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Ways to be green and save green in your new home

November 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Green_bulbA home is a big purchase and every new homeowner knows that every dollar counts. Here are some simple ideas that are both kind to the environment and your wallet.

1.Purchase a high-efficiency shower head. This cuts down on both water consumption and energy costs.

2.Upgrading your appliances? Consider energy-efficient appliances with the ‘Energy Star’ logo. According to the Energy Star site, Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10%-50% less energy and water than standard models. Remember to ask about discounts, especially when purchasing several appliances at once.

3.Get with the program. Set your thermostat to accommodate the schedule of your home. Lower the heat during the day when no one is at home and at night when occupants are sleeping. Also, try to maintain a moderate temperature, instead of cranking the heat or air conditioning to drastically change the temperature.

4.Utilize fans instead of air conditioning. Consider operating fans to circulate the summer air instead of opting for the more expensive and less environmentally friendly air conditioning.

5.Insulate and seal the gaps. Hidden gaps and cracks within a home lead to an abundant loss of heat in the winter and air conditioning in the warmer months. Caulk any leaks around windows and doors, in attics and around fireplaces. Proper insulation installation or roof replacement may be necessary.

6.Replace lights with LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. The cost is more upfront, but the lights use less energy and last longer.

7 Ways to Save On Energy Costs this Winter

October 9, 2013 Leave a comment

extension_cordSaving money on energy costs is always a good investment. With winter fast approaching, it is that time of year when families must determine how much they want to spend on energy costs. There are, however, some simple tricks to cut costs while turning up the heat.

1. Turn off unused electronics: Everyone has heard our Mom or Dad tell us to turn off something when we are done with it. This still holds true today. When you leave a room, turn off the light. When you go to bed, close your laptop. If you go on vacation, it might be a good idea to disconnect the garage door opener.

2. Use power strips: Simply having appliances plugged in drains energy, so when possible, plug as many electronics into power strips as you can. When those items are not in use, easily switch them off by using the switch on the power strip.

3. Unplug chargers: Many houses have multiple devices that require charging. From laptops to tablets to smartphones, chances are that on any given day one could have a few items charging at once. When the device is fully charged, unplug it. Even though it is charged it still uses energy from the outlet.

4. Invest in a power monitor: Having a power monitor is a good idea for any home. It tells you how much energy you are using, and which household items are draining the most power. By knowing where large amounts of your bill are going, you can adjust your usage accordingly.

5. Use appliance programs: A lot of new household items have self-regulation options. Take advantage of them. This can range from power management options on a computer to programming setting for heat or air conditioning. Many appliances have some form of power-saving settings, and it is beneficial to utilize them.

6. Be smart in choosing light bulbs: Light bulbs have changed a lot the past few years. LED bulbs and compact fluorescents are much easier on power than older bulbs. They are also inexpensive, so there are multiple benefits to updating your light bulb inventory.

7. Use cold water in washing machines: A cold wash will keep clothes just as clean and uses less energy than hot water. Another fun fact: Hot water can make colors run and helps stains set, crises avoided!

4 Kitchen Design Trends Cooking Up in 2012

October 10, 2012 Leave a comment


Some of the recent trends popping up in more kitchens this year:

1. Unmatched cabinets: Cabinet colors and materials are being mixed, such as darker colors for the base cabinets and lighter colors being used for upper cabinets to “provide a sense of openness,” according to the blog.

2. Downsized kitchen islands: While bigger used to be better with kitchen islands, more home owners are finding they can make do with a smaller kitchen island that doesn’t take up as much space.

3. Covert appliances: Dishwashers, refrigerators and ovens are being hidden behind cabinetry or made to match the cabinetry so much so that you can barely even spot them at first glance in the kitchen. Also going invisible in the kitchen, kitchen cabinet knobs, creating a more clean-panel look.

4. Smaller faucets: The big, “gooseneck” faucet was all the rage up until recently but now more home owners seem to be opting for lower profile faucets for a more subtle statement. Some of the faucets have even shrunk to bathroom scale, but they still feature the detachable spray nozzle.

“As kitchens have opened up and become more integrated into our homes, they have begun to feel less ‘kitchen-like,’” according to the Home Design Find blog. “The trend toward mixed cabinetry and integrated appliances, door pulls and sinks suggests we are looking for a space that flows seamlessly into the rest of our spaces.”

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