Category: Energy

Making Your Home Energy Efficient

Making you home energy efficient will save on the environment and your wallet. That all sounds good but exactly how do you do it? Here are 10 top ways to make that happen.

energy audit

First, get an energy audit. 

This is where a professional comes in and assesses your home and tell you what needs the most attention. Its a good idea because they know places to look that we wouldn’t even think of. FYI, We offer them here at Newhouse and Sun…

Second, Seal up doors and windows

Use caulking or other methods to seal around doors and windows. These are the number one way we lose energy in our homes. You can also check attics and basement for cracks and hole.

Third, insulate the attic

Half the homes in the US are under insulated. This is easy to do and you will notice the difference.

Fourth, seal your ductwork 

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that roughly a fifth of this air escapes through leaks. Use duct sealant to fix any leaks.

Fifth, install a programmable thermostat 

These devices “save about 10 percent on your heating bills and your cooling bills in the summer, so they pay for themselves literally in a matter of months,” says Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy.

Sixth, install new windows

New windows can save you a bundle. They also add to the value of your home so its a win/win

Seventh, install energy efficient doors

Avoid hollow doors! I know they are cheaper but the air goes right thru them.

Eighth, install storm windows

This can be a cheaper option than window replacement if your interior windows are in good shape.

Ninth, replace old systems

Replacing your HVAC units can lower your monthly energy bills. Not to mention make the home overall more comfortable. Make sure you have done the other steps before you do this one though, otherwise you lose it all.

Tenth, install a new water heater

Water heating takes up 15 to 25 percent of the homes energy usage. Energy efficient water heaters can significantly lower that!

Now that you’ve done all of these your house should be free of drafts, be more comfortable and you should start seeing a drop in your energy bills. Energy is expensive! Here at Newhouse and Sun we offer all of the services listed above as well as solar panels…but that’s a different blog! Why not give us a call today? (978) 657-7274

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It isn’t easy being green

Anywhere you go these days you hear the word “green.” But what does it mean and how do I do it?

Webster’s dictionary defines GREEN as:

a often capitalized :  relating to or being an environmentalist political movement

b :  concerned with or supporting environmentalism

c :  tending to preserve environmental quality (as by being recyclable, biodegradable, or non polluting)
green house

That’s all well and good but what does being GREEN look like and how do I do it? Well thankfully, there’s an app for that. As a matter of fact, there are several. Here are just a few…

Goodguide: 

The GoodGuide mobile app makes it fast and easy to find safe, healthy, green, and ethical products, instantly delivering the information you need, when you need it most — in a store and on the go.

Green Outlet:  

Green Outlet helps you identify which of your household appliances are costing you the most to run so you can make informed decisions about your electric use.

iRecycle:  

iRecycle is the premiere application for finding local (United States Only), convenient recycling opportunities when you are on the go or at home.

Bulb Finder: 

LIGHT BULB FINDER is a free mobile phone application that makes it easy to switch from conventional light bulbs to energy-saving equivalents with the right fit, style and light quality.

Other apps on itunes include Green Genie, Carbon Tracker, Green Gas Saver, Find Green, Get Green, Green Me, and Green Charging.

It helps save the environment and your wallet. Check them out!

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Save the environment AND some your money!

hvac

Heating and cooling are two of the most expensive and energy consuming things in your home. The U.S Energy Information Administration states that the average U.S. power bill will be $395 per month from June through August. That’s A LOT!

Next to heating/cooling are HDTVs and computers. It may not seem like they use much, but over time these things can add up. Here are some simple steps to help you save the environment AND your energy bill.

Cover those windows!

Cellular shades, or “honeycomb” shades are a great way to keep the heat in in the winter and out in the summer. They look great and can save you money!

Beware of power vampires!

Things like HDTV’s, computers and even some appliances run constantly. According to the Energy Star website, even standby mode enables appliances and computers to continue to use energy. Power Vampires account for nearly 100 billion kilowatt hours of energy consumption on a yearly basis across the nation. Can you imagine?? Why not try shutting down your pc or tv or unplugging things when not in use? It could save you money.

Turn down your water heater!

All day every day you pay to keep your water heated to a certain temperature. Lowering that temperature will save you money and help lower your carbon footprint. What’s a carbon footprint? Well that’s next.

Know your carbon footprint!

A carbon footprint is the measure of the environmental impact of a particular individual or organization’s lifestyle or operation, measured in units of carbon dioxide. Basically, the amount of energy your family uses to keep them comfortable. The Nature Conservancy has a free tool to check your carbon footprint. That tool allows you to see how many resources it requires for our to live your life. Be forewarned though, finding out just how much you use can be shocking but it’s important to know when addressing energy conservation.

money5

The incentive for reducing energy consumption is monies saved. Saving $50 a month represents a $600 savings each year. Over the life of a home, those savings equal $6,000 at year 10, $12,000 at year 20 and $18,000 after 30 years of reducing energy consumption. Now we’re talkin!!

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