Archive for the ‘Insulation’ Category

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

Whatever you do, do it well

November 18, 2014
Screenshot from Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 1. (Timecode 00:00:04 of main feature). DVD issued by Walt Disney Home Entertainment, December 2003. DVD © Disney. Film copyright MCMXXIX (1929) DISNEY.

Screenshot from Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 1. (Timecode 00:00:04 of main feature). DVD issued by Walt Disney Home Entertainment, December 2003. DVD © Disney.
Film copyright MCMXXIX (1929) DISNEY.

“Whatever you do, do it well.  Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” – Walt Disney

Today, in 1928, Walt Disney took the cartoon world by storm with Steamboat Willie.  It was the first cartoon with synchronized sound.  Then, again, in 1937 Disney continued with creating the first sound and color animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  It’s safe to say he did animated cartoons and he did them well, so well that people continue to come back again and again.

Following Walt Disney’s lead, what we do we want to do it well, not for us, but for you.  We specialize in home energy audits.  You may have heard of it before.  It’s a service that can help you live more comfortably, safely, and affordably, all while reducing your carbon footprint.  Like cartoons, there are different versions out there of a home energy audit but only some may be of worth.  Ours is different.  For one, it’s comprehensive.  It takes more than just a clipboard to do our audit.  Our advisors are certified and equipped with tools to test your entire home’s performance.  After we do the audit and the improvements on your home, we come back and run a test just to make sure everything is at its optimal performance.

Find a location near you and see us do it well.  So well that we know you will want to bring others in to show them just how well we did.  And, whatever field you may be in, we offer the same advice to you, whatever you do, do it well.

Thanks for stopping by!
April

Sources:
http://patriciahysell.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/6314/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animated_cartoon

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

It’s vacation time!

June 24, 2014

If you have plans to travel this summer, ensure your home will be in good shape when you go. The sun is out and you should be too, but keeping your home safe and energy costs down is important. Vacation Here are a few tips:

  • Use a programmable thermostat.  Depending on where you live, programmable thermostats can help regulate the temperature and humidity in your home.  When programming it, remember you don’t need to cool your home as much when you are away and no one is home.
  • Check your insulation.  Believe it or not, having enough insulation and duct work that works properly can help reduce your energy costs.  Let us explain, watch this short video.
  • Leave a light on, but only if it’s a CFL or LED.  It’s good to leave a light on or two maintain the appearance of being home.   Save money and energy by using CFL’s or LED’s.  Changing your lightbulbs is an easy thing to do.  More facts about lightbulbs can be found here.
  • If no one’s using hot water, turn it off.  If you plan on being gone for a while, think twice about leaving your electric water heater on.  Turning it off at the breaker will help you reduce energy costs.  Your water heater might even have a vacation setting too.

Have a safe trip!

 

Photo from MrJack  on http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sonnenaufgang_Frankreich.JPG

Do you drive with the windows down or blast the AC?

June 12, 2014

This summer you might be spending some time on the road.  It’s a great time to vacation.  Seeking fuel efficiency in your vehicle means going easy on the pedal, but how do we keep cool on the hot summer road trips?  Do we drive with the windows down or blast the AC? Road Trip Efficiently Apparently keeping your windows down is more efficient  than blasting the AC.  We can safely argue that it is not as efficient as keeping the windows up and not using the AC.   I wouldn’t recommend this for a summer trip unless you want to know what that bug feels like under the magnifying glass! Cranking up the AC at home means comfort of course, and for some it’s a matter of health and safety especially when it gets hot.   We wouldn’t think of not using the AC when the temperature is soaring outside, but like your car, you can run your home more efficiently. How?  Keep your AC tuned up!  Regular maintenance helps avoid unexpected repairs.  While you are at it, tune up your house too.  Recommendations from an energy audit help you keep the cool where you want it, inside and the hot where you like it, outside.  In fact air sealing and insulation improvements can reduce the amount of cooling you need. Thanks, Jason Photo from Nicholas A. Tonelli under  creative commons license

Reduce first!

October 30, 2013

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, the call for environmental responsibility, is well known.

P1170049

The demonstration home in San Diego, I’ve been discussing over in the last few months, has been a great success allowing GreenHomes America partner ASI Hastings to show, as well as tell, their community of the great work that can be done in their homes tackling these R’s in particular the first one Reduce.

101_0792

We’ve talked about some of the high efficiency equipment they installed, some of the exterior improvements which helped to reduce water usage, but a homeowner can reduce their usage simply by improving the building itself.  GreenHomes America locations combine building improvements with equipment improvements for a win-win situation.

101_0877

This is exactly what ASI Hastings did, they insulated the walls, attic and air sealed the home. By insulating and reducing the amount of uncontrolled airflow in the home they reduced what the home’s systems needed to produce for comfort.

Thanks,

Jason

Home Energy Makeovers and Hard Choices, the Good Kind!

August 29, 2013

Our good friends at Allbritten Plumbing Heating and Air, a GreenHomes location in Fresno CA, had to make some hard decisions this summer, but doing the right thing was not one of them.  After receiving well over 100 nominations for a Home Energy Makeover they offered, the hard part was picking just one.

Every year this location gives back to their community.   Employees take part in cleaning up a park or volunteering at a food bank, and are proud to do so.  This year, an installer suggested doing what they do best and offering their services improving a home for a family in need. Manager Andrea Doidge describes it as “a community service project on steroids”.

fresno bee 1

They discovered there were quite a few families making hard choices at home. And it really is a great service to offer since summer in the area can really be difficult.  “With all the cooling stations set up around the Valley often being full, and with times still being tough financially for many local families, keeping homes cool in the triple digit heat can be difficult. We are excited about the chance to really make a difference in one family’s lives,” said Jerry Unruh, president of Allbritten.

fresno bee2

One great thing about all of all of this is letting people know about the kind of work many of us need in our homes, and that it’s not only attainable and affordable it just plain makes sense.  Energy Upgrade California offers great rebates making this work more affordable in across the state but other states offer rebates too.  Having your home assessed and most importantly, improved isn’t a hard choice at all it’s a great thing to do!

In upcoming posts, I will tell you more about the family that was chosen and the great work done on their home.

Thanks,

Jason

 

pictures by Gary Kazanjian – from the Fresno Bee

 

Welcome Gundlach’s! New to GreenHomes but 100 years in Business!

January 23, 2013

 

 Gundlachs_tag_JPEG

 

It is an honor and a pleasure to welcome our latest partner Gundlach’s Plumbing & Sheet Metal to the GreenHomes America network where we can truly help fulfill their statement, “today’s technology with good old fashioned integrity.”  It is great to see our network grow in Southern California, with this new location in Bakersfield.

Gundlach’s is a plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning service provider, originating in 1900 as a plumbing repair shop.  They also provide remodeling services for bathrooms and kitchens; becoming a GreenHomes America partner, they will now include home energy retrofits, allowing homeowners to dramatically improve their home’s energy efficiency and comfort levels.

Ken Wonderly, Owner of Gundlach’s says “We feel that the home energy retrofit market is going to grow substantially over the next few years and we are very excited to be part of it”.  Too true, I can see it growing already.  Welcome aboard!

Find out more http://www.gundlachsservice.com/.

Thanks,

Jason

 

 

Energy Tax Credits for 2013: Available again!

January 9, 2013

greenhomes evergy infographic

One good result from the end of the year fiscal cliff hanger is an extension of the residential energy tax credit.

If you haven’t used it in the past, all the way back to 2006, there is a $500 tax credit for material costs of certain energy efficiency measures done to your home.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act extended the tax credit through 2013, making it retroactive from January 1, 2012. This means last year counts as well.

10% of the cost of materials, such as insulation, exterior windows, and doors that meet Energy Star requirements, can be used. Credits for window expenses are limited, as are AC units and furnaces, so a combination of improvements will help maximize what you can get, just perfect for home performance work on your home.

Check out http://www.irs.gov/ for more information. Or see the entire American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 here. Ask us we can help!

Thanks,
Jason

Helping and Staying Safe after the Storm

November 7, 2012

Housing is near and dear to us here at GreenHomes, and even closer is safe housing.  Hurricane Sandy has significantly changed what many have taken for granted just as we go into colder weather in the Northeast.  Tens of thousands have found themselves without a home because of the storm.  Many more have found themselves with extensive damage to their homes and a long struggle to recover.

There are many ways to support efforts to support those affected, the Red Cross is collecting donations, and Feeding America has been working to provide food and water for example.

It is also important to keep in mind how to stay safe as people return to their homes.  The CDC has some useful information about what to look for when coming home to water damage, the dangers of electrical issues, and mold.   For many our homes are no longer the safe havens they once were.

Losing power means often means relying on a generator, which is a great concern since they are one of the leading reasons for CO poisoning.    I often preach about the importance of checking heating and cooking equipment, having a CO alarm in your home, but when all goes wrong and we need a generator just to get by, it is even more important to make sure it will be helping not harming us.

The dangers of unvented fireplaces  also true for generators in your home or garage.  A garage or enclosed porch may be more connected to your home than you think.   When using a generator; always make sure there is enough fresh air to dilute any of the exhaust fumes.  Keep them out of your homes!

Help the people in need; stay safe please, no matter where you are!

Thanks,

Jason

Photo of the New Jersey coast from the National Guard


%d bloggers like this: