Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Quality time indoors isn’t quality for some

May 15, 2014

We spend much of our time indoors in this country. For those who suffer from Asthma this can be a problem especially when our indoor air can trigger attacks. I’ve been talking about Asthma Awareness this month, and  I want to draw attention to some triggers in more detail.

trucks outside home

Improving a home with insulation and air sealing brings more than comfort and energy savings.   It can reduce the amount of dust generated as well. Shutting down pathways to the outside can help reduce other pests and the influence of the outside as well. Sometimes the great outdoors isn’t so great for those of us who suffer from Asthma.

Air sealing can reduce connections to other spaces as well, such as your garage where chemicals and fuels are kept.   It can also reduce connections to crawlspaces and basements where things can get moldy.

Consider an energy audit as a way to help increase the quality of your indoor air.

Thanks,

Jason

A warm welcome to our newest locations! Buckeye, Boehmer and Tom’s!

May 1, 2014

This year we’ve spread our reach across the country, allowing us to help serve even more customers with three new locations joining our network!

new locations

Buckeye Heating and Cooling joins us from Columbus, Ohio. “We are thrilled to be a part of the GreenHomes organization,” said Brad Wentz, President of Buckeye Heating & Cooling. “We are proud to be able to offer Home Performance services to the Columbus region and provide homeowners with solutions to help lower energy bills and improve overall comfort and safety in their homes.” It is great to have them on board!

Out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas, Tom’s Mechanical is gearing up for cooling season and helping homeowners with more than their systems as a GreenHomes America franchise partner. “Above all, Tom’s Mechanical is committed to ‘doing the right thing’ for our customers and employees,” said Rich Ashton, President of Tom’s Mechanical. “By joining the GreenHomes America network, we can now offer even more home solutions for our customers. I couldn’t be happier about this next chapter for our company.

From the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area I also want to welcome Boehmer Heating and Cooling. “We are a reliable and friendly company, dedicated to fulfilling our customers’ requirements for their homes,” said Steve Boehmer, co-owner of Boehmer Heating and Cooling. “As a GreenHomes America contactor, we are thrilled to also offer our customers Home Performance solutions. We look forward to providing homeowners with solutions to help lower their utility bills and improve the comfort and safety in their homes.”

GreenHomes America looks forward to assisting our latest locations help homeowners improve their homes, making them safer, more efficient and comfortable in the process. I encourage you to reach out them and see how they can help you!

 

Thanks,

Jason

March Madness and the Final Four

March 10, 2014

BasketballMad as a March Hare? We tend to get a bit cagey at the end of the winter ready for spring to well, spring. At least there’s college basketball! It’s great to see these teams move their way through the roster towards April, warmer weather and the Final Four!
Guard against foul weather and center your home with the slam dunk of comfort, efficiency, health and safety. It’s what every home should be!

Thanks,

Jason

Energy Efficient Candles?

December 23, 2013

In the rapid fire rush of holidays this time of year, we often forget to pay attention to some of the smaller details.  Like how dark it’s getting!  When the days are shorter we tend to turn on the lights sooner.  It’s no wonder a number of holidays this time of year are focused on lights!

candle

Since I’ve recently weathered an ice storm and power outages here in the Northeast, this thought is fresh in my mind:  one candle may produce tens or a maybe hundreds of Btu’s of energy depending on its size and wax make up.  But what does this little light and the few Btu’s produced mean?

An average household in the U.S. uses 90 million Btu’s for lighting, heating and cooling.  During this time of year a lot of this is lighting!  Think of all those tens or hundreds of Btu’s you use in your home no matter what the “candle” really is!

While I’m not sure there is a more energy efficient candle, (makes me think of a more efficient Flintstone’s car), we can change light bulbs and strings of lights that offer safety and savings all in one.  This is a festive time of year, turn on the lights, keep yourself warm and give yourself the gift of energy efficient “candles” whatever they may really be.

Happy Holidays from all of us at GreenHomes America!

Jason

Image from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Einzelne_Kerze.JPG

Ways to Save on Heating Costs

December 19, 2013

One of our newest locations, Buckeye Heating and Cooling, was featured on the news in Columbus Ohio.   Technician Jeff Walsh spent some time performing a home energy audit and using the infrared camera.  Nice work Buckeye Heating and Cooling!  I think central Ohio just got a little warmer!  Not in Ohio, find a location near you!

You can view the Buckeye energy audit video here.

Thanks,

Jason

Ghosts and other Horrors!

October 28, 2013

Its Energy Action month this month and soon will be Halloween.   In the past we’ve talked about zombies, and vampires , witchcraft, and Trick or Treat but never about ghosts!

Armed with ghost buster-esque diagnostic equipment our advisors go from home to home looking for abnormal signs as part every energy assessment.

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Sometimes we don’t need fancy equipment, but usually need a strong understanding of building science.  Seeing patterns on walls revealing the framing are great signs. So are spider webs. Spider webs can reveal air flow.  Spiders, looking for a meal, often set up shop where dinner might fly by.  Leaks to the outside can be doorways and death traps for insects.

The ghosting pattern in the picture is often caused by a lack of insulation and moisture in the home.  With the right conditions, dirt collects on these under insulated surfaces.  Not only is there an insulation issue, the moisture can lead to more than dirt, there could be mold growth eventually.

Don’t be too scared, we’ve got some good solutions.  Give us a call we can help bust those ghosts, as well as other creatures lurking in your home!

Thanks,

Jason

photo courtesy of Energy Efficent Solutions http://www.greenhomesamerica.com/locations/172-energy-audit-and-energy-assessments.aspx

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

Keeping Cool: More than Comfort, In Crisis

July 2, 2013

Summer is in full effect and with it comes the heat!  The CDC has some great tips to help us get through this safely.

Bus ad

  • Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
  • Do not leave children or pets in cars.
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates.

It’s no accident that air conditioning is at the top of the list.  It is the number one line of defense against the heat.   By all means get outside and enjoy the season, but make sure you have a safe place to retreat to when it gets too hot.

Keeping the AC in your home in good working order is more than a matter of comfort, it’s about safety!

Thanks,

Jason

Can the LED Mean no More Excuses?

June 14, 2013

We have written about LED lighting in the past, and there are lots of good reasons to consider it in your home.  The recessed lighting options out there can help with energy savings as well as tackling a troublesome air sealing dilemma.

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But the big hurdle for me is the light bulb. We use them everywhere in our homes and in places where we really need them like to read or get down the stairs.  There have a number of bulbs making their way to market, and one of them is CREE.

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It did cost me $12, but my biggest complaint is that I may have to keep the receipt for 10 years if it fails under warranty.  If it only lasts 10 years, it will have been a $1.20 a year investment and I expect to spend that much a year to keep it on about 6 hours a day since it uses only 9.5 watts produces 800 lumens.  An incandescent might cost $8 a year to burn the same hours and it sure won’t last 10 years.

What does it look like though, since nostalgia and good looks matter and have kept some of us from changing standard light bulbs to compact fluorescents.    Go figure, I think it looks like a light bulb.  I’m running out of excuses. Even with antique fixtures, something crying for an old Edison bulb I think it looks pretty good.

Thanks,

Jason

 

Integrating Resilience & Energy Efficiency in Existing Homes

May 22, 2013

This was a topic at national conference recently and a very relevant one.   As we respond and react to the terrible tragedy in Oklahoma I urge you to consider what it means to you and your home. remains of homes

The “opportunity” to rebuild thinly veils the great loss that has occurred and my heart goes out to those in need.  Let us also take this “opportunity” to make those homes better and all of ours.

Our homes should be safe places and while some natural disasters cannot be avoided no matter the type of building, it is important to consider saftey first.  For those homes that survive events like this or Hurricane Sandy, the ability to weather the storm longer is, in my mind, the strongest argument for energy efficiency.

Properly sheltered from the elements, a well insulated and air sealed home lasts longer in the extreme heat or cold.  Energy efficient lighting and appliances and their reduced load are better suited for alternative power supplies such as battery back-up or generators.

Take this “opportunity” to help now, here are some resources, and help plan for the future too.

Thanks,

Jason


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