Save Money and Energy with a Home Energy Audit

Save Money and Energy with a Home Energy Audit

Did you know that you could be using unnecessary energy throughout your home? Of course, the environmental impact of that is something to seriously consider. As a result, though, you could also be spending a lot of extra money each month on utilities. The best way to figure out how much energy your home uses is by getting an energy audit. Home energy audits or assessments not only show you how much energy is being consumed. They can also help you to figure out what you can do to lower your home’s energy consumption. These fixes can include anything from updating your appliances to installing insulation. So, how do you go about getting a home energy audit? It’s easier than you might think!   Professional Home Energy Audits One of the most convenient ways to get a home energy audit is to hire a professional. When you do that, you can feel confident in knowing they’ve covered every inch of your home and they know exactly how to determine where energy is being wasted. Auditors start out by getting information from you about your household and your living habits. Some areas of information usually include things like: Average thermostat settings How often people are home How many people live in the house Measurements of the outside of the home The auditors will also usually want copies of your utility bills. This will give them a good idea of how much energy is being used (and how much money is being spent) on a monthly basis, and how that fluctuates throughout the year.   What to Expect During a Professional...
How Do You Conserve Water With Fall Lawn Care?

How Do You Conserve Water With Fall Lawn Care?

Fall is fast approaching, which means cooler temperatures and beautiful colors! In many parts of the country, lawn care is just as important throughout the autumn season as it is any other time of year. While you may not have to use as much water to keep your lawn looking plush during the fall, there are still a few things you can do this season to conserve water while keeping your yard looking pristine and green.   Water Less Often and at the Right Times   Unless you live in an extremely hot area that doesn’t get a lot of rain, you can usually get by on watering your lawn less-frequently in the fall. But, it’s still important to water it at the right time. This will ensure that the water permeates the soil and you get the most out of each watering session.   A good rule of thumb is to water twice a week. Try to water as early in the morning as possible. If you have an irrigation or sprinkler system that can be set on a timer, setting it sometime between 4am-5am is ideal. If you’re watering by hand, just try to get it done first thing in the morning.   Know When to Stop Watering   If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow each winter, you’ll want to make sure not to water after a deep freeze. For most people, this means stopping sometime in October or November. Pay attention to the weather and how cold/solid the ground gets. You don’t want to waste water by pooling it on...
Saving Energy as Summer Turns to Fall

Saving Energy as Summer Turns to Fall

It’s hard to believe, but colder temperatures are right around the corner. Now is the time to transition your home from Summer to Fall, and that means doing what you can to conserve and save on energy as the weather turns chilly. Thankfully, you can still soak up the last bit of summer even as the air gets cooler. As a result, you’ll be using less energy and end up paying less on your electric bill! Keep these tips in mind to make a smooth transition to the next season, and reduce your environmental impact in the process. Soak Up the Sun As the seasons change, it can feel like a permacloud sets in. Save on energy during these last few weeks of extended sunlight by letting it into your house as much as possible. Even if it gets cold outside, the sun can help to heat your home so you don’t have to crank up the thermostat. Open the curtains during the day, and close them at night to help lock in the heat. Find Leaks Now is the perfect time to find any air leaks in your house and seal them up. This is something you can do at the end of every summer to prepare your home (and furnace!) for colder weather. Common areas for air leaks include: Unfinished spaces Around chimneys Utility cut-throughs for pipes You know your home better than anyone. Think about where any gaps might occur and where any cold air could leak in. Taking a few minutes to patch up these leaks before cold weather hits can make a big difference....
Shorter Showers and Fewer Flushes – It’s the Law

Shorter Showers and Fewer Flushes – It’s the Law

California has already proven to be a pioneer state when it comes to big moves in energy efficiency and water conservation. One of its newest laws is taking the influence of the state one step further. Recently, California became the first state to pass a specific water law. This law limits household water use when it comes to things like flushing toilets, and taking showers. If it sounds extreme, don’t worry – it’s actually much more reasonable than you might think. But, it’s important to know just what this law entails, because it might be coming to your state sooner than you think.   Gauging the Gallons Of course, no one from the government is going to be able to come into your home and monitor how long you’re taking a shower each day. So, starting in 2022, the state will limit home water usage to 55 gallons per person each day. That might sound like a lot, but an average shower can take anywhere from 15-20 gallons of water. Flushing a toilet? That usually takes about 7 gallons each time. Throw in things like running the dishwasher or doing a load of laundry, and it isn’t hard to surpass the 55-gallon mark very quickly. Understandably, some people are concerned that the law is too harsh, or even nearly impossible (especially in homes with children). But, there are many ways to make it easier to achieve, and less overwhelming.   Water Conservation in the Home One of the biggest ways to lower the amount of water you use each day is to switch to appliances that naturally use less...
California Construction and Solar Panels: What Does it Mean?

California Construction and Solar Panels: What Does it Mean?

California recently became the first state in the country to require solar panels on all newly-constructed homes. While the rules aren’t in place just yet (they will be starting in 2020), many people are wondering what it will mean not only for homes but how will it impact the environment? The goal of this new law is to make at least half of California’s used energy renewable. This goal goes hand-in-hand with a bigger climate change goal that the state is trying to achieve by 2050. If you live in California, what can you expect from this kind of construction? And, how will it impact the rest of the country?   What Does it Mean for Housing Costs?   The problem some Californians have with this new initiative is that it’ll significantly increase the cost of building a home. Unfortunately, it already costs quite a bit of money to build and/or buy a home in California. So, it’s understandable why some people are concerned about the increasing prices in the housing market. This isn’t just a problem for home builders and buyers, but for anyone who has to deal with new home construction. A prime example is Habitat for Humanity, who relies on donations to construct new homes. The good news? In the long run, the costs will likely even out. With solar panels installed on a home, energy costs for the people living there will be significantly lower. While this is a savings that will add up over many years, you will eventually get that money “back” in what you’re saving each month.   What Does it Mean...