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Found 10 results

  1. Having a man cave is a great way to make your family life better. It gives you privacy and a place to be a guy without interruptions. However, it can also be an energy hog. From televisions to sound systems and more, you need a way to make your man cave more energy efficient so it doesn’t break the budget. Here are five great ideas to get your started. Lighting Your man cave might have a variety of specialty lighting. Some of it is for mood, while some of it is for being able to see well. This is true whether you plan on gaming with the guys, doing your own projects, or simply wanting a bright space. However, you should consider switching to more energy efficient bulbs that output the same amount of light without using up all of your electricity. Sound You don’t need to break the bank to get a better sound system. When you invest a little more, you are buying a better efficiency ratio while not sacrificing the sound quality. This means you can enjoy surround sound and integration of your phone, computer, and tv while loving the whole experience and especially the reduction of electricity costs that it brings. Doors and Windows Doors and windows are one of the main parts of your home that leak energy like crazy. Something from a provider that offers better sealing and energy efficiency like Edelen Door can do the trick of giving a beautiful entry without the leakage that occurs in most doors and windows in homes all around the country. Solar Power Installing solar panels on your roof is not for everybody. However, it can be a great way to make things more efficient. Not only are they green technology, but they pay you back year over year. Insulation Your walls in your garage are not very energy efficient. This is, unless of course, you have the proper insulation. Investing a little more in insulation now will save you a lot in the long run. When it comes to having your man cave in the garage, it is something that you can cherish for a long time to come. However, you don’t want to make the mistake of paying for more energy than you need to. Then, your getaway simply becomes another huge bill to pay at the end of the month. So save your wallet by using the simple tips above to get more energy efficiency out of your manly space.
  2. There are lots of perks to installing more energy efficient windows in your home. Some of the benefits provide more of a cost incentive than others. Here are just a few of the reasons that having more energy efficient windows will be good for your home. Lower Heating and Cooling Bills One of the best benefits that you can receive from a monetary standpoint from new windows is that your heating and cooling bills can be lower. New windows tend to be more energy efficient. This means that you’ll most likely notice less drafts around your house. Older windows often allowed air to enter and exit your home freely. This meant that it was costing you more to maintain the temperature in your home. Maintained Home Comfort Newer windows are better at warding off temperature fluctuations in your home. What this means for you is that you can more easily maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home. A comfortable home is more of a luxury when it comes to the costs associated with installing more energy efficient windows. Look into using a company like Edelen Door and Window to help you through the process. Decreased Sound Pollution You may be surprised to learn that energy efficient windows can also make your home quieter. This is because they’re better sealed and tend to be better at dampening the sound. That means that not only does less sound enter your home, but less sounds will leave your home as well. You don’t have to worry about the neighbors complaining about your loud movie night with the family. Protected Home Finishes One of the new features on energy efficient windows is that they provide better shielding from solar radiation. You can even add an extra layer of shielding to reduce solar radiation from entering your home. It’s the solar radiation that can cause your flooring to become discolored over time. This is even more apparent if you have wood flooring in your home. Areas that are protected from the sun tend to be lighter in color than those that are exposed to the sun. There are of course the better known reasons that installing energy efficient windows is the right choice for your home. Consider some of these lesser known perks if you’re torn about whether to spend the money on new windows right now. Your home is an investment, but you should also enjoy living in your home for years to come.
  3. You can install a few key items in your home in order to create more renewable energy sources. Some of these things you may already have seen around your own neighborhood. Others are a little more suited to living farther out in your community. Here are some of the ways that you can create renewable energy at your own home. Solar Panels Installing solar panels is one of the more common means for homeowners to become energy independent. There are even tax rebates that make this option more affordable for the average installation project. Look into using electrical contractors so that you can get the job done right. Solar Shingles A newer take on the solar panel solution is with solar shingle options. These shingles are more reflective in nature than the standard shingles. They function in a similar capacity as their solar panel counterparts. The only distinction is the appearance on your home. Wind Turbine Possibilities You may live in an area that would allow you to install a wind turbine system. In some areas of the country, windmill farms are common. This works better on slightly hilly terrain or other high wind areas. The power generated by these windmills can be used to power not only your home, but a whole city. Geothermal Applications The implications of geothermal power could revolutionize how you heat or cool your home. A pump is installed that will circulate the air temperature from the earth itself into your home. This works because the temperature in the earth is fairly consistent year round. The pumps also use less energy than standard pumping systems. This makes them more reliable and longer lasting. Hydropower Generation In some areas of the country, hydropower is more readily available. You don’t have to live next to a large river in order to harness some of the benefits of hydropower. A water wheel is another way that you can generate a little bit of extra electricity. Micro hydropower is a new take on this process. Groundwater can be used to aid in the generation of renewable energy. You have to consider your geography as well as the climate to find a source of renewable energy that will provide the most benefit for your home. Investing in any one of these options may more than pay for itself over time. Do some research so that you can find the right home improvement project this summer for a more sustainable future.
  4. There are lots of reasons that updating your home may be the right move to make right now. You can even have your upgrades decrease the overall energy usage of your home. Energy efficient items have come a long way when it comes to looks and the technology utilized. Doing these upgrades can improve the appearance of your home and save you some money in the process. Change Your Roofing Material If you roof is looking a little ratty around the edges, replace it with a newer version. A metal roof may be the right solution for you. This long lasting type of material is made to withstand the ages. It also makes it easier for the snow to slide off. You could also replace your roof with cool shingles that reflect a large portion of the sun’s rays away from your home. Increase Window Efficiency As windows age they start to lose some of their insulating properties. Look into window repair so that you can improve the energy efficiency and the appearance of your old windows. For older single pane windows, change them out with a two or three pane solution. This will reduce the amount of drafts and noise that enters your home on a daily basis. You have a variety of styles to choose from when it comes to replacing your windows. Replace Worn out Appliances Old appliances tend to waste a lot of energy. You may have noticed that your refrigerator is running almost constantly. Replace it with a more energy efficient model. New appliances also have the perk of being more attractive than your old ones. This could be the first step to getting you started on your minor kitchen remodel. Install New Light Fixtures Changing out the light fixtures in your home can improve the style of any room. Replace those old bulbs with ones that are LED. They consume less energy than the incandescent or fluorescent varieties. Another benefit is that they can last longer so that you won’t have to replace them so often. Even if you have a relatively new home, you may be able to gain some benefit by performing an energy audit. This can give you a jumping off point for any upgrades that may need to be performed around your house. Being more energy conscious doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice style. There are lots of energy efficient options that can improve the appearance of your home.
  5. The cold wind is about to start blowing outdoors, and your home will need to work hard to keep you comfortable and warm indoors. For you to stay warm your home may need to work harder than necessary, and this will inflate your energy bills. However, by making some home renovations before winter, you will save money, boost energy efficiency and add the value of your home in the long run. Listed below are some renovation ideas. Get a More Energy Efficient Furnace Upgrading to a more reliable and energy efficient furnace is an excellent idea to consider before winter. For instance, you can get a variable speed fan and a gas furnace with a modulating gas valve for consistent warmth at your entire home. This kind of unique technology offered by products such as the Trane XC95m eliminates temperature swings and moderates the energy usage of your system. Change the Furnace Filter Dirty furnace filters restrict the airflow, hence increasing energy use in your residence. By keeping the furnace clean, properly adjusted and updated, you will a save on heating expenses during winter. For best results, consider replacing or cleaning the filters once every month this winter. Minimize Heat Loss from Windows According to the Department of Energy, 10-25% of the heating bills every month can be attributed to the heat lost via the home windows. You need to replace your old windows and doors with energy efficient ones. This will prevent the heating system from working hard to manage the desired temperature. Companies such as RWC Windows, Doors & More provide quality products aimed at improving energy efficiency at an affordable cost. Purchase Energy Star Products Energy appliances use approximately 20% of energy in your home. Because of this, you need to consider buying energy star products. These products use 10-15% less energy compared to other products. This way you will save on utility bills. Install New Flooring You can easily maintain the temperature and reduce energy costs when you get the right flooring. Rugs and carpets, for instance, can trap heat, keeping your home warmer during winter. Flooring professional can provide options you can rely on to cut energy costs. Consider these ideas to ensure that your home is ready for winter. Some of them might seem like major projects while others are just minor adjustments. In the end, you will realize considerable savings on energy costs.
  6. The process of flipping a home is increasingly common, and it involves fixing up an older, outdated home for the purpose of turning a profit. Flipping can be lucrative, but it can also be wasteful. Some people are looking for green ways to flip homes. These may be ways that limit waste or that make the future owner’s use of the home more environmentally-friendly. If you are thinking about green-flipping a home, these are some excellent project ideas to consider. Install Solar Panels The source of energy that a home uses can play a major role in how green the building is for future occupants. The sun provides a steady stream of renewable energy to homeowners each day, and solar panels are responsible for capturing and converting this energy. Installing solar panels and a full solar energy system on the building can eliminate the need for homeowners to use fossil fuels for energy. This can have a dramatic impact on how green the home is for years to come. Replace Old Windows Older windows, typically, are poor insulators, and they can allow an incredible amount of thermal energy transference. This can decrease how energy efficient the home’s HVAC system is. Modern windows may have two or three panes of glass as well as an insulating layer of gases between them. They may also be better sealed than older windows. As a side benefit, updating older windows can also improve the interior and exterior look of the home with beautiful results. There may be tax credits for the installation of energy efficient windows that can help you to save money on this project. Add New Insulation Another idea to consider when green-flipping a home is to improve the building’s insulation. Old fiberglass insulation can slouch down in walls or even deteriorate or rot. New spray foam insulation has a higher R-value for decreased thermal energy transference. It also will hold its shape and remain in place for long-term protection around the home. Some of the side benefits associated with adding spray foam insulation to the home include noise reduction for improved ambiance inside the home as well as improved air quality in the building. Choose Reclaimed or Recycled Materials There are many aspects of a flipping project that are designed mostly to improve aesthetics of the home, and using new materials is common in these projects. However, new materials may use natural resources and may increase pollution. A better idea is to use reclaimed or recycled materials as much as possible. You may even be able to reuse some of the materials in the existing home. For example, you could refinish an existing wood floor or expose decorative shiplap that may be buried underneath drywall. In many cases, exposing and refinishing beams in a historic home incorporates the character of the home in beautiful ways. You can also use reclaimed materials from other buildings to further decrease the use of new materials. Replace the Appliances From the HVAC system and water heater to kitchen appliances and more, appliances can use a substantial amount of energy. This is particularly true when the appliances are older in age. Modern appliances that carry the EnergyStar rating are green, and you can easily improve the look and function of the home when you select the right appliances to use when flipping the home. While renovating a home for the purposes of flipping it can generate a substantial amount of waste and pollution, it does not have to. The use of recycled materials can keep waste to a minimum. You can also limit waste by making extensive plans. Taking educational courses like Success Path can help you make better plans to get the job done right. In addition, there are multiple green projects that you can work on throughout the home that can make the home energy efficient and green. Consider incorporating some or all of these project ideas into your next flip project for incredible results.
  7. Going completely green is a feat that few people can actually accomplish - especially those with busy lives and/ or families. But there are always smaller steps that anyone can take to live a greener lifestyle. While you may not be ready to live in a 300 square foot tiny home, there are a number of relatively simple and steps you can take to leave a lower carbon footprint - and sometimes even save some money in the process. Here are 4 green home improvements you can do yourself. Composting Landfills in North America are filling up and closing down. Nearly 1/3 of all landfill waste is composed of compostable materials. Composting allows you to create a thick, nutrient-rich humus for your lawn and garden while diverting as much as 30% of household waste. Not only does composting offer a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers, but microscopic organisms in compost help aerate the soil and ward off plant disease. Lay Synthetic Grass With water prices skyrocketing, not only will this upgrade help you go green, it will save you a lot of green - and manpower. Eco-friendly synthetic grass requires no water, no mowing and stays green for years. No more mowing the lawn every week in the summer or having to pay someone else to do it. With synthetic grass, you can use your water and your compost on a beautiful garden instead of your lawn. Install Solar Panels Solar panel systems can be purchased for as little as a few thousand dollars but will save you significantly on your monthly energy bill. For around $10,000, you can purchase a system that could allow you to go off-grid entirely. If you can’t go for 10k, solar power companies like Renogy usually have a wide range of solar kits at varying prices and sizes to fit any budget. Today's solar energy panels are easy to install and can be up and running in an hour or less. Upgrade your thermostat Not only are today's thermostats more intuitive, they are also far more sensitive to air temperatures. A decade ago, thermostats would detect when the air temperature rose or dropped about 8 degrees above or below where the temperature was set at to heat or cool the house about 8 - 10 degrees above or below the set temperature. This meant people regularly turned their heat up to high to stay warm or the air too low to stay cool. Today's thermostats are capable of regulating heating and cooling systems to stay constantly within a few degrees, so you can set your temp where you are comfortable and keep it there. Going green doesn't have to cost a fortune, nor does it have to be a significant hassle. In fact, some eco-friendly products are actually superior to their more harmful counterparts. Where green products were once generally more expensive than the more harmful products, now green solutions will often save you green.
  8. The year 2017 might as well be be the right one for you to make your home more energy-efficient. The first step in deciding which home improvements you should consider is hiring a non-profit or professional specialist who will assess your energy consumption, detect issues contributing to energy loss, and recommend measures to achieve greater efficiency. Here are some home improvements that will help you reduce energy costs while keeping your home green and your energy sustainable. Upgrading Home Weatherization Gaps and cracks in your home’s thermal envelope can significantly increase your heating and cooling costs and dealing with them should come first. Such places will be unavailable for fixing once you install insulation. Even when optimal air sealing and insulation is achieved, you should not forget about regular maintenance of your heating and ventilation systems to ensure their maximum efficiency. Sometimes, a full replacement of currently used devices should also be considered. Window Replacement Choosing the right frame and glazing for your specific circumstances and climate when replacing your windows will improve the overall energy-efficiency of your home. Wood frames may be the most expensive solution, but they provide the best insulation and curb appeal. On the downside, they are not an ideal solution for humid climates and they require regular maintenance and repainting. Double paned Low-E glass windows with a vinyl frame are a budget-friendly alternative that doesn’t require maintenance and repainting. Roof Optimization A cool roof will keep the heat away from homes by reflecting it. To achieve its benefits, you can coat your existing roof with reflective materials, but this can just be a short-term solution as it requires reapplication after a certain time which depends on the roof type. Also, most liquid coatings work best with certain types of roofs, such as membrane-based and metal roofs. They can be applied to asphalt shingles as well, although they tend to chip and crack with age, which may also be an environmental concern. In this case, complete re-roofing might be considered. If you decide to go for it, choose metal. It may be an expensive roof material, but it pays off in the long run due to its significant benefits such as durability and low maintenance. Choosing the right solution for your roof may be difficult. If you would rather leave all these decisions and work to a professional, be sure it is someone who is insured with valid contractor bonds to guarantee project completion and financial compensation if anything doesn’t go as planned. Introducing Alternative Energy Sources Think of introducing alternative energy sources as a supplement to your existing ones. Many homes today enhance or even substitute traditional sources of energy with solar panels installed on their roofs. The benefits are numerous: lower energy costs, decreased use of fossil fuels, use of renewable energy, etc. Where applicable, consider other renewable energy sources such as wind. Wind generators use the same concept as wind turbines, but on a smaller scale suitable for home use. Wind energy can also be stored for later with batteries. Consider these sources as an addition to primary energy sources and optimize them by using them for specific tasks, such as solar water heating. Using a Rainwater Collector Many communities around the world have used rainwater for different purposes, ranging from garden watering to drinking when proper water cleaning processes are involved. Even in cases when main or reticulated water supplies are available, properly collected and stored rainwater is a safe, cost-effective and sustainable water source. A water collection system will be especially worth the investment if you have considerable irrigation needs, experience frequent droughts or need to control drainage problems on your property. Make it Green These home improvements will help you save money, enable optimal temperature levels all year round and increase your indoor air quality. Making the most out of natural resources available to you will make your home more energy-efficient and green.
  9. The amount of energy-efficient innovations on the market is at an all-time high. This is great news for the homeowners who wish to cut down on electrical costs. Here is how new technology can make your home more efficient. Rainwater Harvesting System Investing in a rainwater harvesting system will certainly help you to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Not only are rain collection systems very inexpensive, but they are also relatively simple to install. The stored rainwater can be used for a variety of different things, including flushing the toilet and washing laundry. Over the course of a year, the system can really save a lot of extra money. Solar Water Heater Unfortunately, traditional water heaters can use quite a bit of energy. In comparison, solar water heaters are far more efficient. In as little as two years, the energy savings will actually cover the initial cost of the solar water heater. As sunlight shines down on the solar panels, energy is quickly collected. Contrary to popular belief, the photovoltaic cells can even absorb energy on cloudy days. Heated Floors Companies such as Summerstep actually design in-floor heating systems. After the installation of an in-floor heating system, you will not have to depend totally on a HVAC system to keep your home warm. When the temperatures dip below freezing, many homeowners have to turn up the dial on their thermostat. An in-floor heating system will help to eliminate this energy-draining problem. Children and pets will especially love the extra warmth. Smart Thermostat The most advanced thermostats on the market offer incredible energy savings. With the use of high-tech sensors, they can actually adjust the home’s temperature according to the changing weather conditions. These nifty thermostats can also be easily controlled via a mobile phone or computer. If you are asleep under the covers or away from home, a smart thermostat can be programmed to lower the home’s temperature. Research shows that a smart thermostat can drop your electric bill by $100 dollars a month. Automated Lighting Many homeowners have already transitioned to LED lighting. However, installing an automated lighting system can further improve your home’s efficiency. Instead of leaving your lights on full blast, an automated dimmer switch allows you to dim the lights to save energy. Due to the rise in the cost of electricity, homeowners are strongly encouraged to invest in energy-saving technology. All five of these innovations promise to keep your home efficient.
  10. The traditional construction tools used to be noisy and non-eco-friendly. Even if these power tools made our construction jobs easier, they used to be terrible air and noise polluters. Fortunately, lately the things have started to change in the construction industry in accord with the general attention on environmentally friendly products. Among the latest developments in the construction industry nowadays are the greener tools. Many homeowners are choosing these green tools in order to stop stressing the power grid and to lower their electricity usage. For some others the motivation to choose greener tools is their environmental consciousness that push them to find ways to cut down on oil and gas from a desire to stop burning through the planet’s energy resources. Still others are motivated by a simple desire to not to smell and breathe the toxic and unpleasant fumes that some construction tools produce. We will take a look in this article at some popular green construction tools that are easier on the environment, nose, ears, and even the wallet, and rely on cleaner energy. Rechargeable chain saw For the big wood cutting jobs are usually used chain saws. Their fuel based on oil and gas mixture is so pollutant that many chain saw emissions break some state laws on pollution emission. The electric chain saw was developed as a greener alternative. You can even use an electric chain saw indoors, unlike a fuel-powered chain saw, since it doesn't produce any fumes. Other advantages to an electric chain saw are that it tends to be less noisy and lighter, and you don't worry about running out of gas before completed the task. Another alternative to a fuel-powered chain saw is a rechargeable chain saw. There are chain saws on the market that comes with interchangeable nickel-cadmium batteries or with an 18-volt lithium-ion battery. These are less noisy and lighter than gas chain saws and also offer the advantage of a convenient cordless design. Today's rechargeable chain saw designs provide enough cutting power for most of the jobs and they are friendlier to the environment. Rechargeable drill There are many construction tools that have adopted this design lately. For example, you can choose a rechargeable drill that comes with an attached LED light that focuses on your work area. These cordless tools are not only incredibly easy to handle due to their lightweight design, but also provide you with more flexibility and the liberty to work far from a power source. Certainly, working with a power drill makes your job easier than using a hand drill. However, the power cord can stay in your way and make your task awkward if you need to stretch it into the backyard or across your garage. The rechargeable and cordless drill solves this issue and frees you from the annoying cord. It is also a greener tool because is using far less energy while still packing enough power. Bottom line You can also find nowadays complete kits with green construction tools that are rechargeable and cordless. Some even come with interchangeable backup batteries to ensure you won’t run out of power in the middle of your job. The higher battery amp-hours or Ah, the longest use of the tool you can enjoy. The higher amp-hours mean you can use the tool more hours between two consecutive charges.