Posts Tagged ‘home performance’

Whatever you do, do it well

November 18, 2014
Screenshot from Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 1. (Timecode 00:00:04 of main feature). DVD issued by Walt Disney Home Entertainment, December 2003. DVD © Disney. Film copyright MCMXXIX (1929) DISNEY.

Screenshot from Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 1. (Timecode 00:00:04 of main feature). DVD issued by Walt Disney Home Entertainment, December 2003. DVD © Disney.
Film copyright MCMXXIX (1929) DISNEY.

“Whatever you do, do it well.  Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” – Walt Disney

Today, in 1928, Walt Disney took the cartoon world by storm with Steamboat Willie.  It was the first cartoon with synchronized sound.  Then, again, in 1937 Disney continued with creating the first sound and color animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  It’s safe to say he did animated cartoons and he did them well, so well that people continue to come back again and again.

Following Walt Disney’s lead, what we do we want to do it well, not for us, but for you.  We specialize in home energy audits.  You may have heard of it before.  It’s a service that can help you live more comfortably, safely, and affordably, all while reducing your carbon footprint.  Like cartoons, there are different versions out there of a home energy audit but only some may be of worth.  Ours is different.  For one, it’s comprehensive.  It takes more than just a clipboard to do our audit.  Our advisors are certified and equipped with tools to test your entire home’s performance.  After we do the audit and the improvements on your home, we come back and run a test just to make sure everything is at its optimal performance.

Find a location near you and see us do it well.  So well that we know you will want to bring others in to show them just how well we did.  And, whatever field you may be in, we offer the same advice to you, whatever you do, do it well.

Thanks for stopping by!
April

Sources:
http://patriciahysell.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/6314/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animated_cartoon

The Final Four of Home Performance

March 19, 2014

4bracketMarch Madness bracket filled out? There’s nothing like the passion and drive in college basketball. We’ve got the same thing when it comes to energy audits and delivering the information you need to understand and to fix the problems in your home.
Comfort comes to mind first in the Final Four of Home Performance. While it may not be the most important on our list it’s the most thought of. An energy assessment and the improvements that follow can change your home into a place of comfort to watch the game.

Efficiency means we can pay the bills, save a little money and help the environment. Making sure your home’s components, work like a team on the court, every aspect playing its part, means a big win in the end.

Health and Safety round out our final four in this game and go hand in hand. Safety testing and identifying health concerns in your home are a part of our assessment and recommendations every time.

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

Doing Your Part for the War on Uncomfortable?

October 16, 2013

These government posters from WWII urged homeowners to do their part, but I think they still apply today, maybe a little differently though.  The War is against inefficiency and a fight for comfort.

war

Vacation at home if you like, and make sure you and your dog are comfortable.   Maybe what you save from the travel can go towards comfort improvements at home.  Plan for winter now, I like that any time is a good time to winterize or summarize your home.

Carpooling is great, especially if you get to use that special lane on the highway!  Sharing resources is a good idea and so is reducing your fuel use.  It doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice though.  Home Performance is fighting the good fight right here on the Home front.

Take action, stay cool, stay warm, stay comfortable!

 

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

The Power of Infrared: In the Study of Reindeer Seeing is Believing!

December 24, 2012

 rudolf 2

Thanks to the hard work of a team of researchers in Norway (near the North Pole) and the Netherlands, Rudolph’s red nose has been explained.  The recently published, observational study: Why Rudolph’s Nose is Red, involved both human subjects as well as two reindeer. The study shed light on Reindeer’s nasal structure, and how it is ideal for sleigh pulling while flying and facing extreme temperatures.

rodolf red nose 

These sure are great images!  I can’t help but think of the insight we get when looking at homes under infrared.  Missing insulation, uncontrolled air flow patterns, moisture issues, and electrical concerns are all problems identified by a skilled technician.  Maybe our advisors at GreenHomes America don’t understand the microvasculature of the nasal septal mucosa of reindeer, but they do know homes!   

May you all have a safe, warm, healthy and happy holiday.  

From each and every one of us, Merry Christmas!

Jason

Images from:   http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e8311

Frozen Turkeys and Frozen Pipes

November 23, 2011

With Thanksgiving on the horizon and football on TV, many of us stand ready to pack it on like a linebacker for the colder months ahead, well at least in some parts of the country.  I think it’s going to be a cold one this year, I’ve witnessed doublewide squirrels around the yard big enough to take on the neighborhood cats.  By cold I’m not talking 50 degrees at night, I mean freezing, like broken pipes cold. 

Many of you across the nation know what I’m talking about, and unfortunately I’m sure many know about frozen pipes too!

Pipes freeze because we leave them exposed to the cold. Pretty simple, but why do they freeze when they run in our basement or crawlspace?  Are they really inside or outside?

The real problem is usually not the pipes, it’s often the home.  Ductwork and plumbing that runs through spaces that can freeze leads to inefficiencies, discomfort and headache.  When hot water heaters, boilers and furnaces exist in these same spaces, they work double time trying to deliver something warm to the rest of the home.  This is definitely a home performance issue.  

We could leave it to a plumber to fix it by moving the pipes, but since they were put where they are for a reason, this often won’t work.  And that heat tape you had wrapped on the pipes and forget to plug in now, is either expensive (when you turn it on), unreliable (when you forget to turn it on), or both!  The better option:  apply a little home performance and fix your home.  As with every other part of the home a trained eye will help define how to make it work best.   Insulation air sealing and you can enjoy the game instead of spending the night in the basement with a hairdryer feeling like a frozen turkey or worse with a mop after the pipes burst. 

Stay warm…and dry! 

Jason

Image from http://www.intellicast.com/

The R House: even the best intentions can use a little home performance

November 22, 2011

Our very own Maggie Mauer form the Syracuse branch of GreenHomes America was recently featured in a Syracuse article on the R House  that she now calls home.  The R-House as it is called is a result of a design competition by local non-profit and University groups.

The home was built to Passivhaus standards.  Very little heat is needed since it is so well insulated, and in Syracuse NY that is impressive.     Passivhaus is an extreme example (and typically applied to new construction) of what we do with homes everyday: excellent insulation and air-sealing, reducing the heating loads, and controlling ventilation.  

Maggie’s house was designed to include big windows which allows for the sun to heat the space quite well.  It’s called passive solar and has been worked into design for many years…and is the reason you can usually find a cat sitting in a window on a sunny day.  But in the R-House there was one oversight, those big windows help in the winter but It sure gets hot in the summer.  Unbearably hot.  

Home Performance can be needed even for high performers.  To keep it cool, we installed a ductless mini split to air condition the space in the summer time, maybe not the usual approach, but it’s an unusual home!

There were a few other design and installation details that we had to correct, including a heating system that didn’t really shut off fully, inefficient lighting, and some leaky doors that allowed the cold winter winds to whistle through.  And this is an award-winning house! 

This goes to show, the the details matter.  A lot!  And it highlights why we’re called out not just to fix 100 year old homes, but those that are only a year or two old, too.  (Maybe the should have called us in during the construction phase to help get it right the first time!)

photo from http://openarchitecturenetwork.org/projects/rhouse

Keep your eye on the ball…at home!

October 17, 2011

Baseball fans, great technology comes to the World Series.  In fact it’s the same technology we bring to your home.  The AP recently reported That a number of Infrared cameras will be trained on batters in the upcoming World Series games.  The cameras will be used to pick up the heat generated from friction, say when a fast ball skims off a bat or a glove.  The Fox network is trying them out this year so they won’t be used in making calls, but they could be.  Hey at least maybe we will get a glimpse of this great technology just watching the games.

At your home base, we don’t need to see the heat patterns of a knuckle ball off a bat to cry foul, but the cameras our advisors bring along in assessing your home do help you avoid the curve balls of missing insulation, moisture problems, dangerous wiring, and un-controlled airflow.  Rest assured with the right technology and skills, troubleshooting your comfort problems with GreenHomes America will help you knock it out of the park!   

Thanks,

Jason

Photo by Tyrone Turner, in this National Geographic 2009 article

Great Video of Home Performance in California

August 24, 2011

Here is a great video from  the California Center for Energy Sustainablity describing the Home Performance Process featuring  one of our GreenHomes America Partners: ASI Hastings.  Great work! Enjoy!


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