Posts Tagged ‘energy-efficiency’

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

Advertisements

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

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

Good Equipment Needs Good Air Distribution

October 4, 2013

 DSC_0111 101_0847                      

Duct work, before and after. 

According to the America Lung Association, the indoor air in an average home is 10 times more polluted than outside air. Instead of treating the root cause of the issue – their home – homeowners purchase high-efficiency filters, allergy medicine and other medications to treat symptoms rather than doing something to eliminate the cause.

Many of the upgrades ASI completed on the showcase home demonstrate how homeowners can address the problem instead of just the symptoms.  It is important to seal or replace older ductwork to keep pollutants and irritants from entering our home’s from the attic, or anywhere else considered outside such as a crawlspace or basement. Doing this potentially frees us from medications and air filters later on.  This is the same great work that Allbritten has done for there home energy makeover.

If the furnace is the heart of the system, ducts are the arteries. No matter how healthy the heart may be its efficiency and effectiveness are limited by the ductwork in the home.

Insulation is important as well of course.   Just like our homes, we need to reduce un-controlled airflow in duct work and add the appropriate levels of insulation to keep the heat out in the summer.

Another part of HVAC we don’t always talk about is the V for ventilation.  We want to control the airflow so we know we are getting enough fresh air and that it is indeed fresh!

Thanks,

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

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

Spring time! New Siding, New Windows, New Extreme Retrofit?

April 3, 2013

Winter is past and we are gearing up for round two of our exterior insulation Deep Energy Retrofit project in New York. there was a feature in the NEWS , check it out!

DSC02875

As the weather gets nicer, we often consider new siding and new windows, it also may be time to consider new insulation. Any time is a good time to improve R values and reduce air leaks. If going extreme is not what you are prepared to do with a full exterior retrofit, consider that if siding is being replaced it is a great time to blow in dense packed fiber insulation.

If you are in the Syracuse, NY area and want to know more about what we are doing call us!   315-474-6549  or check out our website http://greenhomesamericacny.com/

Thanks,

Jason

Have a Heart

November 26, 2012

Maybe you have a great HVAC company that services your equipment.  It’s not always the easiest thing to do, and kudos if you’ve found a good one.   With a good provider I like service agreements because you know your equipment is taken care of and in a cost effective way.  But a good HVAC contractor should consider the whole house when thinking of heating and cooling systems not just the box in the basement or the attic.

 

From the Building Performance Institute

 

As we go into fall and colder weather, it’s time for tune ups, and service calls, but what about the rest of your home as well.  Who is paying attention to that?  A heart works well when we take care of the rest of our body.  We eat well, exercise and get good sleep, but also protect ourselves from the cold.  Put on a cap, coat and boots before going outside or you’ll get sick right?

Is your HVAC company’s solution to comfort a bigger “heart”, more ducts, more baseboard,  more cooling, or does it consider a better house so that heart “fits” well and works as it should?  Keep in mind that the heart is a very important part, but it is part of the whole.  Taking care of the whole house can really make a difference, as they say, “Home is where the Heart is!”

Thanks,

Jason

Fall Clean Up!

November 16, 2012

In New England it is easy to see the seasons change. It’s a time of harvest and preparation for our comfort through the coldest part of the year.   There’s plenty to do outside the home never mind on the inside. 

 For one thing it is time to tune up the furnace or boiler before the heating season begins.    Preventative maintenance is a good thing and worth the minor expense to ward of a major one in the middle of the heating season.  With a contractor you trust, that clean and tune may be part of a service agreement and can save you even more.

Your heating system is not the only thing that should get a tune up though.  For many of us, it’s the home too!   Even with the cleanest running furnace or boiler in your home, it is important to consider how well the building is insulated, resists air leakage, deals with moisture and provides indoor air quality.   

Since heating systems and buildings interact with each other, it’s a great idea to consider treating them together.  Seek out certified and experienced heating and cooling technicians, and the same for your home.  Consider a BPI accredited contractor that will look at your home as a system and help you prepare for the coming season making it healthier, safer and more energy efficient.

Thanks,

Jason

Fixes for Hidden Costs Reveal Hidden Benefits!

April 12, 2012

The offender in many folks’ minds when it comes to pollution is the automobile, not our homes.  It seems to be ingrained in our heads that automobiles are the worst offenders; I won’t discourage alternatives.   But, in fact, we generate twice as much carbon dioxide emissions as we consume coal, oil, and natural gas—directly or indirectly—in our homes.

Hidden CostImagine what happens if we cut the energy use in our homes by half?  The scale might balance out for sure, but there are definitely more benefits, saving money for one.  We do this on a daily basis.  Improving their home’s insulation and air tightness, heating and cooling systems, and more, will typically save our customers at least 25%, but often much more.

It all starts with a comprehensive home assessment which helps drive pollution and energy cost reduction in the home.  But the biggest impact we hear about from our customers is how comfortable that drive can be!  The end result we sometimes forget about is the level of comfort revealed after the job is done.

Thanks,

Jason

Image from the DOE’s home energy saver website


%d bloggers like this: