Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Helping and Staying Safe after the Storm

November 7, 2012

Housing is near and dear to us here at GreenHomes, and even closer is safe housing.  Hurricane Sandy has significantly changed what many have taken for granted just as we go into colder weather in the Northeast.  Tens of thousands have found themselves without a home because of the storm.  Many more have found themselves with extensive damage to their homes and a long struggle to recover.

There are many ways to support efforts to support those affected, the Red Cross is collecting donations, and Feeding America has been working to provide food and water for example.

It is also important to keep in mind how to stay safe as people return to their homes.  The CDC has some useful information about what to look for when coming home to water damage, the dangers of electrical issues, and mold.   For many our homes are no longer the safe havens they once were.

Losing power means often means relying on a generator, which is a great concern since they are one of the leading reasons for CO poisoning.    I often preach about the importance of checking heating and cooking equipment, having a CO alarm in your home, but when all goes wrong and we need a generator just to get by, it is even more important to make sure it will be helping not harming us.

The dangers of unvented fireplaces  also true for generators in your home or garage.  A garage or enclosed porch may be more connected to your home than you think.   When using a generator; always make sure there is enough fresh air to dilute any of the exhaust fumes.  Keep them out of your homes!

Help the people in need; stay safe please, no matter where you are!

Thanks,

Jason

Photo of the New Jersey coast from the National Guard

GreenHomes wins a Century Club Award, again!

November 5, 2012

It’s nice to be recognized.  This is the third year in a row in fact.   The EPA and the DOE have recognized GreenHomes America –  Syracuse with the Century Club Award.   An award that goes to the contractor that has improved the energy efficiency of more than 100 homes in the past year through Home Performance with ENERGY STAR.  Home Performance with ENERGY STAR offers homeowners a comprehensive whole house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort while saving money on utility bills and helping to protect the environment. 

Our Syracuse location, a leading contractor in central New York and part of the national GreenHomes America network, improved well over 400 homes last year!

Congratulations to Syracuse!  It is great to know that as a network we are charging along across the country in states that participate in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program as well as states that don’t.  Look for a GreenHomes America location near you! 

Thanks,

Jason

Homeowners save money making home more efficient

October 23, 2012

Nothing new here! But here is a news report featuring our very own A. Johnson Heating Cooling and Plumbing on an energy assessment in a home in eastern New York.

Video Link:

http://cbs6albany.com/news/top-stories/stories/homeowners-save-money-making-home-more-efficient-3498.shtml

 

If they cover your area give them a call if not, find a location near you.

 

Thanks,

Jason

 

 

New York State Hurricane Relief Appliance Rebate Program

September 24, 2011

New York residents eligible for cash rebates to replace essential appliances damaged by Hurricanes Irene or Lee –

Parts of upstate New York were devasted by Hurricanes Irene and Lee which significant damage to many residents’ homes and properties – including their necessary appliances and equipment. Effective this week (Monday, September 19, 2011), Governor Andrew Cuomo launched an $8 million appliance rebate program to help those who sustained damages to their appliances and household equipment. This program is one of the many in place to help those affected by the storms recover as quickly as possible.

“Thanks to this program, homeowners in NY can make some good of a bad situation,” said Anthony Johnson, owner of A. Johnson Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, a Saratoga Springs-based company and GreenHomes America partner specializing in home energy assessments and upgrades. “These generous rebates not only save you money now, but with more energy-efficient appliances you’ll continue to save for the life of the appliance.”

New York Hurricane Appliance Rebate - Furnace, Boiler, Water Heater, RefrigeratorCandidates qualify by being a New York state resident and purchasing eligible ENERGY STAR® or high efficiency appliances to replace those damaged by the natural disasters.  Eligible products include refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers, dehumidifiers, furnaces, broilers and some water heaters. Rebates are substantial and range from $100 for a dehumidifier to $2,500 for a boiler. Purchases must be made on or after August 29, 2011 for those impacted by Irene and September 9, 2011 for those impacted by Lee. The U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program (SEP) provided the funds to be used for the program and rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until they are exhausted.

“Many new appliances, like those with an ENERGY STAR® rating, are around 30 percent more efficient than older models,” adds Johnson. “If you replace three or four appliances with these more efficient models, that’s like eliminating an entire appliance from your energy bill.”

Those who wish to apply for the rebate can do so in one of two ways, either by filling out an application form on the rebate program website or calling the program hotline to fill out necessary information over the phone. One rebate per appliance is allowed and purchases must be made before applying.

For more information on this rebate program, please visit http://www.nysappliancerebates.com/ or call the program hotline at 1-877-NY-SMART.  Contact us in Central New York or the Saratoga-Capital District area to see how this might be leveraged as part of a broader home improvement to increase comfort and save energy.  (Doubly important for those who has with oil as oil prices remain very high.)

Heating Oil Prices Higher—Insulate Yourself from High Heating Bills.

September 21, 2011

Nights are getting cooler.  Heating season is on the way.  And folks across the Northeast and Upper Midwest who heat their homes with oil are facing significantly—painfully—higher prices this winter.

For example, according to NYSERDA prices for fuel oil in the state average $3.83 per gallon, a 33% increase over last year.  In Maine, we see comparable prices.   And the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts the national average to rise further in October.

An 80 cent per gallon increase translates to an additional $800 dollars in heating costs for a home that burns 1,000 gallons per year.  That’s a real dent in the family finances.

EIA Factors that Affect Oil PricesThis highlights the risk in play home heating oil roulette.  There’s huge volatility and uncertainty from unrest in the Middle East, natural disasters like hurricanes, market forces in India and China, or many more factors.  

Homeowners are not helpless, though.  You can make choices.  You can’t control world energy prices.  But you can make your home more efficient so that the price hikes don’t hobble you.

You know how.  Start with a good assessment.  Seal the leaks in your home and ducts.  Improve your insulation.  And look at more efficient equipment, windows, lighting, etc.  We can help you figure out what makes the most sense for you and your home and tailor your project to take advantage of state and utility rebate and incentive programs.  But you’ve got to pick up the phone and start the ball rolling.  Or pick up your checkbook and send another payment to your fuel company or utility for the money you’re wasting.

One ton of Ice

August 4, 2011

It was 1911 when The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles had installed air conditioning truly bringing the concept of keeping comfortably cool to the masses.  Ten years earlier Willis Carrier had started work in Buffalo, New York, a city not too far from our Greenhomes America office in Syracuse.   His trial and error over the years focused on dehumidification and it was in 1907 that the Carrier Air conditioning company was established.

What did folks do before that?  Looking back at a late 1800’s trade journal “Ice and Refrigeration” reveals a lot.    The journal is packed with beautiful advertising for coils and pumps and innovative patents for cooling systems ads for insulation like cork and mineral wool and insulating paper whatever that may be.  It also holds reports of what industry in need of cooling relied on every year:  Ice Harvests.

The Hudson River crop in 1890 was around “4,000,000 tons of which New York, Brooklyn and Jersey City will use 1,200000 tons or more if the summer proves a hot one”.  Ice harvest happened in many places, a number of rivers in Maine were used and the ice was then stored near shipyards to be distributed later.

There’s a connection to today we might not think of:  The size of our air conditioners.  From the beginning these cooling machines capacities were described by an equivalent amount of ice that would melt in a day.   A window unit might be less than a 1 ton system where central air can range from 2 to 5 tons. 

How much do you need?   Think of keeping food in a cooler for a long trip to the beach or a weekend camping.  As that block of ice melts it keeps things cool in there.    The more we open it up the more we lose that cooling.  The less insulated or efficient the cooler is the faster it melts.  Same goes for our houses.  We don’t think of running out of ice anymore because we’ve found a way for air conditioner to provide endless cooling, as long as we pay the bill.

The GreenHomes Partners I visited recently really know cooling.  Just as important they understand how to keep the cool in your home as well with air-sealing and insulation so you can get by starting out with a smaller block of ice!      

 Image from wikimedia commons

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

It’s official–Monday was COLD!!

January 25, 2011

Monday’s temperatures in the Northeast with numbing.  In some places, the mercury droped so low it almost disappeared.  Why the temperature was so low it could sit on a dime and dangle its feet.  The temp was so low it could crawl under the belly of a snake–although the snake would have been frozen solid in this case.   Here’s a sampling of locations where they probably didn’t go through a lot of ice cream yesterday:

  • -36  Saranac Lake, NY
  • -35  North Troy, VT
  • -28 Fryeburg, ME
  • -20 Burlington, VT  (as measured on my back porch)
  • -13  Syracuse, NY
  • and a relatively mild -1 in Providence, R.I.

Syracuse is on a pace that might challenge a couple records for snowfall–already 111 inches this year–and cold.  And folks in the Northeast, brace yourselves.  Although it’s warming up into the 20s and 30s, there are forecasts pointing to more subzero weather this weekend.

Stay warm and safe.
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


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