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Found 17 results

  1. Staying warm and cozy throughout the winter months is important, but many homeowners will deal with unpleasant drafts, high energy bills and other unpleasant issues. Your instinct may be to run the furnace more frequently to make your home warmer, but this is expensive and not necessary. There are many factors that can affect your comfort level in the home as well as your energy costs throughout the winter months, and tackling them head-on may help you to save money and avoid energy waste. These are some of the most effective solutions available to combat energy loss all season long. Upgrade Your Roof While the primary function of your roof is to protect your home from direct exposure to the elements and to prevent pest infestations, an important secondary function is to promote energy efficiency. Different types of roofs have various energy efficiency ratings. More than that, the condition of your roof can also affect your home’s energy efficiency. Consult with a roofing company, like Top Dog Roofing, to determine if your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. If you need to make a replacement, choose the new roofing material carefully. Re-Seal Doors And Windows Even when your roof is well-maintained and in great condition, be aware that the doors and windows can let climate-controlled air escape from the interior of the home. Seals around the doors and windows are designed to prevent this from happening, but seals will wear down over time. Re-sealing doors and windows throughout the home is an affordable and simple project that most homeowners can complete on their own. Update Your Insulation Another excellent idea to consider if you are concerned about conserving energy throughout the winter season while still keeping your home warm is to update your insulation. Because insulation is not easily visible, it is easy to overlook the importance of this component of your home. However, some insulation is not as energy efficient as other types. In addition, it can deteriorate or even slouch down in the walls to decrease its effectiveness. If you are thinking about updating your insulation, consider the benefits of spray-in foam insulation. Updating your home’s features is important if you want to decrease energy loss throughout the winter months. These are steps that can save you money throughout the season and that can also make your home environment more comfortable. Spend time reviewing each of these tips to determine which ones may be most effective for your home’s needs.
  2. As winter rolls in, many people find their energy bills rising quickly. While it may be difficult to warm your home throughout the winter without seeing some increase in your energy bill, there are several things you can do to conserve energy throughout the winter. Remove Phantom Power Users Phantom power users are devices and appliances that use small amounts of power whenever they’re plugged in, even when they’re not in use. To prevent this, attach your gaming systems, televisions, and other similar items to power strips and turn the strip off when they aren’t in use. Get used to shutting your computer down completely when you aren’t using it. Turn off appliances that aren’t being used. Phantom power can add a significant amount to your energy bill each month and is particularly wasteful because the power is being wasted without any of the benefits of using the device. Have Maintenance Done Even if you don’t do it every year, which is advisable, you should still call out professionals like Classic Air and Heating to inspect and maintain your air system. During the maintenance process, your system will be cleaned and examined to ensure that it’s performing at its optimal level. As a result, your unit won’t have to work too hard to warm your home. Drop the Temperature Every degree that you drop the temperature in your home throughout the winter could save as much as 3% on your energy bill. Even reducing the temperature overnight, when you’re wrapped up in bed anyway, can make a substantial difference in your energy costs. You don’t have to freeze yourself out, but if you keep the temperature a few degrees lower and bundle up a bit, you’ll save money and energy all winter long. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat A programmable thermostat will allow you to reduce the temperature in your home when you aren’t there, saving on your energy costs while still keeping your home comfortable when you’re at home. Many models can even be controlled by your phone. It’s not hard to see that you can save money and energy by only running the heater in preparation for being home and not when you know you’ll be gone. Many smart thermostats also integrate into smart home systems that allow you to turn on and off different lights and fixtures to save even more energy. Block Unused Rooms If there are rooms in your home that you don’t use on a regular basis, close the door and block the bottom of the door with a towel or blanket. This will stop heat and cold from that room interfering with the thermostat readings. The more space you have in your home, the quicker the heat can dissipate. Closing off rooms allows your thermostat to take its readings based on the temperature of the main spaces of your home. Additionally, you’ll want to keep doors to high traffic areas open so air can circulate easier. Seal Doors and Windows Small leaks and drafts can add up quickly as the warm air inside your home is replaced with cold outdoor air. Take the time to caulk around drafts in your windows and, if necessary, purchase a seal to place against your doors. This especially important at night, when temperatures drop. Controlling your energy costs throughout the winter doesn’t have to be your biggest challenge of the year. By implementing these simple tricks, you can watch your energy usage decrease and your energy bills become easier to handle.
  3. 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.
  4. We are still a few months away, but the earlier you start preparing for the cold season, the better. Winter seasons are often characterized by high energy consumption, and now is probably the best time to start thinking about ways to cut down the cold weather utility costs. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, about 50 percent of homes in the US use natural gas for heating during cold seasons. One of the biggest challenges for these homes is the sky high heating costs they have to endure during winter. However, there are some tips homeowners can utilize to control the costs of energy in the winter and save money. Here are three of them: Install Better Windows Replacing windows is one of the most worthwhile home improvements you can make before winter. Old, thin, single pane windows don’t do much to keep out the cold air. If your windows have been around longer than anyone can remember, it’s probably time to replace them. Energy-Star rated windows and specialty storm windows recommended by professionals like Valley Glass Utility can provide great insulation in your home and keep that precious warm air inside. This means lower utility costs and a nice cosmetic change to boot. Caulk Doors, Siding, and Windows Air leaks can increase the cost of heating and cooling your house by a significant amount, pay attention to them. Start with the big gaps, like broken or jammed windows, poorly hung doors, and damage to the exterior of the home. Once those are done, you can focus on the harder to find problems. Air leaks are common where wiring, duct work, and plumbing goes through floors, ceilings, and walls. You can find these small leaks by passing your hand close to suspect areas and noting any change in temperature. If that isn’t working, you can turn off fans or HVAC systems and hold a candle near potential leaky areas and see if the flame flickers or moves. Sealing leaks with caulk can save more than enough money to pay for itself, and can easily be done in an hour or two for even a large house. Replace or Clean the Furnace Filter It's important to clean or change the furnace filter on a regular basis, especially when it is running every day. When a furnace can 'breathe' easily, they use much less energy. Check the manufacturer's manual for information regarding the replacement of furnace filter – some require changes every three months. The cost of replacing the furnace filter will depend on the furnace. On average, furnace filter replacement costs range between 10 and 50 dollars. Depending on how often your furnace runs, how dusty your house gets, and the age of the furnace, you may want to replace it more often. A huge chunk of your home budget goes towards heating costs, especially during winter. Taking a few measures to make your home more efficient will go a long way for your budget, and will make cold weather stay outside where it belongs.
  5. 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.
  6. Most people maintain a clean interior setting each week while spending time at home. The air quality in your home has an influence on the health of residents who live on the property and will determine how well you breathe while spending time in the building. If you want to purify your space, there are a few important steps to take. 1. Use an Air Purifier An air purifier is a useful product that will remove dust, pollen, and pet dander that is present in the air. Use the product in the most used rooms in the home and keep it running for several hours each day to clean the air. 2. Replace Your HVAC Filter The filter on your HVAC system needs to be replaced every 30 to 60 days, depending on how much you're using it for each season of the year. The HVAC filter can become dirty over time and can cause dirt and dust to begin to circulate in the home. You can also have your air ducts cleaned and remove pollutants in the home, which includes synthetic fragrances and cleaning products that contain chemicals, according to apartmenttherapy.com. Opt for using household ingredients when cleaning and use soy candles indoors. 3. Schedule an HVAC Inspection Hire professionals from a company like Smedley & Associates to perform an inspection of your HVAC system and look for any repairs that are needed. The technicians can clean the parts and inspect them to ensure that cleaner air circulates in the home. 4. Close Your Windows Closing the windows is necessary to prevent pollen and environmental elements from entering the home to maintain a clean interior setting. You'll also want to use screens on the windows if you keep them open at certain times of the year. 5. Use a Vacuum Cleaner with a HEPA Filter When cleaning your home, use a vacuum that contains a HEPA filter to ensure that the dust and dirt aren't released from the product and go back into the air. Vacuum each week and shake out rugs every few days. Although you may suffer from allergies, asthma, or respiratory issues, there are ways to increase your indoor air quality. With the right products used and steps taken, you can create a cleaner interior setting that allows you to breathe deeply and improve any health issues or ailments that you may be suffering from throughout the year.
  7. 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.
  8. You may be surprised to hear that private homes account for over 40 percent of all energy consumed within the United States. If you are ready to cut back on your family's energy consumption and start saving on monthly bills, then take a look at these five affordable upgrades with an excellent return on investment. Tankless Water Heaters An older water heater can be one of the biggest energy consumers in a home because they keep an entire tank of water hot at all times. Tankless water heaters (on-demand water heaters) only heat water as it is needed, and this means lower gas or electricity bills and a home that never runs out of hot water. Light Tubes Everyone should upgrade to compact fluorescent lights at some point, but another simple way to save on lighting is to have light tubes installed. These simple tubes can fit around important structural components of a home and provide light to any room. Window Treatments Anyone with windows that are more than a decade old should consider upgrading their treatments to improve the insulation of their home. Studies show that older residential window treatments cost the American public $35 billion a year. Newer treatments will provide a home with additional layers of insulation to keep UV rays out during the summer and warm air in during the winter. Foam Roofing Older roofs are another major problem when it comes to energy efficiency. Foam roofing, available from places like Armstrong Installation Service, is nearly 500 percent more efficient than traditional roofs and provides much better protection from moisture. This relatively new technology works on a variety of roof types including flat and sloped roofs. This foam can also be sprayed around solar panels and other structural components. Trees Planting a few perennial trees will not only improve the appearance of your property, but it could also cut down on your HVAC bills during the summer. Placing these trees near windows will allow them to act as a windbreak as well as shade those areas from the sun. Having an energy efficient home no longer means that you and your family must do without modern amenities. Often all it takes is a few simple upgrades to make serious improvements with your home's carbon footprint. This includes utilizing new technology such as tankless water heaters, wall insulation, and new window treatments.
  9. Today, more people than ever are concerned with things like global warming, climate change and pollution’s effect on the environment. One thing that can contribute to a family’s carbon footprint is how much energy is required to run a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. However, there are strategies you can use to make the climate control in your home more energy efficient and less expensive at the same time. Use Your Windows Strategically One way to save money and energy in your home is to rely less on your HVAC system. It doesn’t have to be used all the time in every season. Windows can make a big difference all on their own. During the winter, open up drapes and shades to let in the sun’s warming rays. They can certainly heat up a room. In the summer, you may want to close them for the opposite effect. Opening or closing your windows as needed can also cool and heat up rooms depending on the temperature. It can also freshen up a room’s air supply if it feels stale. All of this is free and requires no expenditure of energy or electricity. Upgrade Your HVAC System However, homes in most climates still require an HVAC system. An HVAC system is not something that can be used indefinitely. Over the years, the components of the system wear out and become far less efficient. Older systems may have also been designed at a time when energy efficiency and global warming were less of a concern. Newer systems are designed with efficiency in mind and can also save you a significant amount of money month to month on energy bills. Certainly, consider an upgrade if you have had your HVAC for a very long period of time. Companies like C B Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning can often utilize your existing system to make significant improvements, or replace your system altogether. Program Your Thermostat Another way you can be strategic regarding how you use your HVAC system is to program your thermostat. Many people don’t do so, and this is a mistake. Programming your thermostat can allow you to make sure the heat or air conditioning isn’t running when nobody is home during the work or school day. It can also allow you to lower the temperature at night when your family is sleeping and less heat is needed. According to the Department of Energy, lowering the temperature by seven to ten degrees for eight hours a day can save you as much as ten percent on your monthly HVAC bills.
  10. As the seasons change from fall to winter, temperatures turn from comfortable to chilly. Depending on your location, temperatures can drop down drastically and create one frigid situation. So, how do you beat the cold? Most people would reach to turn on space heaters or dial up that thermostat. But, chances are good that your heating sources are consuming astonishing amounts of energy. Before heading over to the thermostat, there are several ways to tame the cold weather without wasting all that energy! Use Natural Heating Sources A simple way to be green in the winter months is to let some sun into your home by keeping the curtains open during the day! The heat from the sun can help keep your house warm without running the furnace all day. Turn Down Your Thermostat Energy officials recommend keeping your thermostat at around 68 degrees during the winter months. If 68 degrees just isn’t cutting it, try wearing sweaters, socks, or blankets around the house to bridge the gap. Also, try to avoid changing the thermostat throughout the day. Keeping the temperature consistent reduces energy consumption, and wear and tear on your heating system. Check Your Windows Considering that cold air can enter your home through tiny openings in your windows, it’s a good idea to take measures to make your windows work for you, not against you. For one, you could have your windows replaced. Windows can make all the difference by keeping warm air in and the cold air out. There are experts out there, like Statewide Energy Solutions, which specialize in energy efficient window and door installation. You could also seal your existing windows using caulking or weather stripping. Caulking is especially helpful for small gaps in windows. Weather stripping is used more for sealing moving pieces like large windows and doors. Keeping Up Your Heating Systems A simple yet practical solution to being energy efficient is to just maintain the upkeep of your heating and air system! Replacing the filters, cleaning your ducts, and having your system serviced will help cut down on your heating costs. It’s always a good idea to make sure everything is serviced and up to date to avoid any issues during those cold winter months! In short, there are many ways to be efficient during the winter months. By checking your windows, using natural heat, and keeping your central heating up to par, your whole family benefits as you have made conscious energy saving efforts! Remember, you can be warm without being wasteful!
  11. Most people assume that they have clean air in the home and that their environment is safe to live in, but pollutants and dust from the outdoors are known to settle inside of buildings. This can often lead to asthma and allergies for many residents in each season of the year. To increase your home's air quality and create a cleaner setting, there are a few important steps to take to breathe easier. Replace Your HVAC Filters The filters in your HVAC system will circulate dirty air if they aren't replaced every few months. Install new air filters several times a year to ensure that the dirt that is captured in the air doesn't recirculate in the home. Use an Air Purifier An air purifier is extremely effective at cleaning the air and removing contaminants that are present. This includes removing second-hand smoke that has accumulated in homes where smokers are present. Dust, pollen, and pet dander will also be eliminated to make it easier to breathe and avoid allergies in each season of the year. Use the air purifier in each room of the home for several areas to ensure that the product works effectively in a small setting. Keep the Windows Closed Although most people open up their home's windows to allow fresh air in, it can cause pollution and pollen to enter the home easily. Make it a point to keep the windows closed during the spring season to secure the interior setting. Rely on fans to circulate the air and keep the home cooler during the day. You also want to check the air quality level in your local area each day to determine if it's safe to leave the windows open for a few hours. Schedule an Inspection Hire a company like AirCheck One to perform an inspection to pinpoint specific areas in the home that have poor air quality levels. Gases, mold spores, lead, and particulate matter will all be discovered if they're present in the home to create a more habitable environment. It can be difficult to prevent toxins and allergens from entering your home each day, but there are still many ways of purifying the air and increasing your health over time. With the right tools and equipment used, you can enjoy having clean air in your home and reducing the effects of certain health conditions that you may suffer from.
  12. Spring brings sunshine and warmer weather, and this means it is a good time to evaluate your home for energy efficiency. Drafts and other issues can mean higher electric and gas bills all year long, but there are steps you can take to ensure your comfort and savings. Here are things to do right away. Check your Water Heater Turning the temperature down just a few degrees can save you money. In addition, if you haven’t had the tank flushed in a while, now is a good time to do it. Sediment in the bottom of the tank reduces efficiency because it can block the heating element, in addition to other problems the sediment can cause. Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance Schedule a seasonal preventive maintenance visit with a local HVAC company such as Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. A technician will inspect your AC to make sure components are clean, and in good repair, which is necessary for the most energy efficiency once the cooling season is in full swing. Dirty or poorly maintained systems use extra energy to keep your home cool. Check Your Windows Wet your hand and move it slowly around the window frame to check for drafts. Sometimes winter weather causes things to shift, including weatherproofing, and you might need to re-caulk or add weather-stripping. For even more energy efficiency, purchase solar curtains if you don’t already have them up. They help block any residual drafts and they keep the hot afternoon sun from raising indoor temperatures too much. The cooler you can keep your house through methods like this, the less electricity your air conditioner will use. Check the Attic A hot attic leads to a hot house if you don’t have the right amount of insulation or the insulation has been damaged through pest activity or moisture. Even if you had it checked before winter, it is a good idea to recheck it in case the roof leaked or other problems occurred. Invest in Fans Fans make the air feel cooler because they help move heat away from the surface of the skin. This allows you to put off using your air conditioner for longer or keep your thermostat set higher to reduce energy usage. Ceiling fans are best, but any fan will help. When you do all you can in spring to make your home more efficient, you will have less to do in the heat of summer. In addition, you should see energy savings quickly. It is easy to imagine all the other things that saved money can be used for this season.
  13. Nearly every homeowner loves to doll up their domicile to suit their specific tastes. Popular modifications include basement game rooms, new kitchens, redesigned bathrooms and offices. Many ambitious DIY home improvement enthusiasts are increasingly focused on energy-efficient upgrades that'll save money and help the environment. Here are a few choice options that can work in any scenario. Upgrade Windows and Doors The easiest way to prevent energy waste in the home is to ensure that the entryways and exits don't leak heat in either direction. Installing double-paned windows filled with argon is a great start. New high-tech doors with blown-in foam insulation placed between the frame and the studs is another step in the right direction. Put In Superior Insulation A typical 2x4 home features fiberglass R-11 insulation lining the exterior walls. You can sister 2x6 studs to the original 2x4 members so that thicker R-23 rockwool insulation can be installed. This will reduce heat loss during the winter and strain on your air conditioner during the summer. It'll also give you a chance to check the walls for mold or rot. Attach Hyper-Efficient Siding Traditional siding materials like OSB or T1-11 are pretty lousy when it comes to blocking heat transfer even when wrapped in Tyvek. Going with a next-generation siding system from an outfit like Lifetime Exteriors can greatly improve energy efficiency. Modern sheathing and siding products use advanced synthetic materials to create a fairly impermeable barrier. Install Stingy HVAC Hardware Furnaces and central air conditioners have come a long way in the past decade when it comes to energy efficiency. If you live in a cold climate, a natural gas furnace or pellet stove will deliver better heating while using less fuel. Homeowners in hot environments should ditch window-mounted AC units in favor of central air. Opt for Tankless Water Heating A run-of-the-mill electric water heater costs hundreds of dollars per year to run. What's more, there's a limit to how much hot water they can crank out within a given time period. Tankless water heaters require a little more work to install but can drastically reduce electricity usage and provide limitless hot water on demand. Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck While the long-term benefits of efficiency upgrades justify the costs, the initial investment can be daunting. It's best to proceed gradually by starting with exterior jobs and working your way in. Furthermore, there are many government tax credits and rebates available to homeowners that cushion the financial blow.
  14. These five energy efficient tips will keep your office warm and your bills low this winter. Most of these tips are incredibly simple to implement and should become annual best practices for your office. Adjust the Thermostat Keep the office cooler at night when no one is there working. Raise the temperature a few hours before people arrive so they are able to work in a pleasant environment straight away. Maintain the temperature at a comfortable level that is neither too hot nor too cold for most people. Boiler and Heater Maintenance One of the most energy efficient ways to keep the office warm is to provide routine maintenance on your boiler and heating systems. This will help ensure this equipment is operating efficiently and safely. If you find that you require a new system or an upgrade, many companies such as Nationwide Boiler provide new and reconditioned equipment for any budget and an ideal solution to optimize energy efficiency. Close Doors and Windows It is important that you keep all windows and doors closed whenever possible. Front doors can often become a problem area as snow and debris becomes stuck in the entryway. Be sure to routinely remove snow and debris from the most commonly used doors to prevent this scenario. And, inform all employees that all windows and doors must remained closed. Natural Sunlight One of the least expensive and most effective energy efficient ways to keep your office warm this winter is to use natural sunlight to your advantage. You can start by opening all shades and curtains during daylight hours. Also, remove dark carpeting and paint the walls a light color that will more easily reflect natural light. If it is within you budget, you might also consider skylights and removing walls to create a more open floor plan so that both light and heat can more freely move about the office. Seal Windows and Doors It is also essential to ensure all your doors and windows are sealed properly. A significant percentage of heat is lost due to poorly insulated and sealed windows and doors. Be sure to check for leaks and consider adding more insulation. This will help to keep out harsh and bitterly cold winds and keep in the lovely comforting warm air. Once you implement these energy efficient tips, your office will be a more pleasant environment and your company will save a significant amount of money. And, by teaching these practices to your employees, they can implement the same practices at home to save money on their own.
  15. If you are a home owner or are looking to buy a home, you should consider the importance of having an energy efficient and family friendly home. A green home will keep your energy bills down and will be helpful for the environment. There are many green communities like the ones found at Princeton Classic Homes in Texas. Below, you can find out what they are doing to accomplish this with these seven tips. Fluorescent lighting Switching to fluorescent lighting in your home will cut down on your energy usage drastically. Florescent bulbs use less than 1/4th of the amount of energy that normal bulbs use. Although they are more expensive than normal light bulbs, they will last much longer unlike light bulbs that need to be replaced after extended use. They will also help you lower your monthly energy bill. After a few months, they will have paid for themselves in their energy savings. Replace your old appliances If you are still using appliances from the 1990’s, it is time to replace them. Old appliances have poor energy efficiency ratings and may be costing you more than you think. Inefficient appliances can be costing you thousands of dollars a year in wasted energy usage. The biggest offender of this is the refrigerator. By exchanging your old fridge for a new one, you could easily cut down on the energy you use significantly. Keep your windows open Use the sun to your advantage. Keep your windows open and the blinds drawn whenever the sun is out. By doing this, you will be able to cut down on the electricity used to light your house. Also, keeping your central air off in favor of a cool breeze will make a big impact on the amount of energy you use. As an added bonus, you will be able to enjoy the fresh air that will be circulating through your home by keeping your windows open. Clean with micro fiber Ditch the cleaning products where ever you can and use micro fiber cloths instead. Micro fiber cloths attract dirt and will allow you to clean surfaces without the use of harmful chemical sprays. Dampened microfiber cloths will be able to effectively clean most hard surfaces throughout your kitchen and bathroom including glass and wood. You can re-use these cloths after you throw them in the wash. Grow plants indoors Plants will help filter the air in your home. They will absorb some pollutants and expel clear air. There are many plants that are particularly good at this. Plants like spider plants, rubber plants, palms and boston ferns are all easy to care for indoors and will make a noticeable difference with the air quality in your home. Always recycle Recycling is important for the environment, but this goes beyond simply keeping an extra recycle bin in your home. You can take recycling to a whole new level by re-purposing items that you would otherwise throw away. Use egg cartons as jewelry organizers, save glass jars and use them as cups, or think of some of your own ideas. Anything you can find a use for instead of throwing it away will be helpful for the environment. Switch to solar Solar energy is becoming more popular with the new advances that are being made to it year by year. It is becoming increasingly more affordable and efficient as we continue to perfect them. Many people shy away from the idea of switching to solar because they feel it is an all-or-nothing option. This is not the case. You can start small and use that amount of solar energy to add along with feeding off of the electricity grid. No matter what amount you can commit to, any bit will help.
  16. Homeowners that want to cut back on their energy consumption should start thinking of their house as a complete system instead of individual areas that do not interact with one another. Small changes anywhere in a home will affect its overall efficiency and can make a big difference over the course of their lifetime. Here is a look at 6 upgrades that are sure to lower your utility bills in the coming years. Insulation Older insulation rolls do not have a tight enough fit to perfectly insulate attics, crawlspaces, walls, garages, and basements. Modern spray insulation is often made of green materials such as cellulose, resistant to fire, and much more effective for retaining the home's temperature. Programmable Thermostats A programmable thermostat should be one of the first upgrades a family carries out when it comes to improving their home's efficiency. Newer thermostats give you unprecedented control over your home's temperature and can even be controlled with wireless devices. Furnace Replacements Furnaces that were manufactured before 1992 will often use over 35 percent of their gas just keeping the pilot light on. Newer furnaces are designed to use up gas and electricity only as they are needed. This could lead to an 11 percent drop in utility bills during the colder winter months. Light Bulbs Studies have shown that inefficient light bulbs cost California families over $35.6 million in wasted energy every single year. One simple way to combat this is to begin switching out older light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs as they go out. CFLs produce the same amount of light at just a fraction of the cost and have a much longer lifespan. Energy-Efficient Windows Thick curtains will not be enough when it comes to the energy that is lost through windows. Older windows allow an incredible amount of heat to enter and leave a home due to the materials they are made of and ineffective seals. Energy-efficient windows, available from places like Five Star Windows Inc., help to block out UV rays and maintain the indoor temperature. Refrigerator Upgrades Even just three decades ago, most refrigerators were not built with energy efficiency in mind. Modern Energy Star refrigerators, however, have been made to use as little electricity as possible. These devices often consume just $50 worth of energy per year. These six areas upgrades are great options when it comes to cutting down on your carbon footprint while saving some money on utility bills.
  17. There are many benefits to making your home more energy efficient. It will save you an enormous sum of money in utility bills and will also give you the great feeling of knowing that you are doing your part to protect the environment. Here are seven cutting edge ways to make your home more energy efficient. Install Solar Panels Instead of counting on your power company to heat your home, you can harness the natural power of the sun with solar panels. They will substantially increase the comfort level of your home. Switch to Florescent Light Bulbs Many homes still use conventional incandescent light bulbs, but you can save a tremendous amount of energy by using florescent bulbs instead. Although florescent bulbs cost more at the store, they save you money in the long run by lasting several times longer than their incandescent counterparts. Reduce Appliance Use Cut down on the number of times that you use your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. Only use them when you have a full load. If you have any appliances that you do not intend to use for a long period of time, disconnect them. Install Energy Efficient Windows Energy efficient windows are an excellent addition to any home. They will reduce drafts, cut down on condensation, improve the temperature of your home, and save you money on your electricity bills. Companies such as Five Star Windows Inc. offer a wide selection of these types of windows for sale. Install a High Efficiency Furnace Conventional furnaces waste valuable energy. Like florescent bulbs, you can spend a little more now in order to save a great deal of money later. High efficiency furnaces use fewer fossil fuels, last longer, and heat your home more effectively. Get a Low Flow Toilet Most toilets waste water each and every time that they are flushed. Low flow toilets will save you a massive amount of money on your water bill. You will cut your home's water consumption by thousands of gallons per year. Add Insulation Increasing the amount of insulation in your home will trap heat inside, meaning that you won't have to use the heater in order for your home to be comfortable. The attic is an especially important place to add more insulation. With recent advanced in appliance technology, making your home energy efficient is easier than ever. You will be amazed at how much money you can save by following these tips.