Posts Tagged ‘money’

Energy Action Month, our favorite!

October 2, 2014

shutterstock_46711030Every October, we celebrate, along with the nation, Energy Action Month.  Its call on us is simple, take action.  With all the energy we use on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to step back from time to time and see where we can save energy for future generations.  We don’t want to use up all of our resources before our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids get to enjoy them.  From what the Residential Energy Consumption Survey tells us, we are using more energy than we ever have before!  Here at GreenHomes America, we focus primarily on home energy.  Each homeowner has an opportunity to not only save energy, but also save money.  For example, if you use a programmable thermostat, you will save energy and  an estimated $180 a year.  There are more examples like this one on our Energy Action Month fact sheet.

The first step, though, is to find out where your home is using and losing energy with a home energy audit.  From there, you can join the forces in saving energy and save money while you’re at it.

Share this post with anyone who owns a home.  Help save energy and help them save money.

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

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

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

Better Resale value from “Green” Homes

September 28, 2012

A recent study this summer from UC Berkeley and UCLA looked at homes that were certified as green from a few different organizations.  Although the certification standards varied, the homes needed to have details such as well-insulated ceilings and walls and energy-efficient lighting.  These are just some of the basics of making a home “green”, as well as efficient appliances, proper HVAC equipment and good indoor air quality.  These things unfortunately don’t always happen in new homes, even those with the green label.  However, they can and should happen in every home, and that’s why we do what we do.

This study comes from a state with a very nice incentive system in place for energy efficiency retrofits.  Energy upgrade California is a good place to start if you are a resident of CA.  For residents of other states, you can find some incentive programs from DSIREThe full study can be found here.

You can also contact one of our locations to learn more about how you can make your home safer, energy efficient, more valuable, and of course, green!

 

Thanks,

Jason

Death, Taxes and Energy Bills!

May 11, 2012

The Alliance to Save Energy posted this graphic comparing some common costs for U.S. homeowners.

As Benjamin Franklin said in 1817 “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” seems to me energy bills should replace taxes.

I’m guessing things are more comfortable in your home than they were for Mr. Franklin and I’m certain you want to keep it that way.   But addressing energy efficiency issues in the home can keep you comfortable and Ben Franklin honest, and save you more than a few of those bills with his face on it.

Thanks,

Jason

Where does it all go?

November 28, 2011

   

If you still have a dollar to your name after a rough (at times too rough!) shopping weekend, you might want to take a look at this nifty info-graphic which helps explains an average household’s energy use, and naturally where the rest of the money goes!

High on the list of energy use in a home is, as it might be expected, heating and hot water.  Cooling is up there as well.  It does depend on where you live as to which is a bigger drain on your finances but this is precisely the reason we spend so much time talking about and fixing,  these areas.

Appliances are a much smaller part of the overall picture, but not to be ignored, of course.  If part of your Black Friday battle included fist-fighting (whew, there was some craziness out there—sort of reminds me of that zombie discussion last month!) for a brand new Energy Star dishwasher, more power to you.  It may even have been worth it if what you had was over ten years old.

Clearly as the picture suggests, heating and cooling equipment—that is your furnace, air-conditioner, or heat pump—should be in top notch shape performing their best if you are going to avoid burning money.   But what if the attic insulation doesn’t keep the heat in?  What if the duct work leaks and pumps conditioned air into the great outdoors?  What this picture tells me is that the important things in a home are being warm or cool, having hot water when we want it, the creature comforts.

You can buy the best coffee maker in the world to make a great cup of coffee, but a cracked cup with a hole in it won’t keep the coffee around or warm long enough for you to enjoy it.   Homes can just be like that.  Consider a gift for you and your family this season, one without the bruises or pepper spray dangers of holiday shopping, a comprehensive home assessment so you know where it all goes and can do something about it!

Thanks,

Jason


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