Recent Articles

  • Window Treatments

    The right home improvement products, techniques, and services:
    Contractors, home improvement stores, and specialty shops in your area may not yet have a complete familiarity with the ‘green’ opportunities, products, system integration, and overall savings potential. So, you may get some resistance, since people in general are typically more comfortable recommending something that they are already familiar with rather than something new.
  • Heat Pumps

    Consider: Electric Heat Pumps, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Air-Source Heat Pumps, Ductless & Mini-Split Heat Pumps, Absorption Heat Pumps, Operating & Maintaining Heat Pumps, and Advanced Features for Heat Pumps. With rising energy costs, heat pumps are a great alternative to natural gas or oil. The ‘dual-fuel’ approach lets you have more control on how you power your HVAC system to keep your home and family comfortable.
  • Energy Saving Improvements

    Consider: Energy Saving Tips, Energy Saving Whole-House Approach, Energy Savings Calculators, and Home Energy Rating and Audits

    Energy Saving Tips

    Low Cost Recommendations
    1. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and save 75% of lighting costs.
    2. Unplug electronics, battery chargers and other equipment when not in use. Taken together, these small items can use as much power as your refrigerator.
  • GREEN Home Building

    Consider: Eco-Friendly and Healthy Houses, Environmentally Friendly Home Materials, GREEN Payback Time and Return on Investment, Healthy House Materials, and LEED Homes

    By taking the initiative to transform your existing home in to a ‘green’ home or building a new home, you will save money and the environment as well as improve your family’ health.
  • Home Design and Planning

    Consider: Choosing the Right Contractors and Subs, Home Budgeting & Cost Averages, Integrating a New Addition with an Old House, Reviewing other House Plans, Working with Architects, Working with Interior Designers, and Working with Project Managers.

    When it comes to home design and planning, choosing the right ‘Green’ Architect and contractor is the key to success.

    Homes affect resource, human health, and ecological integrity. Besides basic health and safety measures outlined in the building code there’s no requirement to minimize these impacts.
  • Home Improvement Financing

    Consider: Energy-Efficient Financing, Home Equity Lines of Credit, Home Equity Loans, Home Loans, and Low Rate Construction Loans.

    Home Energy Rating

    Most energy-efficient financing programs will encourage you to have an energy rating for your new or existing home, which will tell you and the lender how energy-efficient it is. A rating typically involves an inspection by a professional energy rater who is certified under a nationally or state accredited home energy rating system (HERS).
  • Home Improvement Tax Credits & Grants

    Consider: Energy Saving Insurance, Grants for Energy Savings, Home Product Rebates, and Tax Credits for Home Improvement.

    On October 3, 2008, President Bush signed into law the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.” This bill extended tax credits for energy efficient home improvements (windows, doors, roofs, insulation, HVAC, and non-solar water heaters). Tax credits for these residential products, which had expired at the end of 2007, will now be available for improvements made during 2009.
  • Working with Contractors

    For small scale projects: Ask for references and check them. Make sure to pay on the performance rather than in advance. Consider the implications of: Contractor Disputes, Contractor Guarantees and a Home Warranty, Hiring a Contractor and Payment Terms, and Relationships with Contractors.

    For renovations, additions, or a new home: Review the guide below that outlines what to look for in selecting a contractor.
  • Attic Remodeling

    Consider: Attic Fans and Insulation, Attic Storage, Finished Attic Remodeling, and Planning for Attic Remodeling.

    Adding extra insulation in your attic is one of the best ways to save money on winter heating bills. Heating and cooling accounts for 40% on average of home heating and cooling. Heating is at least half of that amount, so the savings is very real since heat rises up and out of your home through your attic.

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