Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

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

Calling all Americans!

September 17, 2014

truck_house_for banner

On September 17, 1787 thirty-nine men signed the Constitution.  Our founding fathers, as we call them, helped secure things like life, liberty, freedom and prosperity by forming and signing this document.  To commemorate them we celebrate Constitution Day every September 17th.  We couldn’t be more proud to join in on the celebration.  America is where we live and work.  We know our opportunities and freedoms exist because of this document and the men behind it.  Humbly, we have committed ourselves to conserving America’s resources as much as possible to help elongate its sustainability.  Our forte is in conserving energy on the residential front with services like a home energy audit.  It’s our way of giving back to America.

Thank you to our founding fathers who, with bravery, founded this great nation.  We celebrate you.  We also celebrate all those who have died for this country to keep us free.  We couldn’t be more proud to have America in our name.

Happy Constitution Day!

Thanks for stopping by,

April

Are summer allergies keeping you inside?

August 7, 2014

House-Infiltration

August is a rough month for summer allergies, especially those allergic to mold spores.   Peaking during hot and humid weather, mold spores are on the attack.  The best solution is to stay indoors when the count is very high.  The problem we all have though, is outdoor air gets into our homes with all of its allergens and pollutants.  The tricky thing is this isn’t always because a window or a door is open.  We at GreenHomes call it infiltration.  It’s a fancy word that basically means that the outdoor air flows into the house through openings, joints, and cracks in walls, floors, ceilings and around windows and doors.

When your house was built, holes were made for pipes and wires that may have never been sealed.  We know this because of what we do: home energy audits.  It is a comprehensive test that includes a focus on indoor air quality.  Because of this test, we can identify where air is coming into your home and seal it up.  This will keep that outdoor air where it belongs, outside, and possibly give  you some relief from all of that sneezing.

Share this post with family or a friend who are suffering from allergies.

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

America, it’s Who We Are

July 3, 2014

Extended family enjoying at home with their pets.

America isn’t just in our name; it’s who we are and where we work. Here at GreenHomes America, we spend a lot of our time serving homeowners all across America.  We are privileged to meet a lot of different people in different regions.  This Friday as we celebrate Independence Day and our freedom, we want to celebrate each of you, the people who make up this great nation.

Thank you for inviting us into your home.  We are honored to help and serve you and your families.

We wish you and yours a safe and happy 4th of July!

-GreenHomes America

 

Retrofit For Health? Why Yes!

May 7, 2014
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Hard to breathe? One of our advisors after working in an attic!

Remodeling and home improvement is done for many reasons but health doesn’t usually come to mind first, but maybe it should. This is Asthma awareness month , indoor air quality and health seems a fitting subject.

It may not be clear why some suffer from Asthma, but reducing triggers can sure help make it more manageable. It just so happens that some of those triggers are the same concerns we have in everyone’s home.   Dust, mold, by products from combustion, and chemicals stored in the home can all cause problems.

We’ve talked about it in the past and improving the indoor environment may help you keep the outdoors out since that can be a trigger too.

Breathe easy in an efficient, safer and more comfortable home, your home. Click here for more information.

Thanks,

Jason

Don’t eat your Boots

March 24, 2014

For those in the eastern part of the country, experiencing record breaking cold temperatures and another round of storms, you may be wondering if the continent has shifted north to the arctic, or if winter will ever go away. To cheer myself up, I’ve been reading a book called “The Man Who Ate His Boots: The Tragic History of the Search for the Northwest Passage” by Anthony Brandt. Winter doesn’t seem so bad anymore, nor does Spring.

Wintering over in the arctic at -30F with your ship frozen in the ice just so you can go further North when it thaws seems… kind of crazy. It’s not for me, but what I did find fascinating with this history, was the ingenuity that came from these voyages over two centuries ago and how little it transferred to home.

One explorer, Captain Parry spent some time with a stove maker to design a better system that not only kept the ship warm and melted ice for the crew, but also handled condensation build up in their makeshift home for the winter. Below zero outside and 70 degrees inside must have felt pretty good. It was not simply a better stove. It was a system. Insulation was added, heat was distributed and in addition to comfort, they burned less fuel. Just like your home should be!

Brand writes: “Mr. Sylvester and Captain Parry had invented a remarkably efficient form of central heating. It’s a shame the system was not applied to British housing, which remained heated entirely by coal fireplaces into quite recent times.

Past explorations led to eating leather boots to survive and worse, and Captain Parry learned a thing or two. Don’t eat your boots to survive at home. Consider making your ship more bearable for the rest of this season and for the next! I’m guessing the good Captain made himself comfortable at home too.

Spring is coming!

 

Thanks,

Jason

image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AIcebergs.jpg

 

Oh No, Here Comes Another Learning Experience!

October 24, 2013

energy action

Nothing like learning from our experiences or mistakes is there?  Becoming aware of our energy use, naturally leads to finding ways to reduce that usage.  In celebration of Energy Action month you could really geek out on some resources out there like this from the National Academy of Sciences, But to make it relevant and to “bring it home” consider a  home energy assessment.

A good energy advisor will be able to help you in your energy awareness right where it matters most.  Look for an assessment of your home that also provides solutions you can act on, not just a list of problems.  Awareness is a great start,  and embracing the learning experience with action is putting the right foot forward and that is what October is all about.

 

Thanks,

Jason

Doing Your Part for the War on Uncomfortable?

October 16, 2013

These government posters from WWII urged homeowners to do their part, but I think they still apply today, maybe a little differently though.  The War is against inefficiency and a fight for comfort.

war

Vacation at home if you like, and make sure you and your dog are comfortable.   Maybe what you save from the travel can go towards comfort improvements at home.  Plan for winter now, I like that any time is a good time to winterize or summarize your home.

Carpooling is great, especially if you get to use that special lane on the highway!  Sharing resources is a good idea and so is reducing your fuel use.  It doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice though.  Home Performance is fighting the good fight right here on the Home front.

Take action, stay cool, stay warm, stay comfortable!

 

Jason

NIMBY, no wait YIMBY!

July 26, 2013

Sun_PylonWe need power. We heat and cool our homes, run our devices with it, and what we use is limited to what we produce or generate.  Energy use in the summer often puts a strain on the grid, and we are redlining at times.

Some forms of power generation are less desirable than others, they come at a cost.  Nuclear power for example is great stuff, until things go wrong, or we have to find a place for the waste.  That’s when some folks cry “Not in My Back Yard”.

Fracking, the process of injecting high pressure liquids deep in the ground to release natural gas, could produce 15 million barrels of oil a day by 2050 the U.S., mentioned in this article according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.   This certainly helps liberate us from foreign oil dependency, but it has also been criticized by the NIMBY crowd.

My intentions are not to judge good or bad, or right or wrong here but I will weigh in on this from the same article:  Investing in already available technologies to increase energy efficiency can save 23 million barrels of oil a day.  This is the stuff we love.  Better Insulation, more efficient appliances, more efficient homes!   That sounds a lot like Home Performance.

Yes in my back yard. Please!

Thanks,

Jason

Sun picture from Stefan Wernli


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