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We’ve talked a lot on the blog about larger, more comprehensive home improvement and home performance projects that can have a big impact on your home’s overall efficiency and comfort. What’s also true, however, is that there are a lot of smaller changes that you can make to improve the quality of life within the home while also helping to save money and energy and a regular basis. In this two-part blog series, we’re going to overview ten of those small changes that can have a large collective impact.


1.     Have carpeting? Don’t forget to vacuum. If you have carpeting or other places that dirt, dust and allergens can get trapped, it’s a good idea to regularly vacuum those spaces. If this everyday task gets ignored or pushed off, the dirt, dust and allergens can get into the air inside your home, greatly reducing the overall indoor air quality. Furthermore, if you have an HVAC or other type of forced air system, these harmful particles can be pushed throughout the house. Making sure the source of this problem is cleaned as frequently as possible can help improve the indoor air quality of your home.


2.     Reduce your shower time. You may think that this is one of the simplest of changes--and you’d be right! Reducing the time spent in your shower not only reduces your monthly water bill, it also greatly reduces the amount of energy required to heat that water. Cutting the time by just a few short minutes per day can add up big time over a longer period of time. As a side note on water consumption—if you typically take baths, you may want to think about showering instead. The typical bath uses up to 70 gallons of water, while a normal shower only uses 10 to 15 gallons.


3.     Change your HVAC air filter regularly. This is a simple change that we’ve discussed at great lengths on our blog. However, its importance can’t be overstated. Taking the 30 seconds to change out your air filters at their recommended scheduled times (based on type). This will not only improve the indoor air quality of your home, but will also greatly increase the overall efficiency of your HVAC unit by allowing it to stop working too hard if it has a dirty filter in place.

Posted by on in Efficiency

As an everyday homeowner, it’s not always easy to know what upgrades or improvements to your home will provide the most value for your dollar. We’re constantly faced with potential repairs, replacements and installations that can increase the overall performance of our home. We see advertisements or talk to others about great ways to save money and energy, but it’s sometimes hard to pull the trigger on making these changes. Part of the reason being it’s hard to know what should come first and what can potentially wait until later.


As we’ve mentioned before on the blog, it’s always a good idea to seek the professional opinion of a qualified home contractor. A home energy assessment can help address the issue of homeowner confusion and lead you in the right direction when it comes to making these upgrades to your home. There are, however, a few ways you can get started on this research process yourself. Here are a few home energy tools and resources that can help you start the conversation:


Repair vs. Replace Calculator – Are you better off repairing an old, failing home energy system or is it a better choice to do a full replacement? This can be a tricky question to answer for a typical homeowner. It’s always hard to make the leap to a full replacement when you always have the hope that a quick repair of fix will do the trick. However, despite the dreaded initial investment, taking that leap can save you big over time. A replacement can help you avoid future repairs and will probably provide a more sophisticated, energy-efficient system. This calculator can help you start the conversation of whether a repair will do the trick or if a full replacement would be a better value.


Furnace Savings Calculator – Knowing how much energy your current furnace or other heating and cooling system uses is the best way to determine whether or not an upgrade would be you the ultimate value for your home. This furnace savings calculator can give you an idea of exactly how much energy and money you could be saving with a more efficient unit. It takes into account the age of your current furnace, your average fuel cost on a month-over-month basis and your desired indoor temperature.

We often struggle to find financial investment in our lives that make the most sense from a stability, return and overall benefit standpoint. Whether that’s purchasing stocks or bonds, mutual funds, retirement plans, real estate or others, we’re always weighing the options of where to put our money. Sometimes, we overlook common investments that could provide great returns on our investments. Investing in energy upgrades and making our homes more energy efficient may be a great place to look if you find yourself in the position to make a sounds long-term financial investment.


Investing in home energy efficiency projects, installations or upgrades can bring you big savings over the long term. You’ve probably hear the old saying – “A penny saved is a penny earned!” Well, it’s certainly true in the case of saving money on energy bills. Making improvements to your home’s performance can mean you’re paying less month over month, keeping money you’d otherwise be throwing away.


Taking the stock market as an comparative example, energy savings investments can not only bring similar (or greater) return on the dollar investment, but they can provide more of a sure bet on seeing benefit from your initial expenditure. Especially in recent years when the financial market has been volatile, saving a set amount each month on energy costs is perhaps as close to you can get to a guarantee when realizing an ongoing financial return on investment.


Making energy upgrades to your home not only reduces the amount you’re paying on a monthly basis, but it can also greatly increase the overall value of your home. This, of course, can provide big benefits to one of your largest assets. Major upgrades to heating and cooling systems, insulation, windows and doors, roofing, among many others can bring huge additional value to your home and make it much more appealing to home buyers, as well.

Posted by on in General

Spring has sprung and the weather is starting to warm up once again. Changing seasons always bring new projects for homeowners, from large construction or installation projects to annual Spring cleanup. Before tackling your project to-do list this Spring, it might be a good idea to get organized and have a checklist of necessary home maintenance steps. Running through these important inspections and seasonal tasks will ensure your home performs at its highest possible level and keeps you and your loved ones safe.


Here are a few things to check as you make your way through Spring home maintenance:


·      Have a detailed home maintenance and safety inspection. If your home hasn’t been inspected in a long time, it may be a good idea to bring in a professional to comprehensively inspect your home for potential safety or problem maintenance areas. We offer quality home maintenance inspections and handyman services to not only identify problems on the interior and exterior of your home, but to also help you fix those problems quickly and effectively.


·      Check for proper operation of doors and windows. You’ll be opening and closing your windows a lot more often as the weather gets warmer, so now is the time to make sure all windows work properly. Remember – periodically opening windows and/or doors can improve your home’s indoor air quality by replacing stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air.


·      Inspect your garage. Cleaning the garage is a common Spring project for many homeowners. Now is a great time to lubricate garage door wheels, rails and openers. Also, ensure all fuel, paint or other hazardous material is not only organized and accessible for Spring and Summer use, but stored properly to ensure safety.


·      Check your water sources. Spring should bring a careful check of your water heater, water lines and pipes for rust and leaks. Winter can be harsh on these things, so assessing any damage and fixing it now is key.

Posted by on in General

At Bel Red Energy Solutions, we pride ourselves on our wonderful team. We place an extremely heavy emphasis on education and training for our employees because the more our staff knows, the better off our customers will be. We also love when our staff receives recognition and honors for their hard work and dedication not only to the company, but also the craft they live and breathe on a daily basis.


One such employee that we are very proud of is Darrick Philp. Darrick is our Service Manager here at Bel Red and leads our team of excellent Service Technicians. He started with Bel Red over 14 years ago as a Service Technician and has brought great skill, knowledge, friendliness and care to our other staff members and our customers.


Recently, Darrick received a distinct honor from Trane, one of the leading manufacturers and product providers in the heating and cooling industry. He was selected to Trane’s Next Generation Furnace Dealer Council, which brings some of the brightest minds in the industry together to give input on future product lines for the company.


This council group provides hands-on insights into important design features, recommendations and improvements to help Trane ensure they are providing the best quality products for contractors and homeowners. This group worked hard and well together and sent the Trane product teams back to the drawing board on a number of occasions when they insisted something could be done even a little bit better.


We’re proud to say that Darrick was one of twelve HVAC service experts to be chosen out of hundreds of nominations! You can see the full group below: