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“Going green” has become much more than a trendy buzzword when it comes to energy consumption and awareness in this region and country. The movement has certainly made it into the homes and minds of many individuals looking to not only do their part to help our planet, but also wanting to reduce their energy costs in a practical, sustainable way.

In this blog post series, we’re going to take a look at some simple ways that you can green up your home. Here are a few final tips for the series:

  • Save water whenever possible. Water is not only a valuable resource around the house, but also a huge use (and cause of use) of energy in the home. Saving water whenever possible is one of the most important ways you can make your home and lifestyle greener. Taking shorter showers, Using water-saver nozzles on showerheads and faucets, turning the water off while brushing your teeth—these habits, among many others, are great ways to limit your living impact around the home.
  • Change your laundry temperature. Making the simple switch from hot water to cold while washing laundry can help save a lot of energy over many loads. Cold water will clean laundry just as well, and removing the need to heat up that great deal of water can really cut down on your electric or gas bill depending on the type of washing machine you own. One flip of a knob can be a big energy saver when it comes to an appliance you use so much.
  • Get home performance assessment. It’s hard (or impossible) to know how to fix an energy problem if you don’t know what that problem is in the first place. By bringing in professionals and specialists like the team here at Bel Red, you can rest assured that you’ll have all energy and overall home performance issues pinpointed. Once you have the problems identified, these same professionals can lay out a roadmap and path to fixing the problem. This added help will be set up in a way that’s reasonable for your home budget and lead to ensuring your home’s environmental footprint is as small as it can possibly be given your unique situation.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these “going green” tips for your home. There are many more things you can do to save energy and reduce your home’s overall environmental impact. We highly recommend doing what you can. The environment, and your wallet, will thank you! Collectively, we can make a big difference.

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“Going green” has become much more than a trendy buzzword when it comes to energy consumption and awareness in this region and country. The movement has certainly made it into the homes and minds of many individuals looking to not only do their part to help our planet, but also wanting to reduce their energy costs in a practical, sustainable way.

In this blog post series, we’re going to take a look at some simple ways that you can green up your home. Here are a few additional tips:

  • Add plants to your home. Living walls and roof gardens, while around for many, many years, are making a comeback with the green wave. These plant coverings fight pollution by absorbing both noise and carbon dioxide alike. They can also add an additional layer of insulation to your home. This may be the most literal tip for “greening” your home, but it can be one of great benefit and provide added visual appeal in your home as well!
  • Install eco-friendly landscape. Speaking of the benefits of plants when it comes to going green in the home, implementing eco-friendly landscaping practices around your home in general can have a great impact on energy savings as well. Going along with the theme of saving water just discussed, collecting rainwater whenever possible to use in the garden or on other plants is a great energy savings and eco-friendly practice. Strategically installing trees and shrubs can also help shade your home and act as external insulation, reducing energy needs inside the home.
  • Use power strips for your electronics and appliances. Plugging multiple electronics or small appliances (chargers, TVs, computers, coffee makers, etc.) and turning the strip off when things are not in use may seem like a small change, but it can be a great habit to get into. The collective savings you’ll get from doing a hard shutoff of these devices can be big—in some cases saving you more than 10% on your annual electric bill. Training the whole family to shut off the strips is a great idea and can really reduce unnecessary energy consumption in your home.

There are many other tips to greening your home and way of life within the household. We’ll be following up shortly with a few more tips on going green in the home. Don’t miss it!

As always, the best way to REALLY have a large impact on cutting your energy consumption is to give us a call at Bel Red for a comprehensive home performance assessment so we can help you determine the best ways you can save.

Last modified on

“Going green” has become much more than a trendy buzzword when it comes to energy consumption and awareness in this region and country. The movement has certainly made it into the homes and minds of many individuals looking to not only do their part to help our planet, but also wanting to reduce their energy costs in a practical, sustainable way.

In this blog post series, we’re going to take a look at some simple ways that you can green up your home. See the first tips below:

  • Clean your appliances regularly. Cleaning appliances and home heating and cooling systems can drastically increase their efficiency over the long-term. Dirty or clogged appliances can cause energy usage to skyrocket. Unless these units and systems are maintained and kept clean, they will have to work extra hard to perform, meaning you’re going to be using way more energy to keep your home and way of living in order.
  • Upgrade your light bulbs. This is a small and rather inexpensive change that can have a major impact. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with eco-friendly and high performing CFL bulbs can make a huge (and positive) dent in your monthly energy use and bill. This option is not only good for your wallet, it’s good for the environment.
  • Rely on natural light. While we discussed the impact the installation of CFL light bulbs can have on your overall energy consumption, nothing can beat turning off your lights completely and using natural light whenever possible. Make sure windows aren’t blocked so as much outside light can enter your home. If you’re in a position to install new windows (or are building a new home), place the windows strategically so you’ll maximize the amount of sunlight getting into the home.
  • Adjust your heating and cooling. One of the biggest culprits of high and sometimes unnecessary energy use comes with not properly adjusting the temperature settings in your home. Many people don’t take advantage to helpful tools and practices like scheduling your thermostat to allow for lower energy usage when nobody is home. Even if you are home, can you adjust the temperature a degree or two and still be comfortable? Even a slight change like that can add up to big energy savings over time.

There are many other tips to greening your home and way of life within the household. We’ll be following up shortly with more tips. Stay tuned!

As always, the best way to REALLY have a large impact on cutting your energy consumption is to give us a call at Bel Red for a comprehensive home performance assessment so we can help you determine the best ways you can save.

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Posted by on in Efficiency

We talk a lot on this blog about the power of knowledge when it comes to personal energy consumption in the home. This knowledge is not only important for ways to potentially save energy, but also knowing how much energy you’re using in general. There are some tools that can be used to help you get a basic idea of this amount, as well as help you compare your energy usage month-to-month to track your habits over the course of the year. One such tool, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), is called the Home Energy Saver.

While not the most accurate of energy measurement tools, the Home Energy Saver is a good option when it comes to general level online insights into energy consumption in one’s home. This tool brings “advanced building simulation software” to users to help them identify ways to maximize their home energy efficiency. Much of this information is based on home factors such as size, age and geographic location. The LBNL has made updates to the tool since it was introduced a few years ago as well to help with accuracy.

An example of the information this online tool provides consumers would be determining approximately how much money a homeowner could save by having new insulation installed in his or her attic. The software also tells consumers the energy use, bills, or energy-related carbon dioxide emissions for that area's typical house, and a comparable energy-efficient house. This gives a consumer a directional idea of the impact efficiency upgrades can make in overall consumption in the home.

Home Energy Saver breaks out the set of improvements by the home's major energy-using systems: space heating and cooling, water heating, lighting, major appliances, and other 'miscellaneous' appliances that are an increasingly important factor in residential energy bills.

While this is certainly a convenient way for consumers to start getting an idea of upgrades and general energy improvements they can make to their homes, it’s important to note again that results from the tool shouldn’t necessarily be used in the final decision making process for a homeowner contemplating efficiency work. It’s important to speak with qualified and trained professionals, like the ones at Bel Red, to execute a home energy audit and improvement recommendation that is very specific to that particular home. However, tools like these provide consumers with a “first look” into energy efficiency shortfalls they may be experiencing in their home.

If you’d like a more in-depth look at your energy consumption, contact our team today.

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Posted by on in Heating

Colder weather is on our doorstep, which means it’s a perfect time to think about making sure your home heating systems are working properly and are at low risk of failing you when you need it most in the months ahead.

Our trained staff at Bel Red can help make your home heating maintenance checklist a breeze.  We offer a comprehensive, detailed service list that will help ensure not only optimal functionality, but also efficiency of your home heating systems and equipment.

Here’s a list of services we provide when you purchase one of our Peace of Mind Heating Maintenance plans:

  • Replace Standard Air Filter
  • Test Thermostat Operation
  • Test & Inspect Unit Safety Switch
  • Clean & Tighten Electrical Connections As Needed
  • Test Flame Sensor (mA)
  • Test Capacitor #1
  • Measure & Record AMP Draw To Blower Motor / Nameplate (FLA)
  • Blower Motor Volts
  • Inspect Fan Bearings, Fan Blade and Blower Wheel
  • Inspect Blower Wheel counter balance & rotation
  • Record Total System Static Pressure
  • Test Inducer Fan Motor & Blower Assembly
  • Test Condensate Pump
  • Inspect Burner & Flue For Water, Corrosion & Blockage
  • Test Main Burner Ignition / Element Ohm and Amp Draw
  • Clean Burners As Needed
  • Inspect Heat Exchanger For Corrosion, Structural Problems & Erratic Flame
  • Inspect & Record OHM Reading On Hot Surface Igniter
  • Test & Inspect Inducer Fan Motor & Blower Assembly
  • Combustion Analysis Test
  • Inspect Visible Fuel Connections

Aside from heating maintenance, we also offer comprehensive Peace of Mind Maintenance Plans, including Cooling Maintenance Plans, Plumbing Maintenance Plans, Energy Star Recommended Maintenance Plans, and more!

Contact us today using this link to schedule your appointment and let the home maintenance begin!

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