Posts Tagged ‘GreenHomes’

GreenHomes America is Hiring

April 29, 2011

GreenHomes America is HiringGrow With The Leader in Home Performance!
We Are Hiring!

Top Reasons to Work for GreenHomes America

  • Market leader in an exciting industry
  • Competitive salaries & great benefits
  • Rewarding “green” environment helps people and the planet
  • Use the latest tools, equipment & technology
  • Training and advancement opportunities

We Want the Best!

If you are highly motivated, driven to achieve, team-oriented, and dedicated to customer satisfaction then you’ve come to the right place!  We are looking for:

  • Advisors/Auditors—multiple locations in NY, NJ, CA, VA etc.
  • Financing manager
  • Installation Technicians

For more information or to apply:  visit us online or email info@greenhomesamerica.com

Equal Opportunity Employer.

GreenHomes is hiring in New York, California, and Virginia

April 20, 2011
 
We Are Hiring!

With more people concerned about making their homes more comfortable and concerned about rising energy costs, we’re seeing strong demand for quality home improvements.  To continue to grow and serve these homeowners, GreenHomes America needs to add to our top-notch staff.  

Currently, we’re hiring Energy Advisors and installers in Syracuse, NY, the Capital District of New York, and several California and Virginia locations.  Knowledge and experience in the home performance arena is strongly preferred, but we also have an industry leading in-house training program.  If you’re committed to excellence and customer satisfaction and you  like seeing happy homeowners after we’ve solved their comfort and energy problems, contact us for more information.  [Note–we do background checks, reference checks, and drug-testing.]

Our partner, Energy Efficient Solutions, in Yorktown, VA, is also hiring.

Thanks,
Mike

Crawlspaces don’t have to be stinky!

March 21, 2011
Dead Rabbit in Crawlpace

Often a smelly crawlspace is caused mold or mildew. Sometimes, by dead animals. Occasionally, both.

While it is snowing AGAIN today in parts of the Northeast, many folks are hoping the ice-damming season is over.  (Smart folks who recognized the problem are looking ahead to prepare for next year, though.  Remember, ice damming is only one symptom of a year-round problem.) 

Meanwhile, crawlspaces in the Southeast are already ramping up to reach their full stinky potential.  I’ve been in some that literally made me sick.  And many people live in houses that are well connected to that wet, smelly, allergen producing mold farms.

Typical Poor Crawlspace Installation

If your crawlspace looks like this, it probably isn't working well

Let me state the obvious.  Moldy, stinky crawlspaces aren’t good.  But as with ice damming, the smell is a symptom.  The problem is poor moisture control and energy detailing.  Some of it stems from older building codes that got it exactly wrong and required counterproductive “ventilation”.  And a lot stems from unwise material choices and poor attention to installation.  (As Jason hinted at a couple of weeks ago, they’re building homes faster than we can fix them!)

Mold and mildew  in the crawlspace are signs that you could be in for more trouble, including rotting wood framing that can put your whole house in jeopardy, and critters including rodents and snakes, and high utility bills.  Much of this is driven by designs and construction practices that don’t control moisture.

A clean, properly sealed and insulated crawlspace can tranform your home.

Fortunately, there are good solutions, and the right folks to deliver them.  For example, the team at Energy Efficient Solutions, a GreenHomes America location in Yorktown, Virginia sees this all the time—they live in stinky crawlspace country.  But they’ve been doing an excellent job transforming people’s homes from the ground up.

A good crawlspace encapsulation, controlling water and moisture, using a strong vapor barrier on the ground, and sealing and insulating the crawlspace walls, make the crawlspace the foundation of a well-performing home as it should be, rather than a nightmare below the floorboards the plagues your home constantly.  The benefits are amazing.  You can virtually eliminate mold and mildew and the smells and the rot that accompany them, make the space less interesting for rodents, increase the comfort and livability of your home, and save money by reducing your utility bills.

If you’ve got a stinky crawlspace, cold floors in the winter, high utility bills, or musty odors in your home, you do NOT have to live with it.  Start with a good assessment of your home and let us fix the problems!

Thanks,
Mike

We’ve Been Nominated for Best Green Blog!

March 4, 2011

San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling has canvassed the web in search of the best green blogs, and we were chosen! Now, we’re in the running with some other great blogs for the prestigious title of Best Green Blog!

If you enjoy reading this blog and want to help us reach other people who may find our tips and insights useful, then please take 5 seconds to cast your vote! It’s that easy.

Click this Link to Vote: http://www.jacksondesignandremodeling.com/blogger-awards

Thanks for all your support!

GreenHomes America — proudly serving homeowners since 1981

February 19, 2011

30 years!  Check out this short video on some of our history.

What’s wrong with this picture? Efficiency before renewables usually makes the most sense.

January 29, 2011

Thanks to GreenHomes America’s Home Performance Training Manager, Jason Todd for passing along this photo which begs a few questions.  When we’re looking at home energy, we like to focus on energy efficiency before we starting adding on renewable energy sources like solar and wind.   As Brett Knox likes to repeat “Reduce before You Produce”.  This picture suggests that someone may have taken another path.

We’ve certainly talked a lot about icicles and ice damming here.  And the summary version is they are not good and indicate you’re wasting energy and money.  The snow melt patterns on the roof and the icicles suggest that this house is losing a lot of heat through it’s attic and roof.

The cost to correct this (with good air-sealing and insulation details) on most homes is generally less than the cost of a solar hot water system as pictured here (partially buried under snow in the center of the photo).  And the energy savings,  carbon reductions, and other benefits, are typically greater with the efficiency measures than with this system.  Further, correcting the heat loss problem helps prevent the possible roof and structural damage that can result from ice build up.  This is a case where the economic, environmental, and comfort advantage of efficiency make a lot more sense than starting with solar.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a fan of solar, and we install it.  Solar hot water makes sense for a lot of people, and it is a great entree into renewables.  Most of the time, though, renewable energy makes the most sense AFTER you’ve taken the low hanging fruit offered by energy-efficiency.  Efficiency First!

[BTW, regarding solar hot water systems, in many cases I prefer the flat-plate collectors show in this video, over the evacuated tube collectors pictured above.  Flat-plate collectors  tend to be less expensive, more durable, and we’ve seen fewer issues up north with snow building up and inhibiting the collector.  Conversely, a lot of people report that snow collects around the nooks and crannies of the evacuated tubes and doesn’t shed off easily.]

Thanks,
Mike

Home Affordability: Total Cost of Ownership

January 23, 2011

As a green real estate agent, I think energy efficiency features are important.  But not for the obvious reasons.  I appreciate them because I think buyers who understand energy efficiency make for happier home owners – it helps you manage your home costs better.

For years, mortgage lenders have trained us to focus on PITI.  We figure out how much home you should buy based on Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance.  But that is only part of the picture.  For example, the Institute for Market Transformation notes that energy costs are a significantly larger aspect of a family’s monthly budget – much bigger than the taxes and insurance we base mortgage calculations on. 

So how can you make better choices and get more control over your monthly budget?  It’s time to start thinking about the Total Cost of Ownership.  Total Cost of Ownership means you factor in your mortgage, plus Transportation, Utilities and Maintenance costs. 

Today there’s no one-stop resource for evaluating Total Cost of Ownership.  But the resources are evolving fast.  Here’s a list of the best Total Cost of Ownership resources right now:

Transportation

  • Abogo (as in “abode” + go) helps you see the transportation costs associated with one address vs. another
  • Look for the Walkscore badge on more and more listings for sale; or, visit the site to enter an address and see how walkable it is and what the public transit options look like

Utilities

  • A home energy makeover, like the retrofits GreenHomes America is known for, is a great investment that will cut your monthly costs
  • If you are shopping for a home, ask for the utility bills over the past 13 months and background details on retrofit work done, and the results of any before and after testing

Maintenance

  • Condo associations have performed Reserves Studies for years.  Homeowners can use the same approach.  A reserve study considers how old the key systems in your home are, how long you can expect them to last, and helps you budget funds to proactively replace or update them as needed.
  • A good home inspection, combined with a home energy assessment is a great tool to create your own home maintenance plan. 

So start thinking about  Total Cost of Ownership for a better way to enjoy your home and manage your family budget.

Laura Reedy Stukel is an EcoBroker Certified real estate agent and nationally recognized consultant, writer and speaker on home energy efficiency.  She is a market transformation expert, focused at accelerating home retrofits at key real estate leverage points.  Her work is unique, focused on energy efficiency projects fueled by the power of consumer choiceSM.

Spencer Abraham–We need good energy policy

January 22, 2011

At our GreenHomes  continuing education conference yesterday, we had the opportunity to hear from from Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham.  Among other things, he discussed his book, Lights Out!,  Some good nuggets.  While you may or may not agree with all his conclusions or recommendations, he does point out the tremendous urgency we face to change the way we think about energy in the U.S. and get serious about it.

And last month, we heard a similar story from current Secretary, Steven Chu, and his discussion of an energy “Sputnik” moment.

A Bush-era appointee and an Obama appointee both highlighting the need to act quickly with a smart energy policy.  Some of their specifics differ.  But there is huge overlap.  And I’ve personally heard both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate echo the same sentiments.  And yet, on what should be a strong bi-partisan–indeed, non-partisan–national priority item, Congress can’t seem to take action.  Let’s hope that changes in the 112th.

Thanks,
Mike

Syracuse pounded by snow–and roof ice problems follow

December 13, 2010

Normally snowy Syracuse was hammered with snow over the past week.  And there’s more snow on the way.  The weather service has issued a lake effect watch, and estimates are as high as 2 feet of new snow by Thursday.

With the snow, comes the potential for big ice problems, icicles and ice damming.  And it’s started already, as evidenced by the pictures from Syracuse Advisor Ed Nedell.

We’ve discussed earlier about how poor air-sealing and insulation can lead to ice problems.  And we’ll renew that conversation.  Bottom line:   While nothing can totally prevent ice and icicles on your roof under these conditions, good insulation and air-sealing details can drastically reduce the problem. 

If you’re in Syracuse or central New York, and you’re experiencing this, you’ve got a clear sign that your home isn’t performing like it should, and the energy problems may lead to structural problems from ice damage.  Give us a call (315-474-6549) and we’ll get an Advisor out as soon as possible to help determine help to prevent this in the future.

Thanks,
Mike

Scary attics need insulation, too!

November 29, 2010

At GreenHomes, we spend a lot of time in attics–because attics need a lot attention!  We talk a lot here about air-sealing and insulating attics.  In addition to hazards suchs as electrical, suspect insulation, and falling through the ceiling, we run into a myriad of scary things.  We had a DIYer talking about dead birds.  And here’s a shot passed along by Syracuse Advisor Bill Meadows of an enormous wasps’ nest in the attic of a recent project.  I’m sure glad this project included redecking the roof so that there was easier access to this monstrosity.

big wasp nest in an attic

Be safe up there!

Thanks,
Mike


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