money-saving option. There are many different options, like the products offered at Statewide Energy Solutions, that you can use to easily upgrade your home and make it more energy efficient. The process of making your home more energy efficient will take time. In order to decide which steps will benefit you the most, you could consider getting a home energy audit. A professional will conduct the audit and explain how you can decrease your energy expenditures.
  5. Taking care of a home can be expensive. Help cut your home's maintenance costs with these 7 tips to make your home more energy efficient. Decrease Water Heater Temperature It may be necessary to crank your water heater temperature up during the winter, but during the summer, you may notice you can get by with a much lower hot water temperature. Experiment with lower temperatures and see what is comfortable for you while still saving you a little money. You may not be able to tell the difference, and it'll be a big savings on your power bill. Replace or Caulk Old Windows Old windows can be a frequent cause of increased utility bills. Gaps and cracks can let air conditioning out, and let cold winter breezes in. Put caulk adhesive in the cracks to seal up what you can. You could also consider replacing your old windows with new, energy efficient windows. There are many different styles of windows to choose from, like bay windows, casement windows, and awning windows. If you're replacing windows, you might as well choose a window style that will increase the value of your home. New windows can take years off of a home, and can brighten and refresh your curb appeal. Hire a realtor and figure out how much new windows will affect the value of your home. Realtors are experts in determining home improvement projects that produce high returns for sellers. Consider hiring a realtor to help you determine if new windows could improve the value of your home. Change Air Filters Regularly Make sure you are buying air filters for your HVAC unit that are properly sized, and that you're changing them frequently. Leaving dirty filters in place can put a strain on your HVAC unit, and cause more expense in the future. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat Don't pay money to heat or cool your home when nobody's there. Invest in a programmable thermostat that can adjust the temperatures based on the time of day. Set the thermostat to bump the heater down a few degrees when you know you'll be gone, and have it turn back up before you get home. Increase the Insulation in Your Attic In a lot of homes, there is blown-in insulation in the attic space of your home. Over time, this can get compacted, and lose some of its R-value. Blow more insulation into your attic to help your home maintain your desired temperature. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances Modern appliances are required by the government to operate within certain parameters, which use considerably less water and power than appliances built even just a few years ago. Consider replacing one of your older appliances with a newer one. Shop around, comparing the yellow utility usage tags to be sure you get the most efficient one available. Use Power Efficiently Pay attention to your power usage, especially during peak months. Turn off lights, and unplug items you're not using. Many things use power even when you don't think they are. A good way to identify how many items are using power is to look around at night and see how many glowing lights you see. These items are still using power even in the middle of the night. Unplug items that are unnecessary. Keeping a home maintained can be an expensive and costly prospect. There are many easy ways to keep your home using energy more efficiently. The experts from Statewide Energy Solutions suggest replacing old windows, radiant barriers, AC & Duct Sealing, sealing plugs, light switches, doors, and plumbing and pipe entrances. Following the tips discussed can keep your energy costs down and help make your home more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
  6. A humid hot summer can be utterly miserable sometimes. Even worse, running your air-conditioner may seem too expensive to do a lot of the time. However, with some tweaks to your system, you can make your AC far more energy efficient and cost effective. Below are a few tips you can use. 1. Check Your Air Filters The filters are what the air passes through to reach the rest of your home. They prevent airborne contaminants from flowing through your air and help protect the health of your family. However, air filters are not designed to last forever. They eventually become clogged, and that can badly affect the efficiency of your system. According to HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, checking and replacing your air filters on a regular basis is one of the most important steps to keeping your system running efficiently. 2. Clean the Condenser The condenser is the part of your outdoor air conditioning unit that transfers heat to outside your home. For your system to have good energy efficiency, you need to keep it clean. Make sure to inspect it especially before you turn on your system for the first time at the beginning of the summer. Remove anything that could obstruct the condenser’s airflow such as leaves, twigs, weeds, dirt, etc. To remove dirt from the unit, you can wash it down with a hose. 3. Make Sure the Air Flow Is Unimpeded You can think of an air conditioning system as being similar to the circulatory system in the human body. Much like you would not want to impede the flow of blood through a vein, you should not impede the flow of air through your system by blocking vents. Make sure all air vents are open and not blocked by things like furniture and rugs. If they are blocked, your system will have to work much harder to keep your house cool and that will result in higher utility bills. 4. Only Run the System When You Need It If you want to lower your utility bills and increase your home’s energy efficiency, make sure to only run your air conditioning when you need it. There is no point to running air conditioning in an empty house. Program your thermostat to not run the air conditioning when you are at work. Overall, try to make sure you provide your HVAC system with proper routine maintenance and inspect to see if it’s working properly. If your system is well cared for and there is nothing impeding the flow of cool air through your home, your system’s energy efficiency will certainly be increased.
  7. Creating an eco-friendly home doesn't just mean switching off lights before heading out of the house or installing Energy Star appliances. Many families just need to change a few common habits in order to cut down on energy consumption. Before carrying out an expensive “green” overhaul of your home, take a look at these 5 mistakes that many families make during the summer without even realizing it. 1. Using Insulation Rolls and Batts Checking on insulation should be a yearly habit for everyone, but replacing old insulation with ineffective products is one common mistake that could cost you in the long run. Traditional insulation often comes in pre-fabricated shapes such as rolls and batts, but it is only blown-in and spray foam insulation that will get your attic's nooks and crannies. 2. Skipping an Energy Audit Most families aren't going to hire professional home energy auditors every single year, but you should never skip it for more than a few years in a row. These technicians are trained to go through almost every component of your property to find any energy inefficiencies. Even if they find just a single problem, an audit will often pay for itself within a few months. 3. Forgetting the AC Tune-Up An annual tune-up carried out by a company such as Team Electric is not only going to increase the lifespan of your HVAC system, but it is also going to cut down on monthly utility bills. Just as with any other major component in your home, these systems go through an incredible amount of wear-and-tear and a tune-up often includes changing filters, topping off fluids, lubing moving parts, and checking the accuracy of the thermostat. 4. Allowing Phantom Power Loss “Phantom” power loss is the name given to the small amount of electricity that devices and appliances consume when they are not actively being used. Everything from laptop chargers to coffee makers could be consuming enough electricity to increase your bills by hundreds every year. Attach these devices to a single power strip and turn them off before bed and when you are leaving for work. 5. Not Setting Your Programmable Thermostat Correctly A programmable thermostat is one of the single best investments for saving energy around the house, but many families are not using them to their full potential. The ideal settings are 82 degrees Fahrenheit when no one is home and no lower than 78 degrees when family members are in the house. If you tend to forget about changing the settings, consider setting automatic timers on the thermostat. When all of these common mistakes are remedied, your family could be looking at thousands of dollars in savings during the hottest months of the year.