Go ahead…Relax

August 21, 2014 by

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Last Friday was National Relaxation Day, a day devoted to simply taking it easy.  I like whoever came up with this one.  We all desire a break from time to time so why not make a day for it?  Oftentimes, we think of our home when it comes to relaxing.  We all have a favorite spot on the couch or a favorite room in the house to unwind.  I know I do, I have a chair in my bedroom by a big window where I sit and read.  If the window is open, a slight breeze carries in the sound of birds singing just outside.  It’s peaceful and it’s comfortable.

What if every room in our house could be that comfortable?  Every room where the temperature is just right, no change of clothes needed or an extra blanket.  I’m not dreaming.  I know this is possible.  Home Performance and a home energy audit are foreign terms to many, but they are terms that encompass making your home more comfortable and efficient.  This means even temperatures from room to room, lower utility bills every month, and no wasted energy.

So, go ahead, relax.  And if you’d like, improve the comfort in the rest of your home.  You never know, you might find a new favorite spot to unwind.  Share this post with a neighbor or friend, comfort is something we all deserve.

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Back to School, Back to Learn

August 14, 2014 by

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As summer winds down, the school year is right around the corner.  With that of course comes back to school shopping for supplies and new clothes as well as the anxiety of starting a new school year.  Here are some tips to pass along to your student to help them excel in the classroom.

  • Eat breakfast. It’s true, when you’ve eaten a good breakfast you are more alert and perform better in class.
  • Put the phone down and sleep.  Teens need at least 8.5 hours of sleep to feel rested.
  • Use your study hall. Doing more work during the school day while not in class can reduce the work you will have to do at home.  You’ll be more focused, too.
  • Make friends. Join school clubs or teams and get to know people.

I’ll end with our favorite tip to give students before the school year.   “When you know better, you do better.” This quote is by Maya Angelou.  It’s true, as we continue to learn, we continue to improve.  Education doesn’t stop after high school or even college, it continues into the workforce and into your life.  At GreenHomes we are constantly in the classroom learning more about homes and how they work.  We are keeping up with the latest building codes, tools, products, and services so that we can do better.

We continue to learn and for good reason, the more we know the better we can serve you.

Share this post and encourage someone to keep learning.  Best of luck this school year and thanks for stopping by!

-April

Are summer allergies keeping you inside?

August 7, 2014 by

House-Infiltration

August is a rough month for summer allergies, especially those allergic to mold spores.   Peaking during hot and humid weather, mold spores are on the attack.  The best solution is to stay indoors when the count is very high.  The problem we all have though, is outdoor air gets into our homes with all of its allergens and pollutants.  The tricky thing is this isn’t always because a window or a door is open.  We at GreenHomes call it infiltration.  It’s a fancy word that basically means that the outdoor air flows into the house through openings, joints, and cracks in walls, floors, ceilings and around windows and doors.

When your house was built, holes were made for pipes and wires that may have never been sealed.  We know this because of what we do: home energy audits.  It is a comprehensive test that includes a focus on indoor air quality.  Because of this test, we can identify where air is coming into your home and seal it up.  This will keep that outdoor air where it belongs, outside, and possibly give  you some relief from all of that sneezing.

Share this post with family or a friend who are suffering from allergies.

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Stop Heating your Home this Summer

July 31, 2014 by

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

Fans Only Cool People… what?

July 17, 2014 by

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In these hot summer months we love our fans of all kinds, desk fans, ceiling fans, clip on fans, the list goes on.  Naturally, if we are in a warm room we turn on the ceiling fan to help cool the room.  When we leave the room, we leave the fan on so it can continue cooling.  If it cools us, it will cool the room, right?  Wrong.  Fans have fooled us all.  The U.S. Department of Energy reminds us that fans cool people, not rooms.  How?  They create a wind chill effect by moving air over our skin.  As far as the room goes, the fan will actually create more heat in the room because of its motor.  Not only that, but by leaving it on, you are increasing your electric bill.  Sounds pretty counterproductive, doesn’t it?

You aren’t without options though.  Sure, cool off with a fan while you are in the room and turn it off when you leave.  That would be using fans efficiently.  Or, get an energy audit to see why that room is so warm in the first place.  This would help you to use your home more efficiently.

Feel free to share with your fellow homeowners, we can’t let anyone else get fooled by the fan.

Thanks for stopping by!
-April

 

Picture Source:  “My House – New Orleans – Kitchen 2010” by Alex CastroFlickr: My House – New Orleans – 2010. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Desperate for a Cool Down?

July 10, 2014 by

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As summer continues to heat up, we all end up desperate for a cool down.  Nothing is more frustrating than running the AC constantly and still having hotspots in our homes or hot rooms!  I won’t even mention those high utility bills.  Good news!  There are options to look into that can help even out the temperatures in your home, reduce your utility bill and give you that cool down you are looking for.

  1. Get an energy audit – Here’s a video to help explain.
  2. Do the improvements – We usually start with Air Sealing.  You could save 5 to 30 percent on your energy bill by making efficiency upgrades that a home energy audit can identify.  (U.S. Department of Energy)
  3. Enjoy your comfortable home – Go ahead, picture it.

We all need a break from the heat, sometimes a cool drink or a scoop of ice cream just doesn’t cut it.  Give yourself a more lasting cool down, keep the heat outside.  Relax, save money and be cool in the comfort of your own home.

Feel free to share this post with your fellow homeowners.  Let’s not leave anyone desperate for a cool down.

Thanks for stopping by!
-April

America, it’s Who We Are

July 3, 2014 by

Extended family enjoying at home with their pets.

America isn’t just in our name; it’s who we are and where we work. Here at GreenHomes America, we spend a lot of our time serving homeowners all across America.  We are privileged to meet a lot of different people in different regions.  This Friday as we celebrate Independence Day and our freedom, we want to celebrate each of you, the people who make up this great nation.

Thank you for inviting us into your home.  We are honored to help and serve you and your families.

We wish you and yours a safe and happy 4th of July!

-GreenHomes America

 

It’s vacation time!

June 24, 2014 by

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

Summer is here. Be safe!

June 17, 2014 by

Summer SafetySafety is a top priority for us in the work we do in your home. We stress it every day.  In fact an energy audit is only partially about saving you money.  It is also about keeping you and your family safe.  As part of our audit, we check for gas leaks on the combustion equipment in your home like your furnace or gas stove.

While we keep you safe inside, here are a few tips to keep you safe outside as summer closes in:

  • Watch out for Bugs!  Mosquitoes and ticks are the most common.  Repellants are helpful for both.  If ticks are an issue in your area there are some simple landscaping efforts you can do to help deter them.
  • Enjoy the sunshine, but cover up! Hats, sunscreen and shade are encouraged.
  • If it gets too hot inside your home and even hotter oustide, maybe energy efficiency improvements are what you need for safety’s sake!

 

Thanks,

Jason

 

Photo by Steffen Flor  from wikimedia commons

Do you drive with the windows down or blast the AC?

June 12, 2014 by

This summer you might be spending some time on the road.  It’s a great time to vacation.  Seeking fuel efficiency in your vehicle means going easy on the pedal, but how do we keep cool on the hot summer road trips?  Do we drive with the windows down or blast the AC? Road Trip Efficiently Apparently keeping your windows down is more efficient  than blasting the AC.  We can safely argue that it is not as efficient as keeping the windows up and not using the AC.   I wouldn’t recommend this for a summer trip unless you want to know what that bug feels like under the magnifying glass! Cranking up the AC at home means comfort of course, and for some it’s a matter of health and safety especially when it gets hot.   We wouldn’t think of not using the AC when the temperature is soaring outside, but like your car, you can run your home more efficiently. How?  Keep your AC tuned up!  Regular maintenance helps avoid unexpected repairs.  While you are at it, tune up your house too.  Recommendations from an energy audit help you keep the cool where you want it, inside and the hot where you like it, outside.  In fact air sealing and insulation improvements can reduce the amount of cooling you need. Thanks, Jason Photo from Nicholas A. Tonelli under  creative commons license


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