energy conservation: 8 DIY Projects To Add Value To Your Home By Labor Day - 08/27/10 04:02 PM
Labor Day looms large for homeowners. The end of summer signals that many of us will soon be immersed in an accelerated work schedule plus soccer practices, homework and other realities of back-to-school season. (Then there are football-filled Sundays that most cut into your handyman time in the fall.) But there's still time to tackle a few remodeling projects. And while your goal may simply be to freshen the appearance of your home, you also want to know that your hard work will increase your home's value.
Here are eight home improvements you can finish by Labor Day that will pay … (1 comments)

energy conservation: 10 Tips to Green Your Spring Clean! - 04/13/10 04:46 PM
The 40th annual Earth Day celebration is April 22nd! It also happens to be the time to bust out the mops, rags, and cleaners and take care of a little Spring cleaning! Here are some earth- and human-friendly cleaning tips:
1. Take a Deep Breath. Use baking soda, essential oils, or even fresh cut flowers instead of chemical fresheners.
2. Go Paperless. Opt out of junk-mail lists and phone book deliveries and use paperless billing for utilities.
3. Clothes Encounters. Wash laundry in cold water and install a clothesline in your backyard, basement, or garage.
4. Water Wise. Install a low-flow … (4 comments)

energy conservation: 10 MORE Tips for Conserving Energy in Your Home! - 10/09/09 12:49 AM
Make sure the “standby” power-saving feature on your home computer is turned on. Properly insulate attics, floors and walls to current building codes. The higher the “R” value the greater the insulation value. It is best to insulate attics first, followed by walls, then floors above unheated crawl spaces. Proper ceiling insulation alone can save you up to 25% on heating costs. Set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees, or 140 degrees if you have a dishwasher. Install efficient shower heads and faucets – you could save up to 10 percent on your water heating costs. Fix defective plumbing or … (9 comments)

energy conservation: 10 Tips for Conserving Energy in Your Home! - 10/09/09 12:43 AM
Have your furnace and gas appliances serviced annually by a qualified contractor to ensure maximum energy-efficiency and safety. Put on your favorite sweater and set your thermostat between 65 and 68 degrees during the winter. For sleep hours, set the temperature at least 5 degrees lower and add a cozy blanket to your bed. Bear in mind that warmer temperatures are recommended for homes with ill or elderly persons or infants. Install a programmable thermostat and set it to accurately follow your schedule. If no one is home during the day, there’s no need to keep your house warm. Replace or … (2 comments)

energy conservation: This House Has a 400 Watt Smile! - 05/18/09 10:23 AM
For months my husband and I have been saying we need to trade out some of our incandescent bulbs to CFL's(compact fourescent lights). It's one of those things we only seem to think about when we're at the eating bar in the kitchen where there are five bulbs burning at once. We never seem to remember when we're actually at the store. That finally changed last Saturday!
I was at Fred Meyer, my favorite we-sell-everything store, picking up buy-one-get-one-free flip-flops and cream cheese. On my way to the checkout a lightbulb went off in my brain: lightbulbs! I trotted off to … (3 comments)

energy conservation: Energy Bills Up? Conservation Tips Part 4 - 02/12/09 09:10 AM
It's February and it's chilly here in Washington - 28 degrees as I write this! (Okay, not as cold as Minnesota or anything, but still cold!) A lot of energy is used during the winter months and a lot is wasted due to inefficiency. This series has covered things you can do to conserve energy today, this week, this month, and now culminates with things you can do this year. Today's tips are more involved and more costly than the previous lists but with some planning and budgeting you can conserve energy and reduce your bills.
To do this year:
Have … (4 comments)

energy conservation: Energy Bills Up? Conservation Tips Part 3 - 02/03/09 11:27 AM
Whether the bills are up or not, it's always a good idea to do what we can to reduce our energy comsumption. So far I've passed on some easy, inexpensive tips that can be done right now - or at least within a week. Today, I'm going to dive in a little deeper and cover some things that a little more up-front expense and may require hiring a professional.
What to do this month:
Inspect the insulation in your attic or crawlspace. An older home may not have any at all! Consider installing some, or beefing it up if it's inadequate. … (1 comments)

energy conservation: Energy Bills Up? Conservation Tips Part 2 - 01/29/09 10:45 AM
In part one of this series I shared a few things that you can do right now - today - to lower your energy consumption. Today we'll look at a few things that will take a smidge more effort, but can easily be done within the week.
To do this week:
Head down to your local hardware store and pick up a new furnace filter, compact fluorescent bulbs, a low-flow shower head, caulk, weather-stripping, etc. Caulk or weather-strip as needed on all doors and windows. Many utility companies offer a free "energy audit" which will show you where you're letting the cold … (1 comments)

energy conservation: Energy Bills Up? Conservation Tips Part 1 - 01/27/09 07:55 AM
I don't know about you, but my bills are inching skyward. How very kind of my local utility company to raise rates in the winter! Gotta love that! But, regardless of rates, conserving energy makes sense. This four part series will show you what you can do to lower your consumption today, this week, this month, and this year.
What you can do today:
Turn down the thermostat on your water heater to between 120 and 130 degrees. You'll save energy and avoid scalding your skin. Most modern appliances have "energy-saver" settings which use less water, electricity, and/ or gas. Look … (6 comments)