Posts Tagged ‘video’

Is Your Home Energy Efficient?

October 23, 2014

Infographic

Pictured above is a snapshot of an infographic about your home’s efficiency.  The full version can be found on our website.  Our homes are one of the biggest investments we make in our lifetime.  We, as homeowners, should be determined in getting the most out of our home and that starts with its energy efficiency.  There are many ways you can make your home more energy efficient on your own like we talked about in our last post, Home Energy Saving Tips.  Kudos to you if you began to implement them!

There are, however, a number of things in your home that can’t be seen by the naked eye or fixed on your own.  For example, outside pollutants can seep into your home through small holes built into the structure of the home.  This isn’t something you would see.  It often translates itself into uneven temperatures in your home or unhealthy living conditions.  If you are experiencing either of these, the chances are you won’t find the culprit.  Since a lot of the holes are in the structure of the home, they will be behind walls or between floors where our naked eye cannot see.

At GreenHomes, we understand home efficiency.  We know the importance of conserving our resources and our pocketbooks.  And we specialize in home energy audits.  A home energy audit uses tools that can identify the holes that may be in the structure in your home.  It does more too.  We can tell you where energy is being used, where you are losing energy, and how you can save energy.  And of course, with saving energy, comes saving money.  Not to mention, your home will be more comfortable than ever before.

Feel free to share this post with a neighbor; let’s all play a part in saving energy this October!

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

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Home Energy Saving Tips

October 9, 2014

shutterstock_143542750

This month, with the focus on energy, we want to encourage every homeowner to take action no matter how big or how small to conserve energy.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Cooking is like a puzzle. Match your pot to the size of your stovetop burner.  Using smaller pots waste heat when used on large burners.
  2. Don’t soak. Take short showers instead of baths.  If you want to save even more energy, use a low-flow showerhead.
  3. Power off, completely. If you aren’t in the room, turn off lights, TVs, computers, etc.
  4. Unplug battery chargers when not in use. Many chargers continue to burn energy even when the device isn’t plugged into the charger.
  5. Slow down. Drive safe and slow down.  Not only is speeding dangerous, it wastes fuel too.
  6. Upgrade your thermostat. Using a programmable thermostat may save you an estimated $180 a year.  It saves energy, too.
  7. Use cold water. Washing clothes with cold water can save you 40 cents per load.
  8. Forget the dryer. Dry your clothes on a clothesline or drying rack and save an estimated $252 a year.
  9. Ditch the incandescents. CFLs and LEDs are more energy-efficient and give off the same amount of light.  More information can be found on our fact sheet.
  10. Get an energy audit. Find out where your home is using and losing energy.  More than likely that lost energy is also costing you money.  Learn more in this video.

Sources:  Duke Energy, ENERGY STAR, Energy Information Administration, Choice Home Warranty

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

 

 

A few thoughts on replacement windows

September 18, 2011

The folks at Replacement Windows for Dummies (.com) recently asked me a few questions about replacement windows–check out the article

Mike Rogers of GreenHomes interviewed by ReplacementWindowsforDummies.com

As those of you who’ve spoken with our Advisors or seen the replacement window video know, we like windows.  New windows can increase comfort, reduce drafts, reduce UV fading, and more.  They are NOT a miracule energy-saver, though.  If it’s energy savings you’re after, don’t get sucked into the hype.  Get a good home energy assessment and find out what you really need. 

Thanks,
Mike

What’s wrong with this picture? Efficiency before renewables usually makes the most sense.

January 29, 2011

Thanks to GreenHomes America’s Home Performance Training Manager, Jason Todd for passing along this photo which begs a few questions.  When we’re looking at home energy, we like to focus on energy efficiency before we starting adding on renewable energy sources like solar and wind.   As Brett Knox likes to repeat “Reduce before You Produce”.  This picture suggests that someone may have taken another path.

We’ve certainly talked a lot about icicles and ice damming here.  And the summary version is they are not good and indicate you’re wasting energy and money.  The snow melt patterns on the roof and the icicles suggest that this house is losing a lot of heat through it’s attic and roof.

The cost to correct this (with good air-sealing and insulation details) on most homes is generally less than the cost of a solar hot water system as pictured here (partially buried under snow in the center of the photo).  And the energy savings,  carbon reductions, and other benefits, are typically greater with the efficiency measures than with this system.  Further, correcting the heat loss problem helps prevent the possible roof and structural damage that can result from ice build up.  This is a case where the economic, environmental, and comfort advantage of efficiency make a lot more sense than starting with solar.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a fan of solar, and we install it.  Solar hot water makes sense for a lot of people, and it is a great entree into renewables.  Most of the time, though, renewable energy makes the most sense AFTER you’ve taken the low hanging fruit offered by energy-efficiency.  Efficiency First!

[BTW, regarding solar hot water systems, in many cases I prefer the flat-plate collectors show in this video, over the evacuated tube collectors pictured above.  Flat-plate collectors  tend to be less expensive, more durable, and we’ve seen fewer issues up north with snow building up and inhibiting the collector.  Conversely, a lot of people report that snow collects around the nooks and crannies of the evacuated tubes and doesn’t shed off easily.]

Thanks,
Mike

Roof snow removal is dangerous–the guy in this video got lucky

January 16, 2011

OK, I succumb and pass this along. And it is funny. Thankfully it doesn’t appear the guy was hurt. But it could have ended very differently. A fall from 10 feet can cause serious injury or death. And your chance of falling off snowy, icy, or wet roofs shoots up astronomically.  (It’s just plain stupid to be on a wet, snowy, sloped, metal roof  without fall protection.  Period.)  You might also be able to clear a blocked lawn mower without getting hurt. But it’s not worth trying.  The Darwin award isn’t very prestigious–they’re laughing at you, not with you.

I understand the temptation.  Snow and ice on roofs can be problematic. But, please, don’t climb up and try to remove if unless you’ve taken the proper safety precautions (and I’m not about to attempt to decribe that!).

We know the strange snow melt patterns, big icicles, and ice damming are bad.  Ice can wreck your roof and cause thousands of dollars in damage.   The best way to tackle them is with prevention, by controlling heat loss, primarily with good insulation and air-sealing.   Once you’ve got the ice problem, there are even a few short-term remedies.  

Snow and ice on your roof can be serious.  But don’t break your neck trying get rid of them.

Thanks,
Mike

GreenHomes America on YouTube

November 14, 2010

GreenHome America YouTube ChannelAs part of our new website approach (stay tuned, the new version should go live before Thanksgiving), we have begun populaing the GreenHomes America YouTube channel with some classics, some new videos, and there are several additional pieces being shot right not in the field.  Do feel free to check ’em out!

Thanks,
Mike

Secretary Chu mentions air-sealing…and more

October 25, 2010

Piggybacking on the “Feds on Air-Sealing” post, I thought I’d post a not-so-short video of Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu, answering questions about home energy efficiency during energy-efficiency awareness month.    He points to more DOE resources, and the DOE’s blog post about this video conversation has links to them.

Right at the beginning, Chu highlights blocking drafts (air-sealing!) and insulating. “It’s like blocking and tackling,” Chu says. “The most important thing.”

He mentions dishwashers (better than handwashing!), computers, cool roofs, and more.

Insulation is Still Sexy!

October 8, 2010

About 10 months ago, Obama gave his “insulation is sexy” speech at a Home Depot in Virginia.  Shortly thereafter, the computer trolls in the catacombs of the GreenHomes complex, who apparently had too much time on their hands, went to work on this high production quality video.  We all got a laugh over it, and then it sat for many months in its dark electronic corner gathering dust.  Fortunately–or unfortunately as the case may be with this particular gem–an offhand comment on a quiet Friday afternoon caused it to reappear.  So now it’s posted–and we’d all better get back to work!

Check out this smart grid video

September 12, 2010

A few weeks ago, Kathryn wrote about her smart meter on the way it helps her impact the energy use in her own home.  Well, smart meters are but one piece of the overall smart grid concept.

Watch this Smart Grid Video

And although this video is clearly a piece of proganda, I think it does a nice job explaining the vision of what a smart grid might be and do for us.

And with the stress on our grid (or, really, grids), we’ve got to do something.  Of course, if we got a lot more serious about energy-effiiciency, and actually started significantly ratcheting back our energy usage, in buidlings and homes in particular, we could get by with a plain old dumb grid for a lot longer!   We are running out of time on this, though.  While it’s not something we talk about much, and we almost never here about it in the press (why would we?  The latest hubbub on Britney Spears is SO MUCH more important!), utilities know:  most of the country is headed toward serious issues with generation capacity and transmission.  Smart grid or not, we need to act soon.

Thanks,
Mike


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