Archive for the ‘Efficiency’ Category

Share your Joy

January 6, 2015


I can’t believe it is 2015 already, can you?  This is the time of year when we reflect on what we have experienced the past year individually, nationally, and even globally.  One of my favorite videos to watch at the end of the year is TED Talks recap of ideas.  It’s fascinating to watch the discoveries, the ideas and just the passion each individual shows with what they present.  Here’s a spoiler alert, but the video ends with a quote by Andrew Solomon, “Forge meaning.  Build identity.  And then invite the world to share your joy.”

TED

Here at GreenHomes we like that quote a lot, especially the last part.  A big part of our work is inviting each of you into our joy; helping America to become more energy efficient.  Doing this extends the life of our resources for the generations to come and, well, extends the life of our pocketbooks, too.  Our joy is helping families all over America live comfortably and affordably.  This year, as we go into 2015, we are looking forward to continue to do that and we ask that you join us.  Let’s all share the joy!

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Take control of your Home’s Energy Usage during the Holidays

November 25, 2014

title-ghaWow, the holiday season is here.  It seems to come quicker every year.  This week as you celebrate Thanksgiving, don’t forget to save some energy.  It turns out that the kitchen accounts for about 15% of the home’s energy.  With holiday traditions often including extra baking and entertaining, your kitchen will be getting quite the work out.  Here are a few tips to keep your energy costs down:

Reuse the heat.  Using the stove and oven will generate more heat in your house.  To offset the cost, turn down your thermostat.  And, with the extra heat from the kitchen, you won’t need the thermostat up so high.

Stock the fridge with leftovers.  Don’t be afraid to pack your fridge tight with leftovers.  Having a full fridge helps reduce the energy it needs to keep your foods cool.

Keep your burners clean.  Clean burners mean less grime and less grime means less energy needed to heat the burner.  Regular maintenance might be a pain, but it will pay off in the long run.

Just a few small changes can go a long way in saving energy and of course, money, all without compromising your holiday.  Enjoy your time with family and friends.  Give thanks for the many blessings that surround you.  And, if you need help saving even more energy in your home, give us a call.  We are happy to help.

Thanks for stopping by!
-April

A Worldwide Energy Transition

November 6, 2014

energy

Last month, as we celebrated Energy Action month, we took a look at the Residential Energy Consumption Survey.  It showed that we are using more energy than ever before.  Efforts are being made not only nationwide, but worldwide to improve that number.  The Energiewende is what they are calling it and Germany is leading the push.  The New York Times writes, “Germany will soon be getting 30 percent of their power from renewable energy sources.  Many smaller countries are beating that, but Germany is by far the largest industrial power to reach that level in the modern era.  It is more than twice the percentage in the United States.”

It sounds like we have some catching up to do and we, at GreenHomes, couldn’t agree more.  There’s no better place to start saving energy than our homes.  Making your home more energy efficient whether that’s through proper air sealing and insulation, a right-sized AC or furnace, or even solar panels, can all help decrease our energy consumption.  And, if it helps, saving energy in your home will leave you more comfortable and lower your utility bills.

Read the full New York Times article referenced above, here:  http://goo.gl/5wYV37

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Is Your Home Energy Efficient?

October 23, 2014

Infographic

Pictured above is a snapshot of an infographic about your home’s efficiency.  The full version can be found on our website.  Our homes are one of the biggest investments we make in our lifetime.  We, as homeowners, should be determined in getting the most out of our home and that starts with its energy efficiency.  There are many ways you can make your home more energy efficient on your own like we talked about in our last post, Home Energy Saving Tips.  Kudos to you if you began to implement them!

There are, however, a number of things in your home that can’t be seen by the naked eye or fixed on your own.  For example, outside pollutants can seep into your home through small holes built into the structure of the home.  This isn’t something you would see.  It often translates itself into uneven temperatures in your home or unhealthy living conditions.  If you are experiencing either of these, the chances are you won’t find the culprit.  Since a lot of the holes are in the structure of the home, they will be behind walls or between floors where our naked eye cannot see.

At GreenHomes, we understand home efficiency.  We know the importance of conserving our resources and our pocketbooks.  And we specialize in home energy audits.  A home energy audit uses tools that can identify the holes that may be in the structure in your home.  It does more too.  We can tell you where energy is being used, where you are losing energy, and how you can save energy.  And of course, with saving energy, comes saving money.  Not to mention, your home will be more comfortable than ever before.

Feel free to share this post with a neighbor; let’s all play a part in saving energy this October!

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Home Energy Saving Tips

October 9, 2014

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This month, with the focus on energy, we want to encourage every homeowner to take action no matter how big or how small to conserve energy.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Cooking is like a puzzle. Match your pot to the size of your stovetop burner.  Using smaller pots waste heat when used on large burners.
  2. Don’t soak. Take short showers instead of baths.  If you want to save even more energy, use a low-flow showerhead.
  3. Power off, completely. If you aren’t in the room, turn off lights, TVs, computers, etc.
  4. Unplug battery chargers when not in use. Many chargers continue to burn energy even when the device isn’t plugged into the charger.
  5. Slow down. Drive safe and slow down.  Not only is speeding dangerous, it wastes fuel too.
  6. Upgrade your thermostat. Using a programmable thermostat may save you an estimated $180 a year.  It saves energy, too.
  7. Use cold water. Washing clothes with cold water can save you 40 cents per load.
  8. Forget the dryer. Dry your clothes on a clothesline or drying rack and save an estimated $252 a year.
  9. Ditch the incandescents. CFLs and LEDs are more energy-efficient and give off the same amount of light.  More information can be found on our fact sheet.
  10. Get an energy audit. Find out where your home is using and losing energy.  More than likely that lost energy is also costing you money.  Learn more in this video.

Sources:  Duke Energy, ENERGY STAR, Energy Information Administration, Choice Home Warranty

Energy Action Month, our favorite!

October 2, 2014

shutterstock_46711030Every October, we celebrate, along with the nation, Energy Action Month.  Its call on us is simple, take action.  With all the energy we use on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to step back from time to time and see where we can save energy for future generations.  We don’t want to use up all of our resources before our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids get to enjoy them.  From what the Residential Energy Consumption Survey tells us, we are using more energy than we ever have before!  Here at GreenHomes America, we focus primarily on home energy.  Each homeowner has an opportunity to not only save energy, but also save money.  For example, if you use a programmable thermostat, you will save energy and  an estimated $180 a year.  There are more examples like this one on our Energy Action Month fact sheet.

The first step, though, is to find out where your home is using and losing energy with a home energy audit.  From there, you can join the forces in saving energy and save money while you’re at it.

Share this post with anyone who owns a home.  Help save energy and help them save money.

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Are you ready for some football?

September 11, 2014

Football fans chearing on their team

It is official, we have begun another season of football.  Last Thursday, the 4th was the official kick off to the NFL season between the Seahawks and the Packers.  26.9 million people tuned into to watch these two teams battle for victory.  As the season progresses we can only expect those numbers to climb.  As those in your home tune into football, make sure you aren’t wasting money at the hands of your TV.  Our friends at ENERGY STAR have developed a list of the most energy efficient televisions in 2014 in three different categories:  Televisions under 35 inches, Televisions from 35 inches to 50 inches and Televisions over 50 inches.  Go ahead and check them out.  Whether your team wins or loses, at least you are saving money through it all.

While your TV can provide some relief on your utility bills, try other energy saving techniques like changing out your incandescent light bulbs or getting a home energy audit.

And, best of luck to your team this season.

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Happy Labor Day!

September 2, 2014

truck_house_for banner

This past weekend, we celebrated Labor Day.  A holiday we regard as the end of summer, but it is so much more than that.  Labor Day is a holiday dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.  Each of us who have had a hand in contributing to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country this day is a tribute to you.  Each year, we hope you enjoy it, whether it’s taking the last trip of summer or just relaxing at home watching football.  We hope you take time to kick your feet up and relax.  You deserve it.

And, if you find your home uncomfortable, let us know.  Our contribution to this country is conserving its resources while helping to improve the homes across America.  We’ve already helped over 10,000 families and are looking forward to helping thousands more.

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Go ahead…Relax

August 21, 2014

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Last Friday was National Relaxation Day, a day devoted to simply taking it easy.  I like whoever came up with this one.  We all desire a break from time to time so why not make a day for it?  Oftentimes, we think of our home when it comes to relaxing.  We all have a favorite spot on the couch or a favorite room in the house to unwind.  I know I do, I have a chair in my bedroom by a big window where I sit and read.  If the window is open, a slight breeze carries in the sound of birds singing just outside.  It’s peaceful and it’s comfortable.

What if every room in our house could be that comfortable?  Every room where the temperature is just right, no change of clothes needed or an extra blanket.  I’m not dreaming.  I know this is possible.  Home Performance and a home energy audit are foreign terms to many, but they are terms that encompass making your home more comfortable and efficient.  This means even temperatures from room to room, lower utility bills every month, and no wasted energy.

So, go ahead, relax.  And if you’d like, improve the comfort in the rest of your home.  You never know, you might find a new favorite spot to unwind.  Share this post with a neighbor or friend, comfort is something we all deserve.

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Fans Only Cool People… what?

July 17, 2014

My House - New Orleans - Kitchen 2010.jpg
In these hot summer months we love our fans of all kinds, desk fans, ceiling fans, clip on fans, the list goes on.  Naturally, if we are in a warm room we turn on the ceiling fan to help cool the room.  When we leave the room, we leave the fan on so it can continue cooling.  If it cools us, it will cool the room, right?  Wrong.  Fans have fooled us all.  The U.S. Department of Energy reminds us that fans cool people, not rooms.  How?  They create a wind chill effect by moving air over our skin.  As far as the room goes, the fan will actually create more heat in the room because of its motor.  Not only that, but by leaving it on, you are increasing your electric bill.  Sounds pretty counterproductive, doesn’t it?

You aren’t without options though.  Sure, cool off with a fan while you are in the room and turn it off when you leave.  That would be using fans efficiently.  Or, get an energy audit to see why that room is so warm in the first place.  This would help you to use your home more efficiently.

Feel free to share with your fellow homeowners, we can’t let anyone else get fooled by the fan.

Thanks for stopping by!
-April

 

Picture Source:  “My House – New Orleans – Kitchen 2010” by Alex CastroFlickr: My House – New Orleans – 2010. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


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