Archive for the ‘Energy Audits’ Category

Building Science Principles: consider going PRO?

January 15, 2013

bpi logoSome of you out there may know builders, home inspectors, Realtors, Bankers and Students, or may be one yourself.  Well, we all have something in common, “homes!” We live in them, own them, rent them, some work on them and we sure know when they are not working right.

Making a home comfortable safe and healthy takes a lot of work, and I think it only helps if we share that knowledge.  That is why we help educate homeowners on how they work and don’t work and how we can make them better.

Maybe you, or someone you know, is in a profession that could benifit from a little insight into building science.  Maybe you are looking to explore new career opportunities.  This could be a first step towards great things.  The certificate is a preview of some of the things one needs to know for the professional level certification our advisors obtain and we live by here at GreenHomes America.

At GreenHomes we pride ourselves in the training and certifications our employees will attain as well as sharing their knowledge with our customers. The study guide for the certificate is over 200 pages.  And more information can be found here:  http://www.bpi.org/professionals_certificate.aspx

Even if you are not interested in a certificate in building science, BPI has some good information for homeowners and explains why we do what we do, check it out!

Thanks,

Jason.

 

Energy Tax Credits for 2013: Available again!

January 9, 2013

greenhomes evergy infographic

One good result from the end of the year fiscal cliff hanger is an extension of the residential energy tax credit.

If you haven’t used it in the past, all the way back to 2006, there is a $500 tax credit for material costs of certain energy efficiency measures done to your home.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act extended the tax credit through 2013, making it retroactive from January 1, 2012. This means last year counts as well.

10% of the cost of materials, such as insulation, exterior windows, and doors that meet Energy Star requirements, can be used. Credits for window expenses are limited, as are AC units and furnaces, so a combination of improvements will help maximize what you can get, just perfect for home performance work on your home.

Check out http://www.irs.gov/ for more information. Or see the entire American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 here. Ask us we can help!

Thanks,
Jason

The Six P’s, and some more!

December 11, 2012

Some may have heard the expression before:  “Proper Planning Prevents Pretty Poor Performance” or possibly a less pleasant version, but I will leave that to your imagination.  Permutations previewed in this photo provide possibilities for a plethora of problems, primarily CO poisoning!

Please provide proper ventilation for atmospheric combustion equipment such as the water heater shown here. VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200This is common configuration for a water heater, drawing combustion air from its surroundings, but it can create problems!

Pressures in a house can change and affect equipment like this.  Our predecessors discovered that it was more pleasant when smoke from the fire went up the chimney.  It’s more than pleasant but imperative! 

This chimney shown is going downhill before it goes up, the primary problem! Our heating equipment needs to be vented properly or those gasses enter our homes.  Consider having your combustion equipment checked as part of a whole house assessment

Please, a plug, poke, or paltry plea, proper planning provides prime performance, and prevents poisoning (CO that is!).

Pthanks,

Jason

 

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

 

 

Boy has it been a busy year for GreenHomes America!

October 1, 2012

Young’s Air Conditioning of Los Banos, California came on board before the start of the New Year.  Young’s is a family business with strong roots in Los Banos and a reputation as the area’s leading provider of energy efficient heating and cooling services.

In the early part of the winter, we added three locations with Carolina Green Energy Systems.  CGES is one of South Carolina’s oldest and largest comprehensive Home Performance Contractors, and we are proud to include them in the GreenHomes Network.

Also new in town is Air Rescue Air Conditioning of Tampa, Florida. This is our first partner from the Sunshine state.   Air Rescue started in 1965, and is one of the oldest and largest residential HVAC contractors in the Tampa Bay Metro area.   Air Rescue will service customers in over seven counties.

This is only the beginning as GreenHomes grows to better serve you nationally!  Stay tuned for more!

Thanks,

Jason.

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

“The Second Affair” A trashy love story (sort of)

September 24, 2012

Lic. creative commons. photo by Mario A. Leitón

At GHA, we use the best material to get the job done right.  While there are many types of insulation out there, one that many locations use quite frequently is cellulose.  One of the great things about this stuff is that it is a recycled product.  Ever wonder what happens to all those newspapers that are carted off in a recycling bin instead of heading to the trash?   Cardboard is one product, but insulation is the one near to our heart. 

Fortunately cellulose manufacturers have not been greatly affected by the recent decline in newspaper circulation as there are plenty of other materials available.  According to the American Forest and Paper Association, there’s over 1 million pounds of paper waste generated every ten minutes in the U.S. That means there’s lots of material to use in making cellulose.  In fact, one manufacturer was using romance novels for a while!  Sounds like a good way to insulate and it really gives a new meaning to the term “trashy novels”.  

Cellulose is just one of many options for insulating your home.  This is why it’s important to have an expert assess your home and decide what is best not only in action, but also for materials.  When cellulose insulation is a good match, we pick the cleanest and safest available to install.  Now that’s a love story with a happy ending!

Thanks,

Jason

Is Your Air Conditioner Feeling the Heat?

August 17, 2012

Visiting family last month in the south brought home the importance of comfort.  After all, it was vacation and we were visiting a wonderful home able to accommodate a few families coming together.  It was a relatively new home too, clearly built to entertain, with large open spaces and expansive porches.   While it was great to relax on those porches, the afternoon sun often caused us to retreat inside for some cool air.  The air conditioners seemed to run the whole time we were there and I’d bet that was the case for much of the summer.

Always thinking about how efficiently a house works, I have to say there were a few rooms that always seemed to be on the warm side.  They were second story rooms above the garage with small closed off side attics.   The air conditioner had to work particularly hard to keep these spaces cool and the rooms really didn’t cool off until the sun went down.

Built to code, spacious and beautiful with all the bells and whistles, this home only fell short in one area:   performance.  For me this translates into more than just a loss in energy efficiency but also a lack of comfort.

I can’t stress enough the benefits and values from a comprehensive home assessment, even for new homes.  In fact, next time I visit I might bring along a blower door and infrared camera to conduct my own assessment.  Then I would be able to provide the family with some real solutions for their home performance.  After all, it’s the least I can do considering how well they fed me!

Thanks,

Jason

Transparent Refrigerators: Keeping Your Cartons Cool

July 31, 2012

Transparent RefrigeratorIt has been said that if engineers, instead of architects, designed efficient buildings, there would be no windows.   Refrigerators are boxes just like our homes, and for good reasons most of them have no windows.  You can get a commercial refrigerator with a glass door, but the sacrifice is efficiency to get that view inside.  This one becomes transparent as you approach it, which is pretty neat and might save energy if it is well insulated and you don’t have to open the door as much.

Seems like a good idea to me.  What if we were the milk cartons and our home the fridge?   This time of year keeping cool can mean keeping the door closed on our homes because your air conditioner works double time when the door is left open.    It also works harder when there’s a lack of insulation and lots of air leakage in your home.   Hey, if you are the produce and don’t wish to perish, consider keeping cool by improving your home. We can help!

Thanks,

Jason


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