I love the character of old houses but I don’t love the lack of insulation. There are several ways to add extra insulation to old homes without having to tear down interior walls. My solution is the least expensive and the cutest (in my humble opinion!) [Read more…] about How to Add Insulation Without Tearing Down Walls
Modern Home Buyers Look for Energy-Efficient Appliances
Home buyers today are environmentally savvy and price conscious. If you’re interested in selling your home either now or in the near future, you may want to invest in energy-efficient appliances to make your home more attractive to viewers. You may be able to secure a large return on investment for energy-efficient appliances by drawing in more prospective buyers (who could potentially start a bidding war) and by differentiating yourself from other homes on the market. According to Duke Energy, energy-efficiency was found to be important to 88 percent of all home buyers. Larger improvements, such as solar panels, tend to increase property value even more.
Energy-Efficient Appliances Pay for Themselves
Energy-efficient appliances come with many financial benefits, such as government tax credits for homeowners that install them. You could purchase a new appliance and then possibly get some of that money back at the end of the year through government credits, many of which are outlined by Energy Star. The rest of the cost of your new appliance may be offset by your lowered monthly bills, allowing your appliance to pay for itself over a long span of time. As noted, these energy-efficient appliances will also increase your overall property value, which will be very useful if you intend to sell.
Heating costs will rise for 116 million Americans this winter, according to EIA (Energy Information Administration) statistics. Homes heating with oil, the most expensive fuel, will spend $2,046 on average, while homes heating with propane, the least expensive, will pay $679. You can slash these yearly costs with an energy audit, and you don’t need to pay a professional to perform one. A DIY home energy audit finds the biggest savings right away, and its not just about sealing leaks.
The first step is to figure out where you spend your money. Check your energy bills and tally up your costs to see what you spend on electricity. It might not be immediately apparent where you are losing money, but this will give you a starting point.
Heating and cooling usually accounts for 45 percent of energy used in your home, according to EIA.gov. Many homes, especially older structures, lose heat through cracks or out-dated furnaces. The EIA found old homes consume as much heat as newer homes, even though new homes are 30% bigger.
If you are living in a colder climate, check your house for obvious leaks. Any part of your home where two different materials meet like attics, windows, skylights and doors are leak prone. Ducts are also very susceptible to leaks. Check for noticeable leaks in these areas first. Look for daylight coming through cracks. To spot inconspicuous leaks, hold a lit candle near cracks. If the flame flutters, there is a leak.
Seal doors and windows with weatherstripping, and fix larger leaks and gaps with expanding foam. On ducts, use duct tape.
While this one is certainly based on availability of a lake, or river, it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and promote energy efficiency. Just make sure to get a biodegradable shampoo!
With regard to the sporadic weather patterns of recent years, there is something that we can all agree on: the summers are getting hotter, the winters are getting colder and the springs and falls are much shorter than they used to be.
There are lots of things that you can do to beat the oppressive heat of the summer and the bone chilling cold of winter. You can use fans, heaters, fireplaces, your own clothes, etc. to help you regulate your body temperature and the temperature of your home. You can also use your windows.
During the summer, one of the best things you can do to reduce the amount of heat in your home is to hang up some blinds (thick wooden ones, like bamboo) over the outside of your windows. When you hang blinds on the outside of your window, you keep the heat of the sun from making contact with the glass or plastic in your windows (which effectively turns your windows into giant magnifying glasses and you into an ant).
If you don’t own your home and aren’t able to put up blinds on the outside of your house, that’s okay. You can buy heat absorbing film and put it on the inside of your windows to help reduce that ant/magnifying glass scenario we just talked about.
Tip: Keeping your windows open during the cooler parts of the day and closed during the hotter parts of the day also goes a long way toward helping you regulate your home’s temperature.
We all want to reduce our water bills and if you design the right kind of bathroom you can expect to save cash every month for the next 10-15 years. People are investing in water-saving bathroom features to get the luxurious bathroom they want and to save themselves valuable cash for years to come at the same time.
If you are refurbishing your bathroom it only makes sense to look for water-saving features, especially with the way water costs are expected to keep on rising.
Water-Saving Bathrooms – Luxury with a Clear Conscience
Let’s get a few things straight. Water saving is not just for hippies, and it will not entail you saving buckets of water to use in the garden, or failing to flush your toilet after every use. Modern water-saving technology is not only efficient, it’s also elegant. Whilst you’ll find budget options for bathroom suites and taps that save water, you’ll also find that many high quality, luxury bathroom design also have elegant water-saving bathroom fixtures.
These fixtures will not result in a noticeable diminishing of your bathroom experience. The great majority of the time you will not notice that water is flowing at a slower rate and you will still get the steamy shower that you want. Water-saving technology has made huge strides in recent years, and you can now have the beautiful bathroom that you want whilst using the water-saving fixtures that you need.
Toilet Options – Pain Free Water-Saving
Water-saving toilets are far from a new innovation, and have been in use in most European countries for years. Also known as ‘dual flush‘, these efficient toilets give you a choice of water flow, depending on how necessary the water is. This means that liquid can be washed down the toilet with an economy flow, whilst solids can be disposed of with a heavier water flow.
A traditional toilet uses around five gallons of water per flush, whilst more modern versions can get away with around 1.6 gallons per flush. A high efficiency dual flush toilet will use around half a gallon of water each time the flush is pressed; with the average household toilet being flushed eight times a day by each member of the household, that’s a lot of water which can be saved.