Archive for the ‘Energy Audits’ Category

The Heart of the Matter

February 14, 2014

Since this month is  American Heart Month and it seems an appropriate metaphor for our homes. I’ve mentioned some of the similarities already, but here is a big one…
512px-BuscemiHeart

Think of your heating and cooling system as your home’s heart. The ductwork or piping can be like arteries and when it all works well, you stay comfortable.
But there’s a lot more to it than that, the body is a system where all the parts work well together. Homes are like that too. Heating, cooling, distribution, ventilation, roofing, siding, air sealing and insulation all come together and when it works great things can happen. We stay warm or cool comfortable and healthy.
Clearly it can be a complicated system, and I won’t say our advisors are doctors, but they sure know homes and how to make them work at their best. One thing’s for sure, we make house calls!

Thanks,
Jason

Image By Chernface141 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Cutting edge science! Circa 1891

January 23, 2014

Dr smithThis time of year our homes are often closed up tight and we can get a little stir crazy by it.

Dr. Smith, pictured in the print, subjected himself to this voluntarily, we find out in a text book on ventilation printed in 1891.  His little home was made of lead and the window was there so he could break out if no one would let him out. A more trustworthy assistant would have been nice.

The door was weather stripped with an India rubber tube.  Funny how over 100 years later we still could use doors on our homes that work as well as his did!

Well Dr. Smith discovered that fairly quickly the room got unpleasant and moist.   He lasted for 100 minutes and then “three persons then went in and at once, pronounced the air to be very bad.”  Not sure this counts as science, but it works for me.  If it smells bad it is bad.  Good enough.

Ironically even today there are ongoing arguments about how much ventilation is needed but we need it.  I’ve written about controlling the airways and it’s a good idea to have your ventilation strategies worked out too.  Expert advice is only a call away.  Don’t worry at GreenHomes America, we don’t use lead rooms and emergency glass.

Thanks,

Jason

image comes from a google book in the public domain

Did you Resolve to Resolve a Reasonable Resolution?

January 13, 2014

Does the gym membership only last as long as the trial period? Do snacks grow in size and frequency? Ah, if self control was so easy!  Good health is a great thing to strive for, and if self control is not one of your better assets, maybe a little help is in order.

P1060126Consider some small steps.  An energy assessment of your home is a small step which can lead to great things.  It’s about protecting one of your important investments your home, and you.  We spend a lot of time indoors (for better or worse) and the cooking and heating equipment we use can create health issues if we are not careful.  A home ought to be comfortable and safe.

I won’t lie, an assessment of your home is a great step, but its not the only one.  First make sure it’s the right one and find a BPI certified contractor.  The next step is acting on an energy audit’s recommendations. That will bring in the New Year with energy savings, better indoor air quality and greater comfort.  Here’s to a no sweat resolution it might not help you lose weight but it will help you lose some of your excess energy bills!  Maybe next year, i’ll get around to reading the book.

Thanks,

Jason

Ways to Save on Heating Costs

December 19, 2013

One of our newest locations, Buckeye Heating and Cooling, was featured on the news in Columbus Ohio.   Technician Jeff Walsh spent some time performing a home energy audit and using the infrared camera.  Nice work Buckeye Heating and Cooling!  I think central Ohio just got a little warmer!  Not in Ohio, find a location near you!

You can view the Buckeye energy audit video here.

Thanks,

Jason

What really happened? And is that cabin insulated? The energy audit of 1623.

November 22, 2013

800px-The_First_Thanksgiving_cph_3g04961

This image is a classic one, and even though it’s titled the First Thanksgiving, it wasn’t called that then or immediately afterwards. The Pilgrims likely didn’t dress like that nor did the Wampanoag wear feather headdresses as shown.  Those Europeans were likely in rough shape happy with a first harvest, but they were by all accounts outnumbered almost two to one by their guests.  The holiday as we know it came to be under the Lincoln Presidency in the 1800’s not 1623 as portrayed in this painting from 1914.

This holiday is one of my favorites because of the food and family, and I encourage all to enjoy it to its fullest  The painting is lovely but doesn’t really tell the story, its much like other ways we sell ourselves short.

A clip board energy audit done in 15 minutes or a form can be filled out online.  This is sort of like this painting,  it might look nice, but it might be wrong or misleading.  To really know what is going on you need to be there, which is exactly why we like to spend time in your home inspecting the attic, the heating and cooling system and other areas up close and personal.

I’m sure there wasn’t an energy audit done while they were celebrating for three days.  It’s likely they ate well, largely thanks to their guests.  But I bet they wished there was someone that could really help with comfort issues.

Stay warm,

Jason

footnote

Photo in the public domain from the Library of Congress

Worse than Burning the Bird

November 20, 2013

There are plenty of things to consider for Thanksgiving, like making sure you  thaw out the bird properly, and cook it at the right temperatures.  And some guests may have food allergies as well so it’s always good to ask.

bird

Food aside, there are other concerns, and ventilation is an important one. People need it and so do homes.  Over the holidays it can get stuffy with so many people visiting, but if your home is that way without guests, you suffer from high humidity or poor air quality, maybe it’s time to do something about it.   An assessment is a good place to start.  It’s nice to have ventilation systems in place all the time not just for the holidays.

One specific kind of ventilation, exhaust fans in kitchens, help us by removing smoke and odors, and especially if you’re cooking with gas, carbon monoxide.  While it’s not smart to use a grill inside, most people forget that their gas stove is a source for Carbon Monoxide; cooking a turkey in a hot stove for hours without exhausting the kitchen could put your family at risk for CO poisoning, and that is worse than burning the bird!

Thanks,

Jason

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:H%C3%A4hnchengrill_01.jpg

 

 

Reduce first!

October 30, 2013

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, the call for environmental responsibility, is well known.

P1170049

The demonstration home in San Diego, I’ve been discussing over in the last few months, has been a great success allowing GreenHomes America partner ASI Hastings to show, as well as tell, their community of the great work that can be done in their homes tackling these R’s in particular the first one Reduce.

101_0792

We’ve talked about some of the high efficiency equipment they installed, some of the exterior improvements which helped to reduce water usage, but a homeowner can reduce their usage simply by improving the building itself.  GreenHomes America locations combine building improvements with equipment improvements for a win-win situation.

101_0877

This is exactly what ASI Hastings did, they insulated the walls, attic and air sealed the home. By insulating and reducing the amount of uncontrolled airflow in the home they reduced what the home’s systems needed to produce for comfort.

Thanks,

Jason

Money, Good Health and a Comfortable Home, We Have Solutions!

September 3, 2013

Why Get an Energy Audit?  Watch this Video….

Taking a home for a test drive

August 21, 2013

When you shop for a car, you can see it on the lot or the showroom floor, same goes for most retail things, new clothing, or a book. You can even find a modular home on a sales lot, but it’s still difficult to see what comfort or efficiency looks like.  Or, what kind of savings there are to be had for a homeowner and their existing home.

image (7)

Well the team at ASI Hastings Heating, Air & Solar in San Diego has created a showcase home to help spread the word about the huge energy incentives available to homeowners in their area as well as the great things that can and should be done in every home. ASI converted the garage into a hands-on “Innovation Center” to help homeowners get a clear understanding of how they can make similar upgrades to their home.

image (6)

“We invested in the home to prove just how much savings a homeowner could receive,” explains Ken Justo, co-owner of ASI Hastings Heating and Air. “The home has undergone a full remodel inside and out. We are extremely proud of the outcome. People can actually see these upgrades in a real life setting; improvements that the average homeowner can also make.”

Over the next few weeks I will talk about what they did and why it’s so important for you to consider improvements like these in your own home.

Thanks,

Jason

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Dams and Chainsaws or You May be Right, They May be Crazy….

January 29, 2013

Don’t try this at home!  Chain saws and snow blowers don’t belong on roofs, and I would suggest you don’t either, especially in the winter. These guys are clearly…ahem, professionals.

One obvious down side would be landing in your living room snow blower and all.  Preventative maintenance is the way to go.  What does that mean? Start with some tips in our fact sheet on ice dams. You could also check out past articles such as this one in the Wall Street Journal .  It’s that season again so be safe and be smart,  take steps this year, with a home energy assessment and make sure you air seal and insulate right to avoid the problem in the future.

Thanks,

Jason


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,087 other followers

%d bloggers like this: