Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’

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!


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!


Image from:

Lights! Home! Action!

December 17, 2013

light tree

The days are shorter, it’s darker, and what kind of season would it be without lights!  Here are some tips from us at GreenHomes America to make your season a bright and efficient one!

  • Switch to smaller and newer lights, consider LED lighting in particular.  There are significant savings with this newer lighting technology.  If you must have the big bulbs, switching to a smaller wattage may help (this works with all the lighting in your home).
  • Use a timer! It is good to turn off the lights when you don’t need them and much easier if you set them up on a timer.
  • Make sure lights have a (UL) label which means they Underwriters Laboratory safety requirements. (we follow BPI requirements for your home)
  • Use the right set for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Safety Check! Just like we perform on your home! New or old check all light sets for frayed wires, damaged sockets, or cracked insulation. If you find any defects, replace the entire set (if we find defects in your home we can fix them, you don’t have to throw it away).
  • All outdoor cords, plugs and sockets must be weatherproof. Keep electrical connections off the ground, and make sure wiring is kept clear of drainpipes and railings to prevent any risk of shock.  Water can cause all sorts of problems and not just with electricity.
  • Don’t overload your electrical circuits. Circuits in older homes carry a maximum of 1800 watts each. Most newer homes can handle 2400 watts each. While our friends over at CurrentSafe can speak to this, be safe!



Great Green Holiday Ideas from GreenHomes America Partner WESCO

December 17, 2012

One of our newest locations, Washington Energy Services, recently posted some great tips on greening your Holiday season.  Love the local focus here, nothing like supporting your community and also enjoying the season while you do it!


Please read on here, and if you are in the area, reach out to a part of the Green Team, you will be glad you did.

Happy Holidays!


Safely Finding Your Way Through the Hazards of Thanksgiving!

November 19, 2012

It’s that time of year again and I look forward to the family gathering so we can stuff ourselves like birds.  With the colder weather we close up our homes, so it is time to ensure that our heating equipment is in good shape, like I mentioned last week in talking about fall clean ups.

Here are a few safety tips for the kitchen:

  • Keep the cooking area clear of clutter:  Don’t overload a cook top with too many pots and pans. More heat and more confusion can increase the chance for burns and grease fires.  
  • Dress for the occasion!  Cooking means being near the stove and range.  Make sure you won’t get snagged or burned in the process.  Wear tighter fitting clothes or short sleeves in the kitchen. 
  • Turn handles in.  We can forget some of these simpler things, but there may be more going on that you are used to in the kitchen and more kids too!
  • Do not pour water on a grease fire.  Turn off the burner, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid onto the pan. Leave the lid in place until the pot or pan is cooled, water will only make it worse!
  • Turn off the stove when you are done:  Easy to forget in a busy kitchen trying to get everything to the table.  Hot surfaces are part of it but, how well is your oven vented? Or is it?

This last tip reminds me of a few posts from last year.

I still subscribe to our Director of QA and Safety, Dave Abrey’s theory of sleepy guests.  It might not be the Turkey!

Be thankful, stay safe, and stay warm!

Enjoy the holiday!


Image courtesy of Grant Snider from

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