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Green Home Improvements

green home improvements are easy & help the environment

When remodeling your home it’s better to think long term rather than focusing on what’s the hottest style. Styles change faster than you can blink an eye, but reliable, sustainable materials can improve the look and feel of your house AND increase the value of your home.  There are many green home improvements you can make with environmentally sound materials.

It takes careful consideration to figure out what eco-friendly materials will suit your lifestyle and your home. Not every green material will be a fit. You need to evaluate what needs to be replaced, what materials are available and which ones will... 

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Home Automation Keeping Your Home and Family Safe

home automation saves time & money

Home automation is no longer the wave of the future, home automation is now. You can control heating, cooling and even sprinkler systems remotely. Home entertainment systems and lighting can all be controlled with the touch of a button. Home automation systems are perfect for people who want more security or energy efficiency at home for their families and themselves.

Home Automation is Evolving

The majority of home automation systems evolved from home security systems, When the alarm was triggered an alert was sent to a monitoring center. A security company employee would call a designated number to verify the problem and... 

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What’s Important When Buying a Water Heater

buying a hot water heater can get complicated

There’s nothing like a good hot shower to begin or end your day. For as much as you enjoy a hot shower, how often do you think about your hot water heater? Only when you run out of hot water right?

You’d think buying a hot water heater would be easy, but today’s hot water heaters have a multitude of fuel sources, features and form factors, so, buying a hot water heater can get really complicated.

When should you buy a new hot water heater? Hopefully you know how old your hot water heater is and can plan ahead for the expense... 

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15 Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bill

As winter approaches we wonder how cold it will get, how much snow we’ll have to shovel and how high the heating bill will be. Fortunately oil prices seem to be holding steady this year which is a good thing for those heating with oil, compared to fairly steep increases last year. For anyone who wants to track home heating fuel prices, here’s what the U.S. Energy Information Administration has on their website.

Natural Gas: $11.33 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating Oil: $3.63 per gallon. Electricity: 12.00 cents per kilowatt hour.

But you probably don’t really understand what these prices mean to your budget... 

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12 Home Security Tips For Summer Safety

social media can affect home security

Summer is a special time of year where we spend more time outdoors and traveling for graduation, weddings and of course, the family vacation. These are all wonderful and in order to enjoy your memories even more, the home security tips shared here will let your relax and hopefully, avoid dealing with someone breaking into your house.

Wishing you a relaxing and memorable summer this year.

Home Security When Noone is Home Close doors, windows and other entry points when your home is empty, so now is a good time to make sure all locks are easy to operate by any family member. Don’t... 

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Alternative Energy for Tomorrow, Today?

geothermal, an alternative energy resource for heating & cooling homes

There are a few houses being built across the US that are “off grid” where they produce all of the energy they need for electricity, heating, cooling and hot water. These passive houses combine super insulation building techniques with one or more alternative energy technologies.

This article provides an overview of these emerging energy sources, the ones covered by the 2013 Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency, to motivate more homeowners to invest in energy sources that are considered renewable, meaning they are continually replenished – water, wind, the sun, the earth (geothermal) and biomass energy from energy crops like... 

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Homeowner Tips for Saving Water

fix water leaks right away to save water & problems with mold and wood rot

There are billions of people living under severe water stress conditions, meaning they have difficulty getting enough fresh water for drinking, bathing and growing food. For those of us living in the US with easy access to fresh water unless there’s a drought, we don’t realize some of our communities are focusing on how to protect and expand local water supplies.

The reality is less than 1% of the water on Earth can be used by people! That’s why there’s a new WaterSense program similar to EnergyStar, to help us use our water wisely and not waste it.

When looking at water use... 

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Buying Appliances: Do You Consider EnergyStar Ratings?

energystar ratings help homeowners buy major appliances

Depending on store size, buying appliances can be overwhelming. Many homeowners want to go to the store to see what the refrigerator looks like, or now we get to decide on the height of our new washing machines and dryers. Your first decision will be researching to pick which store you visit, and that likely will depend on your budget and desire to survey a full range of products where refrigerators and ovens can cost $5,000 or more. With less disposable income, you’ll look for appliances within your budget, so we hope this article will explain that there are other... 

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Homeowners Should Research Energy Efficient Projects to Avoid Fraud

water saving tips from watersense governement website

We recently wrote about new insulation choices that are coming to market, to address increased focus on making our homes more energy efficient. It was a surprise then (or maybe it shouldn’t surprise us), to find that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined a company $350,000 making “deceptive and unsubstantiated” energy and cost saving claims regarding insulation products.

The specifics of the case aren’t as important as the key message, that homeowners need to make informed decisions, i.e. you should be researching home improvement projects, products and materials before purchase. The FTC included the following warning in their announcement ”  A... 

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Smart Thermostats Easier to Use (No Programming)

check out ecobee smart thermostats

Are you still turning your thermostats up and down each day? Have you learned how to program your … programmable thermostats?

There’s a lot more emphasis on saving energy — our homes are getting more airtight, our heating and cooling systems are getting more efficient, and new, smarter thermostats are learning what temperature we like so in case you don’t program or adjust your temperature, these smart thermostats will do it for you.

Like our light bulbs which took a 100 years before Thomas Edison’s design was replaced by new CFL and LED bulbs, we’ve got some new products on the market... 

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