Posts Tagged ‘San Jose’

Mandatory Common Sense

March 18, 2013

We often preach “reduce first” as the sensable approach for homeowners who are looking at installing expensive renewable energy.  It just makes sense.  If it costs a lot to install solar panels, make your home more efficient first reducing the number you need, and then install less of them!  Same goes for heating and cooling equipment.  Reduce the need for cooling or heating and install a smaller unit.

sun wiki

As reported by KCET, one town in California may be looking at mandatory solar panels on every roof.  Lancaster CA, a city of 160,000, is one of the top three cities for generating solar.  Clearly it’s an area that has succeeded with solar as you would expect in such a sunny place.

Using solar to help reduce energy costs for lighting, water heating, and air conditioning is all well and good, but there are some simple steps to take first.  Improvements such as adding efficient lighting, reducing air leaks and increasing insulation go a long way and cost far less.  Our GreenHomes America folks in Fresno, Hayward, San Jose, Los Banos, and San Diego, know that, how a home performs matters a great deal, and they know solar too.

I vote for mandatory common sense with a side order of solar!



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Testing: More than Efficiency for Safety’s Sake!

February 8, 2012

Recently one of our advisors in the San Jose area discovered a potentially deadly situation while doing routine testing in a customer’s home.   Robert Urbina, a Home Comfort Advisor with Residential Energy Pro’s, while doing combustion safety testing, discovered that carbon monoxide was quickly reaching an exceptionally high level in the vent of the homeowner’s furnace.   

According to BPI standards,  something every GreenHomes America partner follows before and after work, he discovered a situation that needed to be addressed immediately.  BPI recommends servicing equipment when CO levels climb above 25ppm, this reached well into the thousands.  I’ve mentioned the dangers of CO in a home, and in this situation the CO was still finding its way up the stack.  The danger occurs when something simple changes.  Airflow and pressures in a home are constantly changing whether from the seasons, a remodeling change or a new fan in the bathroom. What happens when, for example, the fans in the house unintentionally reverse the flow of toxic gasses from the chimney and draw it into the home?  Bad news for sure!

REP dispatched a service tech immediately to the home to further diagnose and repair the system.  Thank goodness it was a straightforward fix, and in short order the system was adjusted and retested.  Robert’s second reading was well within the limit, and as you imagine the homeowner was ecstatic!

For safety’s sake folks, have your heating system tested for more than just efficiency! 



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