Posts Tagged ‘home comfort’

Stop Heating your Home this Summer

July 31, 2014

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, out of the total household’s energy usage, 6% is devoted to air conditioning.  Each homeowner is spending around $11 billion to power their air conditioner.  That is quite an investment.  Too easily we cost ourselves more money trying to cool our homes by what appliances we use.  Here are a few tips on how to avoid heating your home in the summer:
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  • Cook outside. Ovens and stoves create extra heat in your house.
  • Get rid of those incandescents. They are producing heat with 75% of the electricity they consume.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Take short showers, no baths.
  • Turn off computers, curling irons, hair dryers, stereos and televisions. They are all generating heat.

Our homes are where we should be most comfortable.  We can increase our comfort and decrease our utility bills by eliminating some of the heat we produce.  Your AC is already working overtime for you.  Give it a break and leave the heat generation to the sun.

Share this post with a neighbor and help them cool off this summer.

Thanks for stopping by!
-April

Desperate for a Cool Down?

July 10, 2014

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As summer continues to heat up, we all end up desperate for a cool down.  Nothing is more frustrating than running the AC constantly and still having hotspots in our homes or hot rooms!  I won’t even mention those high utility bills.  Good news!  There are options to look into that can help even out the temperatures in your home, reduce your utility bill and give you that cool down you are looking for.

  1. Get an energy audit – Here’s a video to help explain.
  2. Do the improvements – We usually start with Air Sealing.  You could save 5 to 30 percent on your energy bill by making efficiency upgrades that a home energy audit can identify.  (U.S. Department of Energy)
  3. Enjoy your comfortable home – Go ahead, picture it.

We all need a break from the heat, sometimes a cool drink or a scoop of ice cream just doesn’t cut it.  Give yourself a more lasting cool down, keep the heat outside.  Relax, save money and be cool in the comfort of your own home.

Feel free to share this post with your fellow homeowners.  Let’s not leave anyone desperate for a cool down.

Thanks for stopping by!
-April

Money, Good Health and a Comfortable Home, We Have Solutions!

September 3, 2013

Why Get an Energy Audit?  Watch this Video….

In Home Performance Safety is Our Number One Concern!

June 19, 2012

Our advisors and installation crews spend a lot of time in houses.  We use ladders and power tools and crawl around underneath and above homes, especially attics.   We look for air leaks, low insulation levels, electrical concerns, and other hazards.  Safety is a great concern, and occasionally we come across the unexpected; such as sharks.

Sharks: A major safety concern in attics

Sharks: A major safety concern in attics

I’m sure that air leakage from the electrical box is providing plenty of nice indoor air smells, steak cooking, people sleeping.  Seal those leaks and I’m guessing the sharks won’t be so interested.  More insulation in this space is needed too.  Summertime air conditioners have to work twice as hard when there’s so little insulation and air sealing in your attic.  When you want to keep the conditioned air conditioned, hot or cold, putting a good cap on your home is a great start.  What shark would stick around after that?  No good indoor smells, no cool air, not a great place to hang out.

What's for dinner?

What’s for dinner?

If you have sharks in your attic consider a home performance assessment, it’s a great way to take a bite out of your high energy bills and make a home more comfortable and safe.

Thanks,

Jason

Wave that Geek Flag! It’s not Flowers, Peace and Love Anymore

May 2, 2012

Many Americans love their TVs, and it must be “love” otherwise why would we spend so much on something that takes up so much real estate on the living room wall!   Until recently they used a lot of energy too.

According to a recent posting from the NYT, “Incorporating LED and laser technology has helped slash the energy consumption of new TV models by nearly 50 percent within the last three years.”   But really it’s not efficiency claims selling these sets in some parts of the country, its “technology” or “better picture quality”.

What sets these TVs apart is the Energy Forward label which identifies a small group of the most efficient Energy Star appliances.  The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, a utility supported non-profit organization based in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, is behind the label and they have taken an interesting approach.  Since TV watchers are prone to “geek out” by wanting the best set, it seems leveraging this “weakness” and making the best sets energy efficient is a win-win situation.

Collectively, small savings add up when everyone tunes in to the evening news on a high efficiency TV.  The important shift recognized here is that comfort and efficiency don’t have to conflict.  We fix homes to make them more comfortable.  It just so happens that is a wonderful side effect of reducing energy usage as well!

Peace,

Jason

“Why does my new home have such high energy bills?”

March 2, 2011

We have too often heard the cry “my home is brand new and my energy bills are skyrocketing through the roof!”  Homeowners have falsely accepted that old homes have to be drafty, uncomfortable and costly to heat or cool, and most people just assume that a new home will automatically be efficient.     

It’s frustrating when you invest a great deal of time and money in a place meant to be special to us and quickly realize  that lighting, heating and cooling our home costs a great deal more than expected. On top of that it’s drafty, some rooms are too hot, or too cold, and you just can’t stay comfortable.  It’s unfortunate that energy and performance concerns are often left at the bottom of the list, if they’re considered at all. 

The problems in a new home may look different at first glance than the ones in a home 100 years old, but often they are one in the same.  Heating or cooling the air in the home too frequently because the home isn’t tight enough happens regardless of age.  Builders often overlook critical details needed to air-seal a house.  New homes like old ones can suffer from too little insulation in places, or insulation in the wrong place.   Poor duct work, inefficient or incorrectly sized furnaces and air-conditioners, and poor window performance plague new homes, too.  Refrigeration, lighting and other electrical loads often aren’t any different in a new home.  The good news is there are certainly ways to make new homes more comfortable and waste less money on utility bills.

Our customers who own newer and older homes  have happily discovered that with air-sealing, improved insulation and/or upgrading heating and cooling systems  as well as  lighting, comfort and savings can be achieved.  By acting on the recommendations of a good energy audit utility bills can be slashed in winter and summer.

Our advisors understand a house does best when it acts as a system and their recommendations work to truly fix the problems that make homeowner’s comfort levels go up and bills go down.  This works in a home 100 years old or only 1 year old. Stay tuned and we’ll talk more about how we can turn your brand new “old” home into what it ought to be.  And we’ll give  you pointers on things to look for and insist on when buying a new home—it’s always easier and less expensive to do it right the first time.  Unfortunately they’re building them faster than we can fix them!

NY Times on the “Passive House”

May 1, 2009

Today’s NY Times discusses how new homes in Europe are constructed to be very comfortable and energy-efficienct. We can build them that way in North America, too. And, although harder, we can do similar things with existing homes, too.

Thanks,
Mike


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