Posts Tagged ‘family’

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

Summer is here. Be safe!

June 17, 2014

Summer SafetySafety is a top priority for us in the work we do in your home. We stress it every day.  In fact an energy audit is only partially about saving you money.  It is also about keeping you and your family safe.  As part of our audit, we check for gas leaks on the combustion equipment in your home like your furnace or gas stove.

While we keep you safe inside, here are a few tips to keep you safe outside as summer closes in:

  • Watch out for Bugs!  Mosquitoes and ticks are the most common.  Repellants are helpful for both.  If ticks are an issue in your area there are some simple landscaping efforts you can do to help deter them.
  • Enjoy the sunshine, but cover up! Hats, sunscreen and shade are encouraged.
  • If it gets too hot inside your home and even hotter oustide, maybe energy efficiency improvements are what you need for safety’s sake!

 

Thanks,

Jason

 

Photo by Steffen Flor  from wikimedia commons

Low Hanging Fruit and Big Watermelons

April 18, 2014

That was how Philippe Benoit, the head of the International Energy Agency, described the perception of achieving energy efficiency versus what it’s often like. Suggesting that people feel they are not plucking a ripe apple off a tree but having to lift a heavy watermelon when it comes to fixing their homes in order to make them energy efficient. Alfred_Sisley_031
The BusinessWeek article also quoted him as saying “It’s perceived as boring and intangible, and the combination of the two makes it more difficult to understand. It’s much easier for people to understand putting solar panels on their roof and seeing the kilowatt-hours they generate than putting insulation in their home and noting the savings in energy consumption.”
My great grandfather was a farmer in the Midwest. As a kid, my father would visit the farm with siblings and cousins and they would all go out to the fields with grandpa where the watermelons were. I imagine it seemed like quite a walk when you were young. The mission was to bring melons back for later, to share with the family, but somehow, my great grandfather managed to drop every time on the walk back. “Well…” I can imagine him saying, “guess we’ll have to eat that one here.”
Solar panels are a great technology and for many make sense, but they are only part of a larger solution for you at home. At the risk of adding another food metaphor, they should be the icing on top of the cake, the cake being a well insulated and air-sealed home, designed to provide the fresh air you need, and having efficient heating and cooling systems inside.

Watermelons are only big and unwieldy when they are whole. Breaking them up makes light work of what seemed like a big task. And there’s nothing more satisfying with sharing the rewards of your labor with your family immediately. Maybe we can’t make energy efficiency flashy and exciting, but the fruits are worth the effort, GreenHomes can help.

 

Thanks,

Jason

Image of Alfred Sisley painting from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alfred_Sisley_041.jpg

Boy has it been a busy year for GreenHomes America!

October 1, 2012

Young’s Air Conditioning of Los Banos, California came on board before the start of the New Year.  Young’s is a family business with strong roots in Los Banos and a reputation as the area’s leading provider of energy efficient heating and cooling services.

In the early part of the winter, we added three locations with Carolina Green Energy Systems.  CGES is one of South Carolina’s oldest and largest comprehensive Home Performance Contractors, and we are proud to include them in the GreenHomes Network.

Also new in town is Air Rescue Air Conditioning of Tampa, Florida. This is our first partner from the Sunshine state.   Air Rescue started in 1965, and is one of the oldest and largest residential HVAC contractors in the Tampa Bay Metro area.   Air Rescue will service customers in over seven counties.

This is only the beginning as GreenHomes grows to better serve you nationally!  Stay tuned for more!

Thanks,

Jason.

Is Your Air Conditioner Feeling the Heat?

August 17, 2012

Visiting family last month in the south brought home the importance of comfort.  After all, it was vacation and we were visiting a wonderful home able to accommodate a few families coming together.  It was a relatively new home too, clearly built to entertain, with large open spaces and expansive porches.   While it was great to relax on those porches, the afternoon sun often caused us to retreat inside for some cool air.  The air conditioners seemed to run the whole time we were there and I’d bet that was the case for much of the summer.

Always thinking about how efficiently a house works, I have to say there were a few rooms that always seemed to be on the warm side.  They were second story rooms above the garage with small closed off side attics.   The air conditioner had to work particularly hard to keep these spaces cool and the rooms really didn’t cool off until the sun went down.

Built to code, spacious and beautiful with all the bells and whistles, this home only fell short in one area:   performance.  For me this translates into more than just a loss in energy efficiency but also a lack of comfort.

I can’t stress enough the benefits and values from a comprehensive home assessment, even for new homes.  In fact, next time I visit I might bring along a blower door and infrared camera to conduct my own assessment.  Then I would be able to provide the family with some real solutions for their home performance.  After all, it’s the least I can do considering how well they fed me!

Thanks,

Jason


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