Keep Warm with Energy Efficiency

Now that winter is just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about heating your home. Many in the northern states like Ohio, New Jersey, Illinois, and Pennsylvania are already tempted to start heating their homes as the temperatures drop overnight.

If you want to remain comfortable this winter without having to shell out a ton of money for heating, we have a few helpful tips for you.

Cheap Electricity

If your contract for electricity service is up for renewal soon, now is the time to shop for new electricity plans.

The fall is the best time to search for a new plan as it’s usually the time of year when electricity plans are at their cheapest.

Filters

If you have a central air furnace that sends heat throughout your home, be sure to replace the filter every one to three months. A clogged air filter

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How Much Can You Save with Energy Efficiency

What sort of savings can you get from improving your home energy efficiency? There are a lot of ways to save, and some can hold big benefits.

Don’t feel like you need to take on everything at once, but little improvements here and there can lead to bigger savings down the line.

Installing Low-e Windows

Low-e windows reduce the amount of heat that passes through your windows using inert gasses to insulate the two panes. On average, you can save anywhere between 12-33% on heating and cooling.

Air Leaks

Sealing up your home against air leaks is an excellent way to save energy. Air can seep out around door and window frames, through chimneys, and even through electrical outlets and light switches.

Using weather stripping and caulk can seal a lot of these air leaks. Altogether, this can save you about 10-20% on your heating and cooling

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Finding Ghostly Air Leaks in Spooky Basements

Do you think your basement is spooky? Dimly lit, cool, possibly damp; all a recipe for a spooky basement. 

But there’s one other thing that can make a basement scary: energy inefficiency.

Basements can be a major source of energy inefficiency in states like Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.

They are often not properly sealed (or develop air leaks after their construction in new homes), and if they have moisture buildup, it can lead to mold and other issues.

Tackling Ghosts in Your Basement

Your basement could be harboring ghosts! Well, maybe not actual ghosts, but certainly invisible air leaks.

Air leaks can be very difficult to find. A professional contractor can use a device like an infrared temperature gun to scan around windows, doors, and foundation cracks to quickly find air leaks.

However, if you’d like to find them yourself and do some DIY weather-stripping, you can find air leaks using

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Improving Energy Efficiency One Room at a Time

Each room of your home can yield some energy savings by focusing on the right areas.

Basement / Garage

Water Heater: Lower the temperature on your water heater from 140°F to 120°F and insulate the tank and hot water pipes to maximize energy savings with hot water. HVAC System: Replace the air filter for your HVAC system every one to three months as needed to keep airflow at its peak. Washer / Dryer: Run full loads as often as possible and run successive loads to maintain as much consistent heat as possible. If you need to run partial loads, adjust the water level and drying times accordingly. Dehumidifier: Using a dehumidifier to maintain a relative humidity between 30% and 50% within your basement or garage will keep equipment working efficiently.

Living Room

Lighting: Remember to turn off lights when you aren’t using them. Replacing your most used more »

Energy Efficiency and Bright Colors

Looking to stay cool as we come out of the hottest time of the year? If you also like to save money in addition to keeping cool, we have some hot tips for you.

The best way to stay cool is to minimize heat gain, which can come from many different sources, including the sun, light bulbs, cooking, and doing laundry.

Minimizing how much you use all these aspects will not only keep the temperature from rising, it will also keep your energy bill from climbing, which is great during the August heat.

Block out the Sun

Sunlight in and of itself is not inherently bad. In fact, it can help you reduce energy bills by relying on it rather than artificial lighting during the day.

However, during the dead of summer, light from the sun can really heat up your home. Well, more specifically, ultraviolet light

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Filling Money Pits with Energy Efficiency

How many summers have you gone through where it seems like you’re paying more than you would expect to keep cool? If you feel like it’s been just about every summer, chances are there are some summer money pits in your home that desperately need filling.

Some parts of our homes are just sinkholes for money, be they old thermostats, drafty windows, outdated home air conditioning, or poor insulation.

Filling these money pits with newer technology and more efficient solutions will keep your home more comfortable and save you money every month.

Thermostat

An old, manually set thermostat will tell your HVAC system to maintain whatever the set temperature is. The only way to prevent it from doing this is to turn it off.

Now, if you go to work during the week and forget to turn off the thermostat, you’re actively cooling your home with no

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7 Steps to Energy Efficient Clothes Washing

Are you getting the most out of your washing machine? Clothes washing seems like a very simple task, but there is a level of complexity added to it in the form of detergent and temperature. Liquid or packs? Too much or too little? Hot or cold cycle? These factors affect how effective your wash cycle is for the clothes in the washer, and it could be costing you money in more ways than one.

1. Sorting
Clothes should be sorted into different groups before being washed. Most people separate darks, colors, and whites, but that’s only half of the battle. Every piece of clothing should have a tag that tells you what temperature the article should be washed at. Matching clothing based on color and temperature will help them last longer and look better.

2. Detergent
With the detergent industry pulling in $7 billion each

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Building a Better Future with Better Buildings

There are two methods we can use to curb climate change: switch to renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. Renewable energy has been pretty steadily growing in the past decade, but it’s only half of the battle to get carbon emissions down. The other half is increasing energy efficiency, and it’s a more cost effective method for the short term.

Much of the reasoning behind the technologies we have today is cost. They may be inefficient, but they are cheap to produce. The incandescent lightbulb is one such option. The goal for Thomas Edison was to mass produce a cheap, long lasting bulb. At the time it was invented, they did last quite a while, considering the other alternatives were gas lamps or even less efficient arc lamps. Today, we have compact fluorescent lamps and LED bulbs, both of which cost more than incandescent bulbs, but also

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How Unplugging Your Appliances Can Let You Take a Vacation

Many of us have heard of the vampire effect, which is the effect of electrical devices sucking up energy for as long as they’re plugged in. This also applies to devices that are turned off or in a low power state. As long as the device is plugged into a functioning outlet, you’re wasting precious energy. In fact, about 75% of the total energy use for electronics and appliances comes from the time they are turned off and out of use. How much is that really costing you in a tangible sense, though?

Plasma TV – $150 per year

Window AC – $105 per year

Desktop Computer – $63 per year

Game Console – $25 per year

Microwave – $22 per year

Coffee Maker – $22 per year

Toaster Oven – $17 per year

Laptop Charger – $15 per year

Hairdryer – $15 per year

Portable Fan

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Increasing the Energy Efficiency of Home Windows

How can windows save you electricity and gas? Not really a question people think of very often, but it’s definitely worth considering. Having the right windows can actually save you a bundle of money all year long. But how do you know when to upgrade?

If your windows are more than a decade old, chances are they aren’t very efficient. If they’re more than two decades old, they definitely need improvement. Upgrading your windows from your current set to a new energy efficient set can save you up to 30% on your home energy bills, particularly with Energy Star certified windows, with a potential to save upwards of $1000 every year.

You may be wondering “What makes newer windows more efficient?” As windows age, the frame around them can crack and form small gaps. Through these gaps, conditioned air inside your home will leak out and unconditioned

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