Posts Tagged ‘green savings’

How to Keep Your House Cool … Without Touching the AC

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 | No Comments

How to Keep Your House Cool… Without Touching the ACThe traditional summer months are coming to an end, but the heat remains. For some this means frizzy hair or rolling down the car windows, but for most it also means cranking up the AC. Turning that dial to try to cool your living quarters can be costly, but perhaps you don’t know how to keep your house cool without that modern convenience. Here we examine a few alternatives on how to keep your house cool without touching the AC.

  1. Close Doors – As much as possible, keep your house closed off from the ambient humid and hot air. This means keeping your external doors closed. But how to keep your house cool goes beyond shutting out the external heat. You should also keep internal doors closed to isolate the cooler air within your home.
  2. Cover Windows – Twenty to thirty percent of unwanted heat comes from sunlight and hot air permeating the windows of your home. Covering your windows, ie closing the blinds or drapes during the daytime, can lower indoor temperature by up to 20 degrees. That can result to saving 7% on your electric bill each month.
  3. Use Vent Exhausts – If you take a warm shower or cook something in the oven, those areas of your house can heat up considerably. Be sure to use vent exhausts in your bathroom and above your stove to allow the hot air to escape and keep the surrounding rooms cool.
  4. Cool from the Inside Out – The tricks for how to keep your house cool won’t make a difference if you yourself are not cool! So while you are making the necessary changes around your house, make them also with yourself. Drink iced beverages that lower your internal temperature. Take colder baths/showers, and cool your skin down with ice packs while sitting around the house.
  5. Adjust Fans -Fans should be adjusted seasonally. In the warm summer months, program your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise.
  6. Let in the Night Air – Even in the summer time, nights are usually cooler. One of the simplest methods of how to keep your house cool without the AC is by opening up the windows at night.
  7. Change Your Sheets – Avoid using flannel and other heavy material sheets during the summer. Cotton breathes more easily and doesn’t retain body heat.
  8. Grill – How to keep your house cool may have more to do with what you do outside. Grilling reduces the build-up of heat your oven and stove would produce in food preparation. In addition, grilling takes people outdoors into cool breezes.
  9. Purchase Better Light Bulbs – Incandescent lights waste almost 90% of the energy they produce in the form of unnecessary heat. Switch to more efficient bulbs that will last longer and put off less heat.
  10. Make Lasting Home Improvements – Shading your house with sunlight-absorbing plants and trees helps the environment and reduces the heat gripping your home. At the same time, your landscaping adds to the curb value of your house; you are making a permanent environmental and financial investment!

As heat waves continue through the end of the summer, cut back on your energy bill by finding alternatives to turning on your AC. How to keep your house cool can be as easy as closing the curtains and planting a few shady trees. But it might also be beneficial to have your house inspected. Getting new windows with better insulation and other home improvements might make a huge difference to your comfort. Call and schedule an appointment with Inspect-It 1st today!

Home Window Replacement Choices

Posted on: May 25th, 2014 | No Comments

A man doing his own home window replacement.Home window replacement can be quite the undertaking. There are a number of variables to consider when purchasing them. It can be staggering and frankly, an overwhelming process. There is much to consider – from materials and styles to prices and ease of install, picking the right windows for your home will take time and patience. The biggest difference between window varieties is generally what they are made of. Of course, all windows have glass panes, but the materials that surround the glass can include vinyl, fiberglass, wood or aluminium.

 

Wood – This classic building material is known for it’s natural beauty. Wood can also can be easily painted or stained to change it’s natural appearance. In the past, wood has been considered a top-notch building material, but it’s propensity to rot and it’s susceptibility to termites means it has become less appealing to homeowners. Still, new weather stripping techniques and hardware innovations can eliminate draft and other imperfections in these windows. One major pitfall with wood frames is the maintenance. You should check them on a yearly basis for rot, termite damage, cracks and other weather damage. When choosing wood for your home window replacement project, keep in mind the environmental impacts as well. To ensure environmental responsibility, purchase your windows from producers that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

 

Vinyl – The most common home window replacement choice is vinyl. These low cost and durable windows are also energy efficient, making them attractive to residential buyers. Vinyl windows are waterproof and impervious to things like termites and moisture – which can lead to rotting. Vinyl is also an excellent insulator and because they are so lightweight, they can be easily installed by an ambitious DIY-er. One drawback of vinyl is the appearance, the seams are not attractive and factory direct colors are generally white and tan with a few other colors available by special order. Epoxy-based paints appear to adhere but the constant expansion and contraction of the material can cause cracking that would require touch ups. Finally, the process and materials used to create vinyl windows may be long lasting, but the sustainability of the PVC creation process and the chemicals released during its long decomposition do not lend these windows well to the term “environmentally friendly”.

 

Fiberglass – The popularity of fiberglass windows is on the rise. These durable, attractive and energy efficient models generally run about double the price of vinyl, but the maintenance-free aspect and longevity make them well worth the investment. Additionally, these frames come in a variety of colors, including a convincing wood finish – and can be easily painted. There are also frames available with a wood interior and an exterior sash that can be painted to your personal preferences. Because these frames are hollow, manufactures have chosen to inject insulation into this space, making fiberglass windows excellent insulators. Worried about your home window replacement carbon footprint? Fiberglass is easy to fabricate and therefore has a lower embedded energy factor and low energy is required to produce them.

 

Aluminium – Aluminium‘s strength and durability make it a favorite of architects by allowing more space for glass however, these windows do carry a higher price point and are therefore less popular with consumers. Aluminum comes is huge range of colors and finishes that are long lasting and tough. Unfortunately, aluminum is not an effective insulator and does corrode in salty air, so it should not be installed in coastal climates. Its low energy efficiency does not outweigh the recyclability of aluminum.

 

The four options listed above are of course not the only choices for your home window replacement project. Glass blocks, awnings and jalousie windows all offer aesthetic differentiation, interest and beauty wherever they are installed. By researching your options and comparing the factors important to your specific project, you can ensure that you choose the best windows. When installing your new windows, be sure to hire someone who is experienced with the material you have chosen to use. Proper installation is important not only for energy efficiency reasons but should you ever choose to sell, home inspectors, like those at Inspect-It 1st, examine your windows for proper installation and upkeep.

 

Looking for a trustworthy home inspector for your sale? Inspect-It 1st is the Nation’s Premier Property Inspection Franchise. Find a qualified home inspector near you!

Are you a new Homeowner? Here’s how to be an awesome homeowner!

Posted on: January 24th, 2014 | No Comments

Homeowner tips for upkeep and maintenance.A new house is exciting! Decorating and making it home is the best part. But, what happens when the move is over and you’re a homeowner in your house as life continues? Houses are also a lot of work. Maintaining your home is the key to maintaining the resale value. Here are a few areas to focus on to keep your home safe and fun:

 

  1. Safety – Keep an eye out for dangers within and around your home. Whether it be an exposed wire or cracked pipes, these things can depreciate the value of your house and put your family in danger. Be realistic with DIY projects too, if you don’t feel 100% confident you can do it correctly and safely, call a professional.

 

  1. Green – By replacing regular light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs you can cut down on electrical bills. Solar panels and other eco-friendly practices can benefit you in the long run especially when it comes time to sell. Create a compost pile in your backyard for easy access to homemade fertilizers, too. By getting in the habit of composting, recycling and upcycling you can cut back significantly on the amount of waste your household produces.

 

  1. Exterior – Curb appeal factors in when it comes time to sell your home. Maintaining the outside of your home has both aesthetic and practical purposes. Peeling paint and broken siding can allow moisture into the walls and cause mold to grow. Beautification also becomes a factor, especially if you plan on selling. Determine your hardiness zone to ensure you select plants that will thrive in your area. By maintaining your lawn & gardens as well as siding & gutters you ensure your home is both attractive and safe.

 

  1. Interior

  • Pipes/Plumbing – Leaking pipes and broken plumbing can cause serious damage and mold growth that can be harmful to you and your families health. If you notice any leaks or problems with your homes plumbing call a professional, this isn’t something you should DIY.

 

  • Furnace – Furnaces are expensive. Get yours checked 2x a year. Ensuring proper maintenance is being given to your furnace can keep you from spending thousands on a new furnace or even prevent a fire started by a furnace problem.

 

  • Flooring – Missing tiles, broken wood flooring and other flooring issues can devalue your home and cause safety issues as well. Be sure to maintain your flooring and fix any issues that may arise. Felt pads will protect your floors from furniture scratches.

 

A home can be the biggest investment you ever make so maintaining it is important. Should you decide to sell your house in the future, this maintenance will help to ensure you pass inspections and get the full value of your home.

Inspect-It 1st has information about home inspection services. In addition the website provides a maintenance checklist that divides the house into sections and outlines maintenance tips and suggestions throughout.

4 Great New Years Resolutions for Home Owners

Posted on: January 4th, 2013 | No Comments

nyhouseAt the beginning of the year, we’re all used to making resolutions for ourselves.  Most of us focus on improving our health (namely our waistlines), but there’s something to be said for resolving to improve your home.

 

That’s right – the beginning of the year is a great time to make a list of resolutions for maintaining and improving your home.  Keeping your home in a good condition and improving its value is the right way to protect and grow your investment.

 

Here are some great new years resolutions for homeowners:

 

Go green: The beginning of the year can be a great time to start new habits, and green habits can not only mean a more eco-friendly lifestyle for your family, they can also save you money.  For example, the New Year is a great time to commit to compact fluorescent light bulbs.  Don’t be put off by the price; these bulbs will last 10 times as long as incandescent, and according to the Department of Energy, swapping out 15 of these bulbs can save you $50 a year.

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How to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

Posted on: December 6th, 2012 | No Comments

A lot has been said about selling your home during the holidays.  Specifically, people often advise against it, but if done correctly, the holiday season can be a great time to sell your home.

 

Why? Because buyers who are actively looking during the holidays are ultra-motivated to buy.  They may be in a tough spot and need to move quickly, so sweeten the deal with these tips, and you’ll be starting your new year in a new home!

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Our home inspection company's history began in 1991 with the establishment of American Home Inspection. Over the course of the following seven years, a home inspection business prototype was developed that could be implemented anywhere in the United States. Our founders believed they had a unique methodology of providing homebuyers and sellers with consistent, professional and unbiased home inspections.

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